May 1, 1972: Tom, Tug and Bud Slay Giants

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Date: May 1, 1972
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 7
Giants: 4
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Tug McGraw, Bud Harrelson, Cleon Jones
Key play: Harrelson’s home run, Mets’ RBI singles

The Mets faced the Giants on a Monday afternoon in San Francisco. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Tom Seaver and Tug McGraw combined for fifteen strikeouts and Bud Harrelson hit a home run in a 7-4 Mets win.

Ted Martinez singled against Giants’ starter John Cumberland with one out in the top of the first inning. Tommie Agee went down on strikes and Rusty Staub drew a walk. Cleon Jones hit a single to score Martinez and send Staub to third base. Cumberland retired Jim Fregosi on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Tito Fuentes. Seaver then recorded strikeouts of Fuentes and Bobby Bonds in pitching a perfect bottom half.

Cumberland set down the Mets on three consecutive infield grounders in the top of the second inning. Seaver struck out the side in order in the bottom half. Harrelson led off the top of the third with a homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 2-0. Martinez hit a single and Cumberland retired the next three batters to end the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Dave Rader homered for the first San Francisco run of the game. Seaver then fanned both Cumberland and Chris Speier for the inning’s final outs.

Fregosi tripled to begin the top of the fourth. Jim Beauchamp hit a single to drive home Fregosi with the Mets’ third run. Cumberland was replaced on the mound by Giants’ reliever Ron Bryant, against whom Jerry Grote singled to advance Beauchamp to third base. Seaver was struck out and Harrelson followed with a sacrifice fly to score Beauchamp for a 4-1 New York lead. Bryant got Martinez to fly out to right fielder Bonds and end the inning. Leading off the bottom half, Fuentes hit a triple to right field. Bonds went down on strikes and Dave Kingman popped out to shortstop Harrelson. Seaver then retired Ken Henderson on a foul pop-up to catcher Grote to finish off the inning.

Bryant yielded only a single to Agee in the top of the fifth. Seaver struck out Garry Maddox to being a perfect bottom half and Bryant set down the side in order in the top of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Jim Howarth singled to open the bottom of the inning. Speier hit a two-run homer to reduce the Mets’ lead to 4-3. Fuentes was retired on a pop-up to Harrelson. Seaver then struck out both Bonds and Kingman for the final outs of the inning.

Harrelson got a one-out single against San Francisco reliever Jerry Johnson in the top of the seventh. Bud moved to second base on Martinez’s ground out to Fuentes and to third on a single by Agee. Staub and Jones followed up with singles that brought home Harrelson and Agee, respectively. Fregosi singled against the Giants’ Don McMahon to plate Staub for a 7-3 Mets lead. McMahon then got Beauchamp on a fly ball to center fielder Henderson to close out the inning.

Henderson homered for the Giants’ fourth run to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Seaver threw a called third strike past Maddox and issued a walk to Al Gallagher. Rader flied out to center fielder Agee and a walk to pinch-hitter Willie Mays ensued. McGraw came in to pitch for the Mets and retired Speier on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Jones. San Francisco reliever John Morris pitched a scoreless top of the eighth and Fuentes drew a walk to begin the bottom half. Bonds and Kingman were struck out and Henderson singled to center field. McGraw then got Maddox for the Mets’ fifteenth strikeout to end the inning.

Morris held the Mets to a single by Staub in the top of the ninth. Gallagher grounded back to McGraw to begin the bottom half. Rader was retired on a ground ball to Harrelson. McGraw then got pinch-hitter Chris Arnold to fly out to Jones and end the game. The Mets had a series-opening victory.

Notes

  • Harrelson’s home run was the third of seven he would hit in his 16-season major league career.