June 26, 1976: Mets Rout Cubs With 13 Hits

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Date: June 26, 1976
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 10
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, John Milner, Bob Apodaca
Key play: Milner’s grand slam

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Saturday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played a two-hour and thirty-four-minute game at Wrigley Field. The Mets collected a total of thirteen hits in a 10-2 win.

Cubs’ starter Bill Bonham pitched a perfect top of the first inning. Leading off the bottom half, Rick Monday homered against the Mets’ Jerry Koosman for the first run of the game. Koosman retired Jose Cardenal on a pop-up to shortstop Mike Phillips and recorded strikeouts of George Mitterwald and Jerry Morales to end the inning. Bonham set down the Mets in order in the top of the second. Koosman then retired the Cubs 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Jerry Grote singled against Bonham with one out in the top of the third. Koosman and Phillips drew back-to-back walks to load the bases and Felix Millan singled to drive home Grote. John Milner followed with a grand slam to give the Mets a 5-1 lead. Dave Kingman homered for the sixth New York run and Chicago reliever Paul Reuschel struck out Ed Kranepool. Reuschel retired Del Unser on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Monday. Koosman then set down all three Cubs batters in the bottom half.

After a scoreless fourth, Phillips drew a walk to lead off the top of the fifth. Millan singled and Milner’s ground out to second baseman Manny Trillo advanced the runners to second and third base. Reuschel issued an intentional walk to Kingman that loaded the bases. Kranepool hit a single against Chicago’s Bruce Sutter to bring home Phillips and Millan, increasing the Mets’ lead to 8-1. Unser grounded out to Sutter and an intentional walk to Wayne Garrett loaded the bases once again. Sutter got Grote on a ground ball to shortstop Dave Rosello for the inning’s final out. Koosman then yielded only a single to Steve Swisher in the bottom half.

Sutter hurled a perfect top of the sixth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Monday walked and moved to third base on a single by Cardenal. Mitterwald hit a sacrifice fly that scored Monday with the Cubs’ second run of the game. Morales popped out to second baseman Millan to end the inning and Kranepool hit a two-out single against Chicago reliever Mike Garman in the top of the seventh. Unser tripled to drive home Kranepool for a 9-2 Mets lead. Garman then retired Garrett on a ground ball to Trillo to close out the inning.

Mike Adams drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Swisher walked and Rosello grounded out to Phillips to move the runners to second and third base. Koosman issued a walk to pinch-hitter Bill Madlock that loaded the bases. Mets’ reliever Bob Apodaca threw a called third strike past Monday for the third out of the inning. With two outs in the top of the eighth, Phillips homered against the Cubs’ Oscar Zamora for the tenth New York run. Millan hit a double and Zamora retired Milner on an inning-ending grounder to first baseman Mitterwald. Apodaca then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Unser singled with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. Garrett hit a single (the Mets’ thirteenth hit) to advance Unser to third base. Zamora retired Grote on a line drive to left fielder Cardenal that ended the inning and Swisher popped out to third baseman Garrett to begin the bottom half. Rosello was retired on a ground ball to first baseman Kranepool. Apodaca then got pinch-hitter Pete LaCock to line out to right fielder Kingman and end the game. The Mets had a victory with solid pitching and hitting.