May 29, 1972: Comeback in 9th Shocks Cardinals

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Date: May 29, 1972
Mets starter: Buzz Capra
Mets: 7
Cardinals: 6
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Rusty Staub, Ken Boswell
Key play: Staub's and Boswell's home runs, Simmons' passed ball

The Mets faced the Cardinals on Memorial Day afternoon in St. Louis. The teams played the finale of a four-game series. The Mets scored four runs in the ninth inning and came away with a 7-6 win.

Cards' starter Scipio Spinks pitched a scoreless top of the first. Matty Alou drew a two-out walk against the Mets' Buzz Capra in the bottom half. Joe Torre doubled to drive home Alou for a 1-0 St. Louis lead. Ted Simmons went down on strikes to end the inning and Spinks shut down the Mets again in the top of the second. Capra then surrendered just a walk to Ed Crosby in the bottom half.

Tommie Agee singled with two outs in the top of the third. Rusty Staub followed with a home run to put the Mets ahead, 2-1. John Milner flied out to center fielder Luis Melendez to finish off the inning and Capra retired the side on three straight infield ground balls in the bottom half. Spinks hurled a perfect top of the fourth and Simmons hit a double with one out in the bottom of the inning. Bernie Carbo grounded out to first baseman Ed Kranepool to advance Simmons to third base. Capra then got Melendez on a foul pop-up to catcher Jerry Grote for the inning's final out.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Bud Harrelson drew a walk and stole second base. Ken Boswell flied out to right fielder Carbo and a double by Agee brought home Harrelson, increasing the Mets' lead to 3-1. Staub was walked intentionally and Milner was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Spinks retired Jim Fregosi on an inning-ending pop-up to second baseman Ted Sizemore. Capra then set down the Redbirds in order in the bottom half.

Spinks pitched a scoreless top of the sixth. Sizemore got a leadoff double against Capra in the bottom of the inning. Alou grounded out to Capra, who was then replaced on the mound by Mets' reliever Tug McGraw. Torre greeted McGraw with a single to score Sizemore and advanced to third base via an error by left fielder Milner. Simmons was struck out and Carbo drew a walk. Melendez reached on third baseman Fregosi's error that allowed Torre to come home and tie the game at 3-3. Pinch-hitter Donn Clendenon drew a walk to load the bases. McGraw then fanned Spinks to close out the inning.

Spinks set down all three batters on infield grounders in the top of the seventh. McGraw yielded only a single to Alou in the bottom half and Spinks surrendered just a walk to Milner in the top of the eighth. Carbo drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the inning. Melendez singled to send Carbo to third base and Dal Maxvill popped out to Kranepool. Pinch-hitter Jerry McNertney hit a triple that plated both Carbo and Melendez. Lou Brock tripled to score McNertney and extend the Cardinals' lead to 6-3. McGraw then got Sizemore to ground out to shortstop Harrelson and end the inning.

Grote singled against Cards' reliever Tony Cloninger to open the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Dave Marshall popped out to shortstop Maxvill and a walk to Harrelson ensued. Boswell connected for a three-run homer that tied the game at 6-6. Agee singled and Cloninger was relieved by the Redbirds' Charlie Hudson, who hit Staub with a pitch. Pinch-hitter Willie Mays walked against St. Louis's Moe Drabowsky to load the bases. With Fregosi at bat, a passed ball by catcher Simmons allowed Agee to come home and put the Mets ahead by a run. Fregosi drew a walk that reloaded the bases and Cardinals' reliever Joe Grzenda got pinch-hitter Jim Beauchamp to foul out to Simmons. Grzenda then retired Grote on a fly ball to Melendez to finish off the inning.

Mets' reliever Jerry Koosman got Alou on a line drive to Fregosi to start the bottom of the ninth. Torre was retired on a ground ball to Harrelson. Koosman then struck out Simmons to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory.