May 10, 1968: Swoboda and Agee Slug Cubs

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Date: May 10, 1968
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 5
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Ron Swoboda, Tommie Agee
Key play: Swoboda’s and Agee’s home runs

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Friday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. Ron Swoboda and Tommie Agee hit home runs in a 5-1 Mets win.

The Mets had runners on second and third base and none out against Cubs’ starter Ferguson Jenkins in the top of the first. Jenkins responded with three consecutive strikeouts to end the inning and the Mets’ Jerry Koosman set down the side in order in the bottom half. Jerry Grote hit a double to lead off the top of the second. Jenkins retired the next three batters and Ron Santo doubled to open the bottom of the inning. Ernie Banks went down on strikes and Santo advanced to third base on Lou Johnson’s ground out to second baseman Ken Boswell. A wild pitch brought home Santo for a 1-0 Chicago lead. John Boccabella drew a walk and Koosman retired Adolfo Phillips on a fly ball to left fielder Art Shamsky to close out the inning.

Koosman and Jenkins each pitched scoreless ball from the third inning to the sixth. Pinch-hitter J. C. Martin drew a walk against Jenkins to begin the top of the seventh. Pinch-runner Don Bosch moved to third base on Bud Harrelson’s single and scored the tying run on a single by Boswell. Shamsky’s sacrifice bunt sent the runners to second and third. Swoboda followed with a three-run homer to put the Mets ahead, 4-1. Cubs’ reliever Phil Regan threw a called third strike past Ed Kranepool and retired Grote on an inning-ending grounder to first baseman Banks. Mets’ reliever Cal Koonce then hurled a perfect bottom half.

With one out in the top of the eighth, Agee homered for the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Cleon Jones reached on shortstop Don Kessinger’s error and Harrelson grounded out to second baseman Glenn Beckert. Boswell reached on an error by Kessinger that advanced Jones to third base and stole second. Regan fanned Koonce for the inning’s third out and Cal retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Chicago reliever Chuck Hartenstein then pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.

Billy Williams grounded out to first baseman Kranepool to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Santo was called out on strikes. Koonce then got Banks on a ground ball to Boswell to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the series.