Jun 23, 2021

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

Friday June 25th 1976: The Mets & Manager Joe Frazier were in third place (35-37) going up against Jim Marshall's fourth place  Chicago Cubs (30-38). It was a matinee at Wrigley Field to a crowd of just over 10,000. The Mets Jon Matlack (8-2) went up  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 more runs.

Starting Lineups

Ray Burris struck Phillips out to start the game. In his next at bat, in the 3rd inning, Phillips doubled with one out. He was erased on Felix Millan's fielders choice. Leading off the top of the 5th, Phillips tripled with a liner out to right field. He scored when second baseman Many Trillo made a fielding error.

In the 7th inning, with Jon Matlack on base, Phillips hit a two run HR off Ray Burris, putting the Mets up 6-3. It was his first of the year & just his fifth career HR, as he would hit a total of eleven in 1719 at bats over eleven seasons. 

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, Dave Kingman hit his league leading; 24th HR of the year, a three run blast in the 3rd inning. He drove in four runs on the day. Ed Kranepool had three hits on the & was batting .290. 

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 in the NL) & a league leading six shutouts.

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