The Mets improved to 16-13 for the month of August, and are now winners of two straight over the San Diego Padres. New York needed to claw back from an early first inning 2-0 deficit, but then separated themselves with five runs in the sixth inning, before holding on for dear life in the final frames.
Ed Kranepool‘s hit in the bottom of the first inning and Ron Hodges‘ base hit in the third wiped out a 2-0 Padres lead. Then with one out in the fifth, Wayne Garrett put the Mets ahead with his tenth home run of the season. After back to back singles by Felix Millan and Rusty Staub, Cleon Jones knocked San Diego starter Clay Kirby out of the game with an RBI single to center field. Two more singles by Ron Hodges and Don Hahn gave the Mets a 6-2 lead. Then an E5 off the bat of Bud Harrelson scored Hodges, and put the Mets ahead by five.
Jon Matlack made the start, pitched seven full innings and faced two batters in the eighth before departing on the winning side. Harry Parker relieved Matlack, and promptly surrendered a triple to Johnny Grubb, allowing the two runners to score. Jon was charged with four earned runs on nine hits. He walked four, struck out four and surrendered a home run to center fielder Jerry Morales to lead-off the game. The Padres scored once more off Harry Parker, and homered off Tug McGraw in the ninth, but ultimately fell just short. With one more run in the bottom of the eighth, the Mets pulled out an 8-6 final at Shea. Jon Matlack improved his record to 11-15, while Tug McGraw earned his fifteenth save of the season.
Giving catcher Jerry Grote a spell, Ron Hodges was big man on campus, going 3 for 4 at the plate, with two runs batted in. Wayne Garrett had two extra-base hits, and reached double-digit home runs for the first time since hitting twelve during the 1970 season.
|San Diego Padres||New York Mets|
|1||Jerry Morales||CF||1||Wayne Garrett||3B|
|2||Derrel Thomas||SS||2||Felix Millan||2B|
|3||Dave Roberts||3B||3||Rusty Staub||RF|
|4||Nate Colbert||1B||4||Cleon Jones||LF|
|5||Cito Gaston||RF||5||Ed Kranepool||1B|
|6||Fred Kendall||C||6||Ron Hodges||C|
|7||Dave Winfield||LF||7||Don Hahn||CF|
|8||Rich Morales||2B||8||Bud Harrelson||SS|
|9||Clay Kirby||P||9||Jon Matlack||P|
After 130 regular season games, the Mets are 60-70, an even ten games below the .500 mark. Yet, although in last place, they only remain 6.5 games behind the first place St. Louis Cardinals. The final game of this long thirteen game home stand is scheduled for tomorrow. The Mets will be aiming to complete a sweep of the San Diego Padres in Game Three. Jerry Koosman will climb the hill for the home team. He will be opposed by the Padres Rich Troedson.