September 18, 1975: Staub and Kingman Set Marks

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Date: September 18, 1975
Mets starter: Hank Webb
Mets: 7
Cubs: 5
Winning pitcher: Ken Sanders
Key player(s): Rusty Staub, Dave Kingman
Key play: Staub’s homer in 5th, Kingman’s homer in 9th

In the Mets’ game against the Cubs, two team marks were reached. Rusty Staub became the first Mets’ player ever to drive in 100 runs in a season and Dave Kingman broke the team’s seasonal record for home runs by hitting his 35th of the year. Kingman’s record-breaker came in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Mets a 7-5 win over Chicago.

The Cubs got off to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Mets’ starter Hank Webb walked the first two batters and then gave up run-scoring hits to Jerry Morales and Jose Cardenal for the first three Chicago runs. Cardenal later scored on an infield out after Webb was replaced by Randy Tate.

After scoring a run in the third, the Mets had a runner on first with two out in the fifth. Staub came to bat against the Cubs’ Donnie Moore and hit a home run to cut the Chicago lead to 4-3. The homer gave Rusty 100 RBIs for the season, making him the first player in Mets’ history to accomplish this feat.

The Cubs added a run in the top of the eighth against Mets’ reliever Bob Apodaca. In the bottom half, Kingman doubled and later scored on a two-out single by Jesus Alou. The Mets then tied the game, 5-5, on Joe Torre’s pinch-hit triple that scored pinch-runner Bud Harrelson from first base.

Ken Sanders set down the Cubs in the top of the ninth with three fly ball outs. Chicago’s Darold Knowles got the first two Mets out in the bottom of the inning before Staub singled. Kingman followed with a home run off Knowles to claim victory for the Mets. The game-winning blast gave Kingman the new record for homers by a Met in a season, surpassing Frank Thomas’s total of 34 set in 1962.