September 16, 1976: Koosman Wins 20th

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Date: September 16, 1976
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 4
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Bruce Boisclair
Key play: Kessinger’s error, Boisclair’s home run, Koosman’s strikeout of Cruz in 9th

The Mets and Cardinals played the finale of a three-game series on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. Jerry Koosman pitched a 4-hitter as the Mets won the game, 4-1. The victory made Koosman a 20-game winner for the first time in his career.

Koosman held the Cards’ scoreless in the first three innings. In the bottom of the third, St. Louis starter Pete Falcone issued one-out walks to Felix Millan and John Milner. Joe Torre then hit a ball that got by shortstop Don Kessinger for an error that scored Millan to put the Mets ahead, 1-0.

The Mets scored another run off Falcone in the fifth. Roy Staiger singled with two out to score Torre, who had doubled. The Mets later had the bases loaded before Koosman popped out to third base for the final out.

In the sixth, Koosman struck out all three Cardinal batters to come to bat. He also retired the side in order in the seventh. The Mets added a run in the bottom of the seventh when Bruce Boisclair hit a pinch-hit home run off St. Louis reliever Bill Greif.

Keith Hernandez homered off Koosman in the eighth to end Jerry’s quest for a shutout. The homer was the Cards’ first hit since the third inning and ended a string of 10 consecutive batters retired by Jerry. Boisclair got a two-out single to score Milner and restore the Mets’ three-run lead in the bottom of the inning.

Koosman struck out Joe Ferguson and Mike Anderson to begin the top of the ninth. Jerry then faced Hector Cruz and struck him out to end the game. Koosman had his 20th win of the season, striking out 13 batters in a complete game.