September 7, 1976: Sixteen Hits Rout Cubs

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Date: September 7, 1976
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 11
Cubs: 0
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Leo Foster, Mike Phillips, Bruce Boisclair
Key play: Phillips’ home run, Boisclair’s single, Foster’s singles and homer

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Tuesday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the second of three games in a series at Wrigley Field. The Mets hammered out sixteen hits in an 11-0 win.

With one out in the top of the first inning, Mike Phillips hit a solo home run. John Milner singled and Dave Kingman went down on strikes. Ed Kranepool hit a single and John Stearns walked to load the bases. Leo Foster singled to drive home Milner and Kranepool for a 3-0 Mets lead. Bud Harrelson grounded back to Cubs’ starter Ray Burris for the third out. The Mets’ Jon Matlack then surrendered just a walk to Jose Cardenal in the bottom half.

After a scoreless second, Burris held the Mets to a single by Milner in the top of the third. Matlack set down the Cubs in order in the bottom of the inning and Foster drew a walk to open the top of the fourth. Harrelson singled and Matlack’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third base. Bruce Boisclair hit a single that brought home both Foster and Harrelson. Phillips grounded out to second baseman Manny Trillo and a triple by Milner scored Boisclair for a 6-0 Mets lead. Burris was replaced on the mound by Chicago reliever Paul Reuschel, who retired Kingman on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Mick Kelleher. Matlack then yielded only a single to Jerry Morales in the bottom half.

Kranepool got a bunt single against Reuschel to lead off the top of the fifth. Stearns singled and Foster hit a single to drive home Kranepool. Harrelson singled to score Stearns with the Mets’ eighth run and Buddy Schultz came in to pitch for the Cubs. A sacrifice bunt by Matlack moved the runners to second and third. Boisclair hit a grounder on which Foster got caught in a rundown and was tagged out by catcher Steve Swisher. On the play, Bruce went to second and Harrelson to third. Phillips singled to score Harrelson and lengthen the Mets’ lead to 9-0. Trying to score on the hit, Boisclair was out via a throw by left fielder Cardenal to Swisher to end the inning. Kelleher singled to open the bottom half. Swisher was struck out and Joe Wallis was retired on a line drive to right fielder Kingman. Ed Putman followed with a single in his first major league at-bat. Matlack then got Rick Monday to line out to left fielder Milner and close out the inning.

Chicago reliever Mike Garman hurled a perfect top of the sixth. Cardenal and Trillo got back-to-back singles to begin the bottom half. Morales hit a ground ball to shortstop Harrelson for a double play. Rob Sperring grounded out to Harrelson to finish off the inning and Bud hit a two-out single in the top of the seventh. Garman retired Matlack on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Wallis. Jon then shut down the Cubs in the bottom half.

Chicago’s Joe Coleman set down the side on three straight infield grounders in the top of the eighth. Matlack pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and Stearns singled with two outs in the top of the ninth. Foster slugged a homer for the Mets’ sixteenth hit, increasing their lead to eleven runs. Coleman retired Harrelson on a fly ball to right fielder Morales that ended the inning. Sperring grounded out to Harrelson to begin the bottom half. Kelleher grounded out to third baseman Foster and a single by Swisher ensued. Matlack then got Wallis to fly out to center fielder Boisclair and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a shutout victory with a solid hitting attack.

Notes

  • Foster’s home run was his only one as a Mets player.
  • In the bottom of the seventh inning, Lee Mazzilli entered to play left field for his first appearance in a major league game.