Jun 2, 2009

Today In Mets Histoy: 1972- Mets Beat Atlanta But Rusty Staub Goes on the DL For 90 Days

June 3, 1972: One thing this site does is bring back great memories, hopefully another is remembering how good certain players were. That is certainly the case with Rusty Staub, throughout time I think it is forgotton how good he was.

Take the 1972 season: Staub had come over from Montreal in a deal that sent Ken Singleton, Tim Foli & Mike Jorgenson to Canada. Up until June 3rd, 1972 the Mets were in 1st place by 5 games over the Cardinals, with the best record in baseball (31-12 - .721%).

On this Saturday afternoon over 41,000 showed up at Shea to watch Tom Seaver at 7-2 go up against Atlanta's Tom Kelley. The Mets would win the game 5-2, led by catcher Duffy Dyer's three run home run in the 2nd inning. A Cleon Jones double & Teddy Martinez ground out drove in the other two runs. Seaver got his 8th win, pitching into the 8th inning striking out nine Braves, and Tug McGraw got his 8th save of the year. Both Braves runs were driven in by outfielder (future manager) Dusty Baker.

But the Mets suffered a loss that would play a big part in the rest of their season. In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Braves brought in George Stone to pitch, as Rusty Staub led off the inning. Stone struck Staub in the wrist with a pitch, causing a fracture that would make Staub miss the next 90 games. Staub had only missed seven games in the past four seasons in Houston & Montreal. It was a big blow to the Met offense, Staub had come into the game batting .313. For the rest of the season the Mets would go 52-61 finishing in 3rd place behind the 1st place Pirates & 2 games behind the 2nd place Cubs.
The Mets would aquire George Stone & Felix Millan from Atlanta for the 1973 season, Stone would go 12-3 with a 2.80 ERA for the '73 NL Champion Mets.

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