All-Star Tom Seaver led the Mets into the midsummer Break in style, dominating the Houston Astros in a 3-2 series-clinching victory at the Astrodome. Seaver came up on the winning side for the visiting New Yorkers, while Jerry Reuss was the loser for Leo Durocher’s club.
Felix Millan got the ball rolling in the top of the first with a one-out double, and he came in to score almost immediately on Rusty Staub’s RBI double. A run-scoring single by Cleon Jones quickly made it 2-0 for the visitors.
Houston managed runs off Seaver in the first and sixth to tie the game at 2-2, but that tie was broken in the top of the seventh on the bat skills of Seaver himself: Wayne Garrett singled and Bud Harrelson walked to bring the Franchise to the plate. A double steal later, the Mets had runners on second and third with one out, allowing Yogi Berra to play small ball for the go-ahead run: Tom’s terrific sacrifice bunt plated Garrett and put his team up 3-2.
The extra run was just enough for Seaver, who with the help of a Cesar Cedeno double play in the eighth cruised to a complete-game victory, striking out nine ‘Stros on the way to his 11th W of the season.
The starting lineups for today’s first-half finale were as follows:
New York Mets
|1||Willie Mays||CF||1||Roger Metzger||SS|
|2||Felix Millan||2B||2||Tommy Helms||2B|
|3||Rusty Staub||RF||3||Cesar Cedeno||CF|
|4||Cleon Jones||LF||4||Bob Watson||LF|
|5||John Milner||1B||5||Doug Rader||3B|
|6||Jerry Grote||C||6||Lee May||1B|
|7||Wayne Garrett||3B||7||Jim Wynn||RF|
|8||Bud Harrelson||SS||8||Johnny Edwards||C|
|9||Tom Seaver||P||9||Jerry Reuss||P|
While Seaver and Willie Mays make the trip to Kansas City for the 40th annual Midsummer Classic, the rest of the Mets will have three days to refuel for a second-half run. With any luck, their 42-51 record at the Break is the type of thing to make them say to the rest of the league: “we’ve got them RIGHT where we want them!”