Jun 27, 2015

Remembering Mets History: (1976) Reserve Infielder Mike Phillips Hits For the Cycle

Friday June 25th 1976: Manager Joe Frazier's third place Mets (35-37) went up against Jim Marshall's fourth place Cubs (30-38). It was a matinee at Wrigley Field in Chicago to a crowd of just over 10,000. The Mets Jon Matlack (8-2) going against Chicago's Ray Burris (3-9).
The Cubs biggest nemesis that day, was a Mets utility infielder playing short stop for the injured Bud Harrelson. 

Mike Phillips spent part of 1975 with the Mets after being picked up on waivers from the San Francisco Giants. He would remain with New York for the '76 season & midway through 1977. On this afternoon he had his best day, hitting for the cycle, going 4 for 5, driving in two runs & scoring two runs.

Burris struck Phillips out to start the game & then in his next at bat; Phillips doubled in the 3rd inning. Leading off the 5th, he tripled and scored on a Many Trillo error. In the 7th inning, Phillips hit a two run HR off Burris, his first of the year. It was his fifth career HR, as he would hit a total of eleven. 

In the 9th inning he saved the easiest for last, completing the cycle with a single off Mike Garman. 

The Mets won the game 7-4, as Dave Kingman hit his league leading; 24th HR of the year, a three run blast in the 3rd inning. 

Matlack threw a complete game victory, allowing four runs, on nine hits, while striking out six. He was now 9-2 with a 2.81 ERA. He would finish the year with 17 wins (7th in the NL) 16 complete games (3rd in the NL) a 2.95 ERA (10th) & a league leading six shutouts.

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