Tonight at Shea Stadium, in front of a packed house, the Mets blanked the Athletics 2-0 to take a 3-2 World Series lead and move within one win of their second World Series title.
With starting pitcher Jerry Koosman in complete command early, the Mets broke through in the bottom of the second. Cleon Jones doubled to open the frame off Athletics starter Vida Blue, and John Milner followed by singling him home to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.
Koosman continued to cruise over the next four innings, allowing just one hit while keeping the Mets in the lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Mets added another run. With two outs and no one on, Jerry Grote singled to left field. Don Hahn followed with a triple that drove in Grote to give the Mets a 2-0 lead and knock Vida Blue out of the game.
After allowing runners to reach second and third with one out in the top of the seventh, Jerry Koosman was replaced by Tug McGraw, who walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. McGraw escaped the jam, by getting Angel Mangual to pop out to shortstop before striking out Bert Campaneris to end the threat and preserve New York’s 2-0 lead.
The Mets failed to score in the bottom of the seventh, and McGraw worked out of another jam in the top of the eighth. After recording the first two outs, McGraw issued back to back walks before retiring Jesus Alou on a lineout to third base.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets had a runner on second with one out, but again failed to capitalize. However, Tug McGraw jogged back out to the mound for the top of the ninth and shut the door. He retired the Athletics in order, with the last two outs coming on strikeouts looking.
The win gave the Mets a 3 games to 2 World Series lead, and put them on the cusp of another shocking title.
Here’s the box score and starting lineups from the game:
New York Mets
|1. Wayne Garrett, 3B||1. Bert Campaneris, SS|
|2. Felix Millan, 2B||2. Joe Rudi, LF|
|3. Rusty Staub, RF||3. Sal Bando, 3B|
|4. Cleon Jones, LF||4. Reggie Jackson, CF|
|5. John Milner, 1B||5. Gene Tenace, 1B|
|6. Jerry Grote, C||6. Jesus Alou, RF|
|7. Don Hahn, CF||7. Ray Fosse, C|
|8. Bud Harrelson, SS||8. Dick Green, 2B|
|9. Jerry Koosman, P||9. Vida Blue, P|
The Mets will travel back to Oakland, and relax during tomorrow’s off day. They’ll then look to wrap up the title in Game 6.