September 8, 1976: Mets Complete Sweep of Cubs

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Date: September 8, 1976
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 11
Cubs: 5
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): John Milner, John Stearns, Lee Mazzilli
Key play: Milner’s doubles, Stearns’ home run, Mazzilli’s home run

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets completed a sweep of the series with an 11-5 win over Chicago.

In the top of the first inning, John Milner drew a walk with two outs. Dave Kingman followed with a single on which left fielder Jose Cardenal made an error that allowed Milner to score the first run of the game. Cubs’ starter Steve Renko retired Ed Kranepool on a pop-up to shortstop Mick Kelleher for the third out and Tom Seaver pitched a scoreless bottom half. The Mets were shut down by Renko in the top of the second. Seaver then set down all three Chicago batters in the bottom of the inning.

Milner hit a one-out double in the top of the third. Kingman went down on strikes and Kranepool singled to drive home Milner. John Stearns followed with a two-run homer to increase the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Leo Foster drew a walk and Bud Harrelson singled to left field. Renko struck out Seaver to end the inning. Tom then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Bruce Boisclair doubled against Cubs’ reliever Mike Krukow to lead off the top of the fourth. Mike Phillips grounded out to first baseman Rick Monday and a double by Milner brought home Boisclair. Krukow retired the next two New York hitters and Bill Madlock doubled to begin the bottom of the inning. Jerry Morales flied out to right fielder Kingman and a walk to Joe Wallis ensued. Manny Trillo was struck out and Steve Swisher singled to score Madlock. Seaver then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Champ Summers to close out the inning.

Krukow held the Mets to a single by Harrelson in a scoreless top of the fifth. With one out in the bottom half, Monday hit a home run and Cardenal followed with a single to left field. Cardenal stole second base and advanced to third on an error by catcher Stearns. Madlock singled to plate Cardenal and reduce the Mets’ lead to 5-3. Seaver fanned Morales and got Wallis on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Phillips. Chicago reliever Steve Stone shut down the Mets in the top of the sixth. Seaver then retired the Cubs 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Chicago’s Paul Reuschel pitched a scoreless top of the seventh inning. Leading off the bottom half, pinch-hitter Larry Biittner singled to center field. Monday hit a single that moved Biittner to third base and Rick Baldwin came in to pitch for the Mets. Cardenal hit a sacrifice fly to score Biittner and cut the Mets’ lead to one run. Baldwin retired Madlock on a fly ball to Kingman and struck out struck out Morales to end the inning. Cubs’ reliever Bruce Sutter shut down the Mets in the top of the eighth and Baldwin issued a walk to Wallis to open the bottom half. Mets’ reliever Skip Lockwood then set down three straight Chicago batters to finish off the inning.

Kingman hit a single to lead off the top of the ninth. With one out, Stearns singled to score Kingman from second base and moved to second on a throw. Foster hit a single to drive home Stearns and advanced all the way to third base on a throw to the plate. Harrelson was given an intentional walk. On a double steal, Harrelson went to second and Foster scored. Sutter walked Lockwood and was replaced on the mound by Darold Knowles. Pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli (in his second major league at bat) followed with a three-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 11-4. Knowles then got Phillips on a grounder back to the mound and retired pinch-hitter Leon Brown on a fly ball to center fielder Wallis to end the inning.

Biittner singled to begin the bottom of the ninth. Monday hit a single to advance Biittner to third base. Cardenal hit a ground ball to Phillips for a double play on which Biittner scored the Cubs’ fifth run. Lockwood then retired Madlock on a grounder to shortstop Harrelson to end the game. The Mets had completed a three-game series sweep.