September 16, 1975: Mets Defeat Expos in 18 Innings

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Date: September 16, 1975
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 4
Expos: 3
Winning pitcher: Rick Baldwin
Key player(s): Del Unser, Rick Baldwin
Key play: Unser’s single in 9th and walk in 18th

The Mets faced the Expos on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. In 18 innings, the Mets came away with a 4-3 win over Montreal.

Bob Bailey homered against Mets’ starter Jon Matlack to lead off the top of the first. Matlack got Tim Foli to fly out to left fielder Mike Vail and retired Jose Morales on a foul pop-up to catcher Ron Hodges. Larry Parrish lined out to Matlack to end the inning and Del Unser singled against the Expos’ Don Carrithers to open the bottom half. Felix Millan flied out to center fielder Jerry White and a walk to Vail ensued. Rusty Staub was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Pepe Mangual. Carrithers then got Dave Kingman on a force play ground ball to third baseman Parrish for the inning’s final out.

Gary Carter reached on an error by shortstop Mike Phillips to begin the top of the second. Mangual followed with a force play grounder back to Matlack. With White at bat, Matlack made a successful pickoff throw to first baseman Ed Kranepool, who threw to Phillips at second base for an out on Mangual. White hit a double and stole third. Pete Mackanin singled to score White for a 2-0 Montreal lead. Matlack recorded an inning-ending strikeout of Carrithers, who then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

After scoreless third and fourth innings, Carrithers hit a two-out double in the top of the fifth. Ellis Valentine singled to drive home Carrithers and advanced to third base on an error by right fielder Staub. Foli grounded out to third baseman Kingman to end the inning and Hodges got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Phillips hit a double play grounder to second baseman Mackanin and a walk to Matlack followed. Carrithers then got Unser to ground out to Mackanin and finish off the inning.

Matlack hurled a scoreless top of the sixth. Millan singled to begin the bottom half. Vail hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Foli and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Staub flied out to White and a double by Kingman plated Vail to cut the Expos’ lead to 3-1. Kranepool was retired on a grounder to first baseman Morales to close out the inning and Matlack set down all three batters in the top of the seventh. Carrithers then retired the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Matlack pitched a perfect top of the eighth. To open the bottom of the inning, Unser and Millan got back-to-back singles. Unser advanced to third base after Vail’s fly out to Mangual and came home with the Mets’ second run on Staub’s force play grounder to Mackanin. Carrithers got Kingman on an inning-ending line drive to Mangual. Matlack then retired the Expos 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth.

Kranepool was retired on a fly ball to White to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Hodges grounded out to Foli and single by Phillips kept the Mets’ chances alive. With pinch-hitter John Milner at bat, Carrithers was replaced on the mound by Montreal reliever Woodie Fryman. Milner drew a walk (charged to Carrithers) and a single by Unser drove home Phillips to tie the game at 3-3. Dale Murray then came in to pitch for the Expos and got Millan on an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Pepe Frias to send the game onward.

Mets’ reliever Bob Apodaca hurled a perfect top of the 10th inning. Murray retired the Mets in order in the bottom half and pinch-hitter Jim Dwyer got a bunt single to lead off the top of the 11th. Valentine drew a walk and Foli’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third base. Mike Jorgensen was walked intentionally to load the bases and pinch-hitter Larry Biittner lined out to Kingman. Apodaca got Carter on a line drive to left fielder Vail to finish off the inning. Expos’ reliever Chuck Taylor then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

White drew a walk against Mets’ reliever Ken Sanders with one out in the top of the 12th. Mackanin grounded out to Phillips and an intentional walk to Pat Scanlon followed. Valentine lined out to Millan for the inning’s final out and Taylor set down the Mets in order in the bottom half. Sanders hurled a scoreless top of the 13th and Montreal’s Don DeMola hit Staub with a pitch to open the bottom of the inning. Kingman’s sacrifice bunt moved pinch-runner Gene Clines to second base and Kranepool was given an intentional walk. DeMola then struck out Hodges and retired Phillips on a grounder to first baseman Jorgensen to close out the inning.

Sanders retired the Expos 1-2-3 in the top of the 14th. DeMola gave up just a single to pinch-hitter Jesus Alou in the bottom half and Mets’ reliever Rick Baldwin pitched a perfect top of the 15th. Clines reached on third baseman Scanlon’s error with one out in the bottom of the inning. Gene stole second base and Kingman went down on strikes. Roy Staiger grounded out to Foli to end the inning and Baldwin issued consecutive two-out walks to Carter and Mangual in the top of the 16th. Rick retired White on an inning-ending fly ball to Unser. DeMola then yielded only a single to Baldwin in the bottom half.

Baldwin set down all three Montreal batters in the top of the 17th. DeMola pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and Rick gave up only a single to Jorgensen in the top of the 18th. Staiger singled with one out in the bottom half. Hodges flied out to White and a single by Phillips ensued. Pinch-hitter Jerry Grote walked to load the bases. Unser came to bat and drew a walk to force home Staiger with the winning run. After four hours and twenty-nine minutes, the Mets had an extra-inning victory.

Notes

  • Vail went 0-for-7 in this game, ending his team record-tying 23-game hitting streak.