July 7, 1970: Mets Win on Swoboda's Walk

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Date: July 7, 1970
Mets starter: Gary Gentry
Mets: 4
Cardinals: 3
Winning pitcher: Danny Frisella
Key player(s): Donn Clendenon, Ron Swoboda
Key play: Clendenon’s single in 6th, Swoboda’s walk in 9th

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played in front of 42,858 fans on hand. Ron Swoboda drew a walk with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to give the Mets a 4-3 win over St. Louis.

Gary Gentry and the Cards’ Mike Torrez each pitched scoreless ball from the first inning to the fifth. Gentry shut down the Redbirds again in the top of the sixth and Bud Harrelson singled to open the bottom of the inning. Ken Singleton hit a single and Art Shamsky drew a walk to load the bases. Donn Clendenon singled to drive home Harrelson for the first run of the game. On Clendenon’s hit, Singleton was out at home via a throw by left fielder Lou Brock to catcher Joe Torre as Shamsky moved to third and Donn went to second. A wild pitch scored Shamsky and sent Clendenon to third. Wayne Garrett hit a sacrifice fly to score Clendenon for a 3-0 Mets lead. Torrez then retired Ken Boswell on a line drive to Brock to end the inning.

Gentry and St. Louis reliever Frank Linzy each pitched a scoreless seventh. Brock drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second base on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth. Jose Cardenal singled to drive home Brock and went to second on a single by Dick Allen. Torre reached on an error by third baseman Garrett to load the bases and Gentry was replaced on the mound by the Mets’ Rich Folkers. Joe Hague grounded out to first baseman Clendenon to score Cardenal and an intentional walk to Mike Shannon reloaded the bases. Pinch-hitter Carl Taylor hit a ground ball on which Folkers threw to catcher Jerry Grote for an out at home on Allen. Grote then threw to Clendenon to complete an inning-ending double play.

With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Shamsky singled and moved to third base on an ensuing single by Clendenon. Al Hrabosky came in to pitch for the Cardinals and threw a called third strike past Garrett. Hrabosky got Boswell on an inning-ending force play grounder to shortstop Milt Ramirez and back-to-back walks to Dal Maxvill and pinch-hitter Bob Gibson began the top of the ninth. Brock hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Boswell on which Maxvill moved to third base. Cardenal singled to score Maxvill and tie the game at 3-3. Folkers was relieved by the Mets’ Danny Frisella, who issued a walk to Allen that loaded the bases. Frisella then got Torre to hit a double play grounder to Garrett for the inning’s final outs.

Grote singled against St. Louis reliever Sal Campisi to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Frisella was called out on strikes and Tommie Agee singled to right field. Harrelson hit a force play grounder to second baseman Maxvill and an intentional walk to Singleton loaded the bases. Swoboda then came to bat and drew the game’s fourteenth walk to force home pinch-runner Al Weis with the winning run. The Mets had a literal “walk-off” victory.