September 26, 1975: Millan Comes Up Big in the 12th

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Date: September 26, 1975
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 3
Phillies: 2
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Felix Millan
Key play: Millan’s double and throw in the 12th

The Mets and Phillies played a doubleheader on a Friday evening. After losing a 12-inning opener of the twinbill at Veterans Stadium, the Mets looked for a split in the nightcap. With the teams in the 12th inning once again, Felix Millan came through both offensively and defensively to give the Mets a 3-2 win over Philadelphia.

Jerry Koosman and the Phils’ Dick Ruthven each started the game with four scoreless innings pitched. Koosman singled to lead off the top of the fifth. Gene Clines hit a force play ground ball back to Ruthven and moved to second base on Millan’s ground out to shortstop Alan Bannister. Mike Vail singled to drive home Clines for a 1-0 Mets lead. Ruthven retired Rusty Staub on a grounder to second baseman Terry Harmon to end the inning. Koosman then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Koosman and Philadelphia reliever Randy Lerch hurled scoreless sixth and seventh innings. Lerch retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth and pinch-hitter Larry Bowa drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half. Bowa advanced to second base on Harmon’s sacrifice bunt and to third on Tony Taylor’s fly out to center fielder Bob Gallagher. Garry Maddox reached on an error by shortstop Mike Phillips that allowed Bowa to score the tying run. Koosman then got Mike Schmidt to fly out to left fielder Vail and finish off the inning.

Phillies’ reliever Tom Hilgendorf pitched a perfect top of the ninth. Koosman allowed only a single to Mike Anderson in the bottom half and Hilgendorf held the Mets to a single by Gallagher in the top of the 10th. Jerry hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Staub singled against the Phils’ Tug McGraw with one out in the top of the 11th. Dave Kingman hit a single and pinch-hitter Joe Torre went down on strikes. McGraw retired pinch-hitter Jerry Grote on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Jerry Martin. Koosman then set down all three Philadelphia batters in the bottom half.

McGraw struck out Jack Heidemann to open the top of the 12th inning. Pinch-hitter Jesus Alou reached on Bannister’s error and a force play grounder by Gallagher followed. Millan hit a double that scored Gallagher and put the Mets ahead. On the play, right fielder Anderson made an error that allowed Felix to come home for a 3-1 New York lead. McGraw then issued a walk to Vail and fanned Staub to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Ken Sanders retired pinch-hitter Tommy Hutton on a pop-up to shortstop Heidemann to open the bottom of the 12th. Pinch-hitter Johnny Oates singled and pinch-hitter Tim McCarver followed with a walk. Sanders got pinch-hitter Jay Johnstone to fly out to Gallagher. Mike Rogodzinski (the Phils’ fifth consecutive pinch-hitter) delivered a double to drive home Oates. On the hit, second baseman Millan took a throw from right fielder Staub. Felix relayed to catcher Grote for an out at home on McCarver that ended the game. The Mets had an exciting victory and a split of the doubleheader.