September 23, 1970: Clendenon's Homer in 8th Buries Phils

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Date: September 23, 1970
Mets starter: Ray Sadecki
Mets: 5
Phillies: 4
Winning pitcher: Tug McGraw
Key player(s): Tommie Agee, Bud Harrelson, Donn Clendenon, Tug McGraw
Key play: Agee’s and Harrelson’s RBI singles, Clendenon’s home run

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Wednesday night in Philadelphia. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. Donn Clendenon hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift the Mets to a 5-4 win.

Phils’ starter Chris Short retired the side on three consecutive outfield fly balls in the top of the first. Tony Taylor hit a single against the Mets’ Ray Sadecki with one out in the bottom half. On his own hit, Taylor advanced to third base via an error by center fielder Tommie Agee. Don Money grounded out to third baseman Joe Foy to drive home Taylor for a 1-0 Philadelphia lead. Deron Johnson and Joe Lis followed with back-to-back walks. Sadecki then got Tim McCarver on a ground ball to Foy for the third out.

Short pitched a perfect top of the second. Sadecki gave up only a double to Larry Hisle in the bottom half and Jerry Grote doubled to lead off the top of the third. Al Weis and Sadecki both went down on strikes and Agee singled to score Grote with the tying run. Bud Harrelson flied out to right fielder Byron Browne to end the inning and Money got a one-out single in the bottom half. Johnson singled to advance Money to third base. Sadecki then recorded a strikeout of Lis, after which Money got caught between bases and was tagged out by Foy for an inning-ending double play.

Short set down the Mets in order in the top of the fourth. McCarver singled to begin the bottom half. Browne took a called third strike and Hisle homered to put the Phillies ahead, 3-1. Sadecki retired Short and Larry Bowa on consecutive infield grounders to close out the inning and the Mets went down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. A double by Taylor against Mets’ reliever Nolan Ryan opened the bottom of the inning. Taylor went to third base on a wild pitch and scored the Phils’ fourth run on Money’s sacrifice fly. Johnson singled and New York’s Ron Herbel struck out Lis. Herbel then got McCarver on a foul pop-up to Foy that finished off the inning.

Pinch-hitter Ken Singleton hit a single to lead off the top of the sixth. Agee doubled and moved to third base on Harrelson’s single that brought home Singleton. Cleon Jones drew a walk to load the bases and Short was replaced on the mound by Philadelphia reliever Bill Wilson. Clendenon hit a double play ground ball to shortstop Bowa on which Agee scored to cut the Phillies’ lead to 4-3. Wilson threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Dave Marshall for the inning’s final out. Mets’ reliever Gary Gentry then yielded just a double to Ron Stone in the bottom half.

Wilson surrendered only a walk to pinch-hitter Wayne Garrett in the top of the seventh. Gentry and Mets’ reliever Tug McGraw combined for a scoreless bottom of the inning and Harrelson drew a walk against the Phils’ Dick Selma with one out in the top of the eighth. Jones was struck out and Clendenon came up to bat. Donn slugged a homer to give the Mets a one-run lead. Art Shamsky went down on strikes to close out the inning and McGraw gave up only a double to McCarver in the bottom half. Selma then held the Mets to a single by Garrett in the top of the ninth.

McGraw struck out Bowa to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Taylor also went down on strikes. Tug then fanned Money for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory to complete a two-game series sweep.

Notes

  • This was the Mets’ last game ever at Connie Mack Stadium.