May 19, 1977: Todd Beats Giants for First Win

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Date: May 19, 1977
Mets starter: Jackson Todd
Mets: 4
Giants: 3
Winning pitcher: Jackson Todd
Key player(s): Jackson Todd, John Milner, Lenny Randle
Key play: Milner’s & Randle’s home runs

The Mets played the Giants on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. The teams faced each other in the finale of a three-game series. Jackson Todd recorded his first major league win as the Mets came away with a 4-3 victory over San Francisco for a sweep of the series.

Todd (who had survived a cancer operation) and Giants’ starter Ed Halicki each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Jackson yielded a one-out double to Willie McCovey in the top of the second, but set down all other San Francisco batters. The Mets got back-to-back singles from Ed Kranepool and Lee Mazzilli in the bottom of the second, but nothing else against Halicki. Todd retired the Giants in order in the top of the fourth. The Mets then took a 1-0 lead on a leadoff home run by John Milner in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the fifth, Todd limited San Francisco to a double by Tim Foli in a scoreless inning. In the bottom half, Lenny Randle homered with two outs for the Mets’ second run. Halicki followed up by retiring Jerry Grote for the final out of the inning. Todd shut down the Giants in the top of the sixth and the Mets had two runners on base with two outs in the bottom half. A single by Ron Hodges scored Dave Kingman for a 3-0 Mets lead. Halicki then got Bud Harrelson on a pop-up to third baseman Bill Madlock to end the inning.

After pitching a scoreless top of the seventh, Todd led off the bottom of the inning with a single to center field. Randle also singled and Grote struck out. Bruce Boisclair drew a walk to load the bases. Kingman hit a grounder to Madlock on which Todd was thrown out at home. An errant throw by Giants’ catcher Marc Hill allowed Randle to score the Mets’ fourth run. San Francisco reliever John Curtis then retired Kranepool on a grounder back to the mound for the third out.

Mike Sadek singled to begin the top of the eighth inning. Todd retired the next two batters and gave up a single to Darrell Evans. An ensuing home run by Terry Whitfield cut the Mets’ lead to one run. Skip Lockwood came in to pitch and retired McCovey on a fly ball to right fielder Kingman. The Mets then failed to score against Curtis and reliever Randy Moffitt in the bottom of the inning.

Lockwood struck out Gary Thomasson to start the top of the ninth. Foli reached first base on an error by third baseman Grote. Lockwood fanned Jack Clark for the second out of the inning. Skip then got pinch-hitter Randy Elliott on a called third strike to end the game. The Mets had a series-sweeping victory as ex-cancer victim Todd chalked up his first major league win.