May 11, 1974: Swan's First Major League Win

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Date: May 11, 1974
Mets starter: Craig Swan
Mets: 6
Cubs: 3
Winning pitcher: Craig Swan
Key player(s): Craig Swan, Cleon Jones, Don Hahn, Rusty Staub
Key play: Mets’ three homers, Swan’s RBI single

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The teams played the middle part of a three-game weekend series. Craig Swan recorded his first major league win and collected three singles in a 6-3 Mets victory over Chicago.

Swan and Cubs’ starter Ken Frailing each pitched scoreless ball in the first and second innings. In the top of the third, Craig got a one-out single to center field. Frailing retired the next two batters and grounded out to first baseman John Milner to lead off the bottom half. Vic Harris drew a walk, stole second base and moved to third on an error by Swan. Don Kessinger popped out to Milner and a walk to Rick Monday ensued. Swan then got Billy Williams on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Cleon Jones.

With one out in the top of the fourth, Jones hit a home run to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Milner grounded out to second baseman Harris and a single by Jerry Grote followed. Frailing struck out Wayne Garrett to end the inning. Jose Cardenal walked to open the bottom half. Swan set down the next two Chicago hitters and issued a walk to George Mitterwald. Frailing then hit a ground ball back to Swan for the third out.

Don Hahn homered to begin the top of the fifth inning. Swan singled and advanced to second on Bud Harrelson’s ground out to third baseman Carmen Fanzone. Felix Millan grounded out to Fanzone and a two-run homer by Rusty Staub increased the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Frailing retired Jones on a fly ball to right fielder Cardenal to close out the inning. Swan then shut down the Cubs in the bottom half.

Garrett and Hahn got back-to-back singles with two outs in the top of the sixth. Swan followed with his third single of the game to drive home Garrett. Chicago reliever Jim Todd got Harrelson on a grounder to Harris for the third out. The Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Swan then retired pinch-hitter Gonzalo Marquez on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Harrelson.

Chicago’s Horacio Pina pitched a perfect top of the seventh. Mets’ reliever Ray Sadecki set down the first two batters in the bottom half. Monday and Williams followed with back-to-back singles to center field. Sadecki got Cardenal to fly out to right fielder Staub and end the inning. Pina then retired the Mets in order again in the top of the eighth.

Fanzone hit a double and advanced to third on a single by Jerry Morales to start the bottom of the eighth inning. Mitterwald hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Fanzone. Pinch-hitter Andre Thornton hit a two-run homer to cut the Mets’ lead to 5-3. Harry Parker came in to pitch for the Mets and threw a called third strike past Harris. Kessinger followed with a double to left field. Parker then retired Monday on a fly ball to center fielder Hahn that ended the inning.

Against Cubs’ reliever Bill Bonham, Hahn singled and moved to second on Harris’s error to lead off the top of the ninth. Parker’s sacrifice bunt advanced Hahn to third and Harrelson drew a walk. Millan reached base on another error by Harris that allowed Hahn to score the Mets’ sixth run. Staub grounded out to shortstop Kessinger. Bonham then fanned Jones for the final out of the inning.

Cardenal got a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth. Fanzone hit a pop-up to Harrelson for the second out of the inning. Morales followed with a single to center field. Parker then got pinch-hitter Chris Ward on a called third strike to end the game. The Mets had triumphed as Swan chalked up his first win as a major leaguer.