September 23, 1973: Mets Complete Two-Game Sweep of Cards

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Date: September 23, 1973
Mets starter: George Stone
Mets: 5
Cardinals: 2
Winning pitcher: Harry Parker
Key player(s): Harry Parker, Wayne Garrett, Rusty Staub, Cleon Jones
Key play: Staub’s RBI single, Garrett’s triple, Jones’ home run

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. The Mets finished off a series sweep with a 5-2 win over St. Louis.

Ted Sizemore singled against Mets’ starter George Stone with one out in the top of the first inning. Tommie Agee followed with a home run for a 2-0 Redbirds lead. Ted Simmons hit a single and Joe Torre grounded back to Stone for an inning-ending double play. Wayne Garrett drew a walk against the Cards’ Mike Thompson to open the bottom half. Felix Millan singled and St. Louis reliever Rich Folkers got Rusty Staub to hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Sizemore. John Milner flied out to center fielder Agee and a walk to Cleon Jones loaded the bases. Folkers then got Don Hahn (pinch-hitting for Dave Schneck) on a force play grounder to Sizemore for the third out.

Stone shut down the Cardinals in the top of the second. Folkers pitched a perfect bottom half and Mets’ reliever Harry Parker retired the side in order in the top of the third. Garrett walked against Folkers to lead off the bottom of the inning. Millan and Staub followed with walks to load the bases and Milner went down on strikes. Against the Cards’ Orlando Pena, Jones hit a sacrifice fly that scored Garrett with the Mets’ first run of the game. Pena then struck out Hahn to end the inning.

Parker gave up just a single to Torre in the top of the fourth. Pena hurled a perfect bottom half and Harry surrendered only a walk to Mike Tyson in the top of the fifth. Garrett hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning. Wayne advanced to second base on Millan’s sacrifice bunt and came home on a single by Staub to tie the game at 2-2. Milner was retired on a pop-up to first baseman Torre. Pena then got Jones to hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Ken Reitz to close out the inning.

Parker set down the Redbirds 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Jerry Grote singled against Pena with one out in the bottom half. Harrelson hit a grounder on which catcher Simmons threw to shortstop Tyson for an out at second base on Grote. Pinch-hitter Ken Boswell singled to send Harrelson to third. Garrett hit a triple against Redbirds’ reliever Al Hrabosky to drive home Harrelson and Boswell for a 4-2 Mets lead. Hrabosky then walked Millan intentionally and retired Staub on a pop-up to Torre that finished off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Tug McGraw retired all three batters in the top of the seventh. With one out in the bottom half, Jones homered off Hrabosky for the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Hahn drew a walk and Diego Segui came in to pitch for St. Louis. Grote hit a ball on which right fielder Luis Melendez threw to Tyson for an out at second base on Hahn. Harrelson singled and McGraw hit a force play grounder to third baseman Torre (who had shifted from first) for the third out of the inning. Tug shut down the Cardinals in the top of the eighth. Segui then yielded only a single to Staub in the bottom half.

Simmons singled to begin the top of the ninth. Torre and Melendez followed with consecutive force play ground balls and pinch-hitter Matty Alou hit a single to left field. McGraw then retired Tyson on a fly ball to left fielder Jones to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a sweep of the two-game series.