July 25, 1978: Mets Beat Reds, Rose Sets Record

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Date: July 25, 1978
Mets starter: Craig Swan
Mets: 9
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: Craig Swan
Key player(s): Lenny Randle, Craig Swan, Pete Rose
Key play: Rose's single in 3rd, Mets' 5 runs in 4th

It was a different kind of atmosphere at Shea Stadium. On a Tuesday night, Met fans were supportive of a player from the visiting team. Pete Rose of the Reds was on the verge of setting a new 20th century record for the longest hitting streak in National League history. Rose accomplished this feat and was cheered by the crowd of 38,158. As for the game, the Mets defeated Cincinnati, 9-2.

Rose led off the first inning against Mets' starter Craig Swan. In his first attempt at the record, Pete flied out to left fielder Steve Henderson. Swan and the Reds' Tom Hume then got through two scoreless innings with each allowing two hits.

Swan issued a walk to Hume to begin the top of the third. Rose came up with excitement in the air. Pete drove a single to left field for his 38th consecutive game with at least one hit to set a new modern NL mark. Previous record holder Tommy Holmes (a Mets' employee at the time) went down to the field to congratulate Rose. Following the historical moment, Swan recorded three outs to keep Cincinnati scoreless. Hume then pitched a perfect bottom half with three ground outs.

The Reds scored against Swan in the top of the fourth inning. With two out, Vic Correll hit a double that brought home Dan Driessen with the first run of the game. Craig then retired Hume on a ground ball to shortstop Tim Foli for the third out.

Henderson and Willie Montanez got back-to-back singles off Hume with one out in the bottom of the fourth. John Stearns doubled to score Henderson and tie the game for the Mets. An intentional walk to Lee Mazzilli loaded the bases and Lenny Randle came to bat. Randle singled to bring home Montanez and Stearns while Mazzilli reached third base. Lee then scored on right fielder Ken Griffey's error while Lenny moved up to second. Against reliever Pedro Borbon, Doug Flynn singled to score Randle for the Mets' fifth run of the inning. Borbon then recorded outs on the next two batters.

Rose doubled and later scored for Cincinnati in the top of the fifth inning. Borbon pitched a perfect bottom half and neither team scored in the sixth. Swan then shut down the Reds in the top of the seventh, allowing only a single to Rose.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Dave Tomlin came in to pitch for the Reds. He walked Elliott Maddox to lead off and, following an out, misplayed Henderson's ground ball for an error. Tomlin then threw a wild pitch that allowed Maddox to come home from third base and move Henderson to second. Montanez followed with a single to bring home Steve for a 7-2 Mets lead. Swan then retired the Reds in the top of the eighth, getting Driessen on a double play grounder to end the inning.

Randle singled and came home on Flynn's ensuing double to begin the bottom of the eighth inning. Doug went to third on the throw home and later scored on a one-out single by Maddox. Tomlin then retired Foli and Henderson for the last two outs.

Swan set down the Reds in order in the top of the ninth. Craig had a complete game to record his third win of the season. Despite Rose's entry into the record book, the Mets came away with an easy victory.