June 4, 1977: Espinosa and Lockwood Blank Phillies

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Date: June 4, 1977
Mets starter: Nino Espinosa
Mets: 2
Phillies: 0
Winning pitcher: Nino Espinosa
Key player(s): Nino Espinosa, Skip Lockwood, Jerry Grote
Key play: Grote’s singles

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of four games in a series. Nino Espinosa and Skip Lockwood combined on a shutout in a 2-0 Mets win over Philadelphia.

Espinosa and the Phils’ Steve Carlton each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Nino set down the side in order in the top of the fourth and Dave Kingman doubled with one out in the bottom half. Mike Vail followed with an infield single on which Kingman stayed at second base. Jerry Grote singled to drive home Kingman for a 1-0 Mets lead. Carlton recorded a strikeout of Lee Mazzilli on which Vail got caught in a rundown and was tagged out by catcher Tim McCarver for an inning-ending double play.

Espinosa surrendered only a walk to Garry Maddox in the top of the fifth. Carlton gave up just a walk to Espinosa in the bottom half and Nino retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Kingman was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the inning. With Vail at bat, Kingman advanced to second base on Carlton’s errant pickoff throw. Vail singled and Grote hit a single to score Kingman with the Mets’ second run of the game. Mazzilli and Bud Harrelson were fanned for the inning’s final outs and Espinosa yielded just a single to McCarver in the top of the seventh. Carlton then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Jay Johnstone singled against Espinosa with one out in the top of the eighth. Mike Schmidt drew a walk and Lockwood struck out Greg Luzinski. Richie Hebner fouled out to third baseman Lenny Randle to finish off the inning and John Milner singled against Carlton to open the bottom half. Kingman popped out to second baseman Ted Sizemore and a single by Vail ensued. Phillies’ reliever Gene Garber then got Grote to hit a ground ball to Sizemore for a double play to close out the inning.

McCarver was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Mazzilli to begin the top of the ninth. Sizemore grounded out to shortstop Harrelson and a double by Larry Bowa followed. Lockwood then fanned Bob Boone to end the game. The Mets had a shutout victory.