September 21, 1973: Mets Go Into First Place

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Date: September 21, 1973
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 10
Pirates: 2
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Jerry Grote
Key play: Jones’ & Grote’s two-run doubles

Less than a month after being in last place, the National League East Division lead was within reach for the Mets. Only a half game behind the Pirates, they jumped on Pittsburgh starter Steve Blass with a four-run first inning and never looked back. Tom Seaver pitched a complete game as the Mets came out with a 10-2 victory to take over first place in the division.

Wayne Garrett and Rusty Staub got things started for the Mets with singles off Blass in the first. Cleon Jones’s double brought them home to put the Mets on top. Later in the inning, Jerry Grote doubled to score Jones and Dave Schneck for a 4-0 Met lead.

The Pirates scored twice in the second inning against Seaver. The Mets responded in the third when John Milner hit a home run off Pittsburgh reliever Chris Zachary and Bud Harrelson got a two-out single to score Jones. It was 6-2 in favor of New York.

Garrett homered off Bob Johnson for another Met run in the sixth. Two innings later, Felix Millan’s singled to score Seaver and Staub hit a two-run homer for the Mets’ final runs. Seaver then got the Pirates out in order in the ninth, putting the Mets into the #1 spot in the East as the Shea Stadium crowd of 51,381 roared with delight.