July 27, 1968: Cardwell and Taylor Six-Hit Reds

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Date: July 27, 1968
Mets starter: Don Cardwell
Mets: 5
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: Don Cardwell
Key player(s): Don Cardwell, Ron Taylor, Ed Charles, Larry Stahl
Key play: Charles’ and Stahl’s home runs

The Mets and Reds faced each other on a Saturday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played in front of 45,732 fans on hand. Don Cardwell and Ron Taylor teamed up for a six-hitter in a 5-2 Mets win over Cincinnati.

Cardwell and the Reds’ Gerry Arrigo each pitched a perfect first inning. Lee May opened the top of the second with a single to left field. Johnny Bench followed with a double play ground ball to shortstop Bud Harrelson and a strikeout of Tony Perez ended the inning. Ed Charles singled to lead off the bottom half. Jerry Grote drew a walk and Ron Swoboda singled drive home Charles. Ed Kranepool went down on strikes and Jerry Buchek reached on a fielder’s choice to score Grote with the Mets’ second run. Arrigo then threw a called third strike past Cardwell and got Harrelson on a fly ball to center fielder Vada Pinson to close out the inning.

Cardwell struck out the side in order in the top of the third. With one out in the bottom half, Cleon Jones singled and stole second base. Charles followed with a single on which Cleon Jones was out at home via a throw by Pinson to catcher Bench. Grote grounded out to shortstop Leo Cardenas to end the inning and Mack Jones drew a two-out walk in the top of the fourth. May singled and Bench was retired on an inning-ending foul pop-up to third baseman Charles. Arrigo yielded only a single to Kranepool in the bottom half. Cardwell then set down all three Cincinnati batters in the top of the fifth.

Harrelson flied out to left fielder Mack Jones to begin the bottom of the fifth inning. Larry Stahl was struck out and Cleon Jones reached on an error by Cardenas. Charles followed with a home run to increase the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Arrigo retired Grote on a pop-up to second baseman Tommy Helms for the third out and the Reds were set down in order by Cardwell in the top of the sixth. Cincinnati reliever Jay Ritchie then pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning.

Mack Jones hit a single to lead off the top of the seventh. May followed with a two-run homer and Bench was retired on a ground ball to Charles. Perez doubled to right field and Helms flied out to center fielder Stahl. Cardwell got Cardenas to ground out to second baseman Buchek and end the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Stahl homered for the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Ritchie then got Cleon Jones to fly out to Pinson and fanned Charles for the inning’s final out.

Coming in from the bullpen, Taylor retired the Reds 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Cincinnati’s Ted Abernathy hurled a scoreless bottom half and Mack Jones flied out to left fielder Cleon Jones to start the top of the ninth. May followed with a single for his fourth (and the Reds’ sixth) hit of the game. Bench was retired on a line drive to Stahl. Taylor then got Perez to fly out to Stahl and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory with solid pitching.