September 5, 1975: Vail and Kingman Slug Cardinals
|Date: September 5, 1975|
|Mets starter: Tom Seaver|
|Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver|
|Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Mike Vail, Dave Kingman|
|Key play: Vail’s and Kingman’s home runs|
The Mets and Cardinals faced each other on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game weekend series. Mike Vail and Dave Kingman hit two-run homers in a 5-2 Mets win over St. Louis.
Tom Seaver and the Cards’ Eric Rasmussen each pitched two scoreless innings to start the game. With two outs in the top of the third, Bake McBride hit a double to center field. Trying to advance on the play, McBride was out via a relay throw by shortstop Mike Phillips to third baseman Wayne Garrett to end the inning. In the bottom half, Del Unser got a one-out single and Felix Millan flied out to left fielder Lou Brock. An ensuing home run by Vail gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. Rasmussen then retired Rusty Staub on a pop-up to shortstop Mike Tyson for the inning’s third out.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Tyson doubled to open the top of the fifth. Seaver followed up with strikeouts of Rasmussen and Brock. McBride hit his second double of the game to bring home Tyson with the Cardinals’ first run. Willie Davis singled to score McBride and tie the game. Seaver got Ted Simmons to ground out to second baseman Millan and end the inning. Rasmussen then held the Mets to a single by Unser in a scoreless bottom half.
Seaver shut down the Redbirds in the top of the sixth. Staub singled with one out in the bottom of the inning. Kingman followed with a home run (his 30th of the season) to put the Mets ahead, 4-2. Garrett hit a single and Jerry Grote reached on an error by second baseman Ted Sizemore. Rasmussen was replaced by St. Louis reliever John Curtis, who struck out pinch-hitter Bud Harrelson. Curtis then retired pinch-hitter Jesus Alou on a ground ball to Sizemore that closed out the inning.
Mets’ reliever Bob Apodaca issued a walk to pinch-hitter Keith Hernandez to begin the top of the seventh. Apodaca threw a called third strike past Brock and got McBride to hit a grounder to shortstop Harrelson for an inning-ending double play. Unser singled against Cardinals’ reliever Mike Garman to open the bottom half. Del moved to second base on Millan’s sacrifice bunt and scored the Mets’ fifth run on a single by Vail. Staub was given an intentional walk and Kingman went down on strikes. Garman then retired Garrett on a fly ball to right fielder Davis to end the inning.
Apodaca set down the Cards in order in the top of the eighth. Garman hurled a scoreless bottom half and Reggie Smith flied out to left fielder Vail to start the top of the ninth inning. Sizemore was retired on a ground ball to Harrelson. Apodaca then got Tyson to ground out to Harrelson and end the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the series.