September 11, 1976: Koosman Two-Hits Cardinals

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Date: September 11, 1976
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 4
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Joe Torre, Mike Vail
Key play: Vail’s double, Torre’s single

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Saturday afternoon in St. Louis. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. Jerry Koosman pitched a two-hitter in a 4-1 Mets win over the Redbirds.

Koosman and Cards’ starter Pete Falcone each pitched scoreless ball from the first inning to the third. Jerry retired all nine batters while Falcone held the Mets to singles by John Milner and Koosman and a walk to Joe Torre. Milner drew a walk to lead off the top of the fourth. With Torre at the plate, John was caught stealing on catcher Joe Ferguson’s throw to second baseman Mike Tyson. Torre walked and came around to score on a double by Mike Vail. On his own hit, Vail advanced to third via an error by Tyson. John Stearns followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Vail for a 2-0 Mets lead. Falcone retired Leo Foster on a fly ball to center fielder Vic Harris to end the inning. Koosman then set down the Cardinals in order in the bottom half.

Falcone hurled a perfect top of the fifth. Koosman retired the side in order once again in the bottom of the inning. Felix Millan hit a double to lead off the top of the sixth. Millan moved to third base on Milner’s ground out to first baseman Keith Hernandez and scored on a single by Torre. Falcone got Vail to hit a double play grounder to third baseman Hector Cruz that closed out the inning and Tyson reached second on first baseman Torre’s error with one out in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Mike Anderson went down on strikes. Jerry Mumphrey singled for the Cards’ first hit of the game to drive home Tyson. Koosman then retired Garry Templeton on a pop-up to shortstop Bud Harrelson for the inning’s final out.

St. Louis reliever Tom Walker pitched a perfect top of the seventh. With one out in the bottom half, Ted Simmons hit a single for the Redbirds’ second hit off Koosman. Jerry got Ferguson and Cruz on consecutive force play ground balls to end the inning and Walker retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Koosman set down all three hitters in the bottom of the inning and Torre hit a one-out triple against the Cards’ Lerrin LaGrow in the top of the ninth. Bruce Boisclair was given an intentional walk. Stearns followed with a force play grounder to shortstop Templeton that brought home pinch-runner Pepe Mangual with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Foster got an infield single and LaGrow retired Harrelson on a ground ball to Templeton to finish off the inning.

Mumphrey grounded out to Harrelson to begin the bottom of the ninth. Templeton was retired on a grounder to third baseman Foster. Koosman then got Hernandez to ground out to first baseman Ed Kranepool and end the game. The Mets had a victory on Jerry’s two-hitter.