October 1, 1977: Thirteen Hits Put Away Cards

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Date: October 1, 1977
Mets starter: Nino Espinosa
Mets: 8
Cardinals: 4
Winning pitcher: Nino Espinosa
Key player(s): Bruce Boisclair, Ron Hodges, Nino Espinosa
Key play: Hodges' RBI single, Boisclair's double and single

The Mets faced the Cardinals in a doubleheader on a Saturday afternoon. The teams played a two-hour and thirty-nine-minute opener of the twinbill in St. Louis. The Mets collected thirteen hits in an 8-4 win over the Redbirds.

Cards' starter Eric Rasmussen pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. The Mets' Nino Espinosa retired the side in order in the bottom half and Rasmussen yielded only a single to Ron Hodges in the top of the second. Ted Simmons doubled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Keith Hernandez hit a double to score Simmons and a line drive by Ken Reitz was caught by shortstop Bud Harrelson. Jim Dwyer flied out to center fielder Lee Mazzilli and a triple by Mike Phillips drove home Hernandez for a 2-0 St. Louis lead. Espinosa then struck out Rasmussen to end the inning.

Mazzilli drew a two-out walk against Rasmussen in the top of the third. Bruce Boisclair followed with a double to plate Mazzilli and a walk to Steve Henderson ensued. John Milner reached on an error by second baseman Phillips that allowed Boisclair to come home. Hodges singled to score Henderson and put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Cardinals' reliever Buddy Schultz retired Joel Youngblood on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Dwyer. Espinosa then gave up just a single to Garry Templeton in the bottom half.

With two outs in the top of the fourth, Lenny Randle singled and advanced to third base on a double by Mazzilli. Boisclair hit a single to score both Randle and Mazzilli, increasing the Mets' lead to 5-2. Henderson was struck out to finish off the inning and Espinosa set down the side in order in the bottom half. Schultz yielded only a single to Milner in the top of the fifth and consecutive singles by Phillips and pinch-hitter Dane Iorg began the bottom of the inning. Lou Brock grounded to second baseman Youngblood for a double play. Espinosa then got Jerry Mumphrey to fly out to Mazzilli and end the inning.

Espinosa got a leadoff single against Redbirds' reliever Rawly Eastwick in the top of the sixth. Randle tripled to drive home Espinosa with the Mets' sixth run of the game. Mazzilli grounded out to first baseman Hernandez and a walk to Boisclair followed. Henderson singled to score pinch-runner Mike Vail and extend the New York lead to 7-2. St. Louis's John Sutton got Milner to fly out to center fielder Mumphrey and retired Hodges on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Templeton. To open the bottom half, Templeton hit a triple and came home on Simmons' sacrifice fly. Espinosa then got Hernandez to ground out to Youngblood and retired Reitz on a fly ball to right fielder Boisclair to close out the inning.

Sutton held the Mets to a double by Youngblood in the top of the seventh. Espinosa pitched a perfect bottom half and Roy Staiger singled against Cardinals' reliever Butch Metzger to lead off the top of the eighth. Mazzilli got a double (the Mets' thirteenth hit) to bring home Staiger for an 8-3 Mets lead. Boisclair and Henderson were retired on outfield fly balls and Metzger got Milner on an inning-ending pop-up to Templeton. Espinosa then shut down the Redbirds in the bottom half.

Cards' reliever Larry Dierker hurled a scoreless top of the ninth. Simmons flied out to left fielder Henderson to begin the bottom of the inning. Hernandez doubled and moved to third base on an error by Boisclair. Reitz grounded out to Harrelson to bring home Hernandez with the fourth St. Louis run. Espinosa then retired Dwyer on a fly ball to Mazzilli for the game's final out. The Mets had a victory to start the doubleheader.

Notes

  • This was Dierker's final game of his 14-season major league career