Friday September 8th 1972: Yogi Berra's third place Mets (67-63) hosted Red Schoendienst fourth place St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets were sporting a pair of hot rookies in tonight's game & both would be the starts of the game.
Mets left hander: Jon Matlack would give up twelve hits, but only allow two runs in seven innings of work, striking out six. He went on to beat Reggie Cleveland for his 12th win (12-9) of the year. Matlack would win the 1972 Rookie of the Year Award, as he finished up 15-10 with a 2.32 ERA (4th in the NL) & 169 strike outs (10th in the NL).
At the plate. the Mets young slugging out fielder; John Milner, nick named"The Hammer" after his idol Hank Aaron. Milner would set a Mets record at the time collecting five hits in a game. Five hits were the most for a Mets player in a single game until Edgardo Alfonzo had six hits in a game in 1999.
In the 1st inning, Milner doubled but was stranded on third base, as the Mets took a 1-0 lead when Reggie Cleveland walked Cleon Jones with the bases loaded. Milner would single in the 3rd & again in the 5th inning.
In the bottom of the 7th the Mets were down 2-1, Ken Boswell doubled to right field & Milner followed with a two run HR putting the Mets ahead. It was the young slugging Milner's 14th HR of the year. He would hit 17 HRs on the year, best on the Mets team.
The Mets erupted for five runs in the 8th inning, highlighted by a Ken Boswell three run HR. In the inning Milner collected his fifth hit of the night, going five for five with a HR & two RBIs.