September 10, 1972: Mets Hold Off Cards Rally

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Date: September 10, 1972
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 3
Cardinals: 2
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, John Milner, Bob Rauch
Key play: Jones’ RBI single, Milner’s home run

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a four-game series. The Mets withstood a late Redbird rally for a 3-2 win over St. Louis.

Tom Seaver and the Cards’ Rick Wise each pitched two scoreless innings to start the game. Seaver shut down the Redbirds again in the top of the third and tripled to lead off the bottom half. Tommie Agee went down on strikes and Ken Boswell grounded out to second baseman Ted Sizemore to bring home Seaver. Wise then retired John Milner on a ground ball to shortstop Dwain Anderson for the inning’s final out.

Seaver hurled a perfect top of the fourth. Ed Kranepool hit a double to begin the bottom half. Cleon Jones singled to score Kranepool and was tagged out by Sizemore in a rundown after the hit. Wise retired the next two Mets batters to close out the inning and Seaver set down the Cardinals in order in the top of the fifth. To open the bottom half, Bud Harrelson got a bunt single and moved to second base on Seaver’s sacrifice bunt. Agee and Boswell were struck out to end the inning. Arguing on the call, Boswell was ejected from the game by home plate umpire John McSherry.

The Cards loaded the bases with two outs against Mets’ reliever Ray Sadecki (who replaced an injured Seaver) in the top of the sixth. Sadecki retired Bernie Carbo on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Jones. Leading off the bottom half, Milner homered to increase the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Kranepool and Jones were retired on fly balls to center fielder Luis Melendez and a walk to Wayne Garrett followed. Wise then struck out Duffy Dyer to finish off the inning.

Sadecki allowed only a double to Anderson in the top of the seventh. St. Louis reliever Don Durham pitched a perfect bottom half and consecutive singles by Sizemore and Melendez began the top of the eighth. Joe Torre was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Agee. Ted Simmons hit a single to drive home Sizemore with the Cardinals’ first run of the game. Sadecki was replaced in the mound by Mets’ reliever Brent Strom, who recorded a strikeout of Carbo and got Ken Reitz on an inning-ending grounder to shortstop Harrelson. Durham and the Redbirds’ Joe Grzenda then combined for a scoreless bottom half.

Anderson drew a walk to open the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Skip Jutze was struck out and Lou Brock singled to center field. Sizemore walked to load the bases and Strom was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Bob Rauch. Melendez greeted Rauch with a long fly out to left fielder Jones (who had shifted from right) that plated Anderson with the second St. Louis run. Rauch then struck out Torre to bring the game to an end. The Mets had survived a Cardinals scoring chance and emerged with a victory.

Notes

  • The save for Rauch was the only one of his major league career.