Remembering Mets History (1974): Rusty Staub's Two Walk Off Hits

Wednesday August 14th 1974: The reigning NL Champion Mets were certainly struggling in 1974.

At this point in time the Mets were 51-63 but eight 1/2 games out of first place, a feat they overcame later in the season last year. There was still some hope although not too much.

On this day the Mets hosted, who were to be this years NL Champions; the Los Angeles Dodgers. Walt Alston's club was riding high at 75-43. The Dodgers' Doug Rau took on a struggling reigning Cy Young winner; Tom Seaver.

Starting Lineups

In the 3rd, Seaver surrendered a HR to Willie Crawford. The Mets answered in the home 3rd. Seaver led off with a walk, Bud Harrelson then singled. Rusty Staub also singled moving Seaver to third base. Cleon Jones then hit a sac fly bringing in Seaver to tie the game.

In the 4th, the Dodgers went ahead as Von Joshua singled & stole second. With two outs, pitcher Doug Rau singled bringing in the go ahead run. Rau held the Mets down until the 6th, when Cy Young Award winning reliever Mike Marshall came in. Marshall would appear in 106 games for the 1974 NL Champion Dodgers, saving a league leading 21 games. 

Marshall held the Mets down until the 9th inning. Ken Boswell walked & was sacrificed to second base. Ron Hodges reached on an error & Felix Millan singled loading the bases, setting the stage for  "Le Grande Orange".

Staub came through & singled bringing home the winning run in a much needed Mets win.

Sunday August 26th 1974: By this point the Mets were ten games out (55-70) fighting the Chicago Cubs to stay out of the NL basement. Yogi Berra's Mets hosted Preston Gomez's Houston Astros (66-61). 

The Mets Jerry Koosman, went up against J.R. Richard in front of 15,104 fans at Shea.

Starting Lineups

In the bottom of the 2nd, Ron Hodges hit a solo HR off Richard, making it 1-0. In the top of the 3rd, Koosman allowed a double to Roger Metzger & am RBI hit to Lee May.

In the bottom of the 3rd, Felix Millan & Rusty Staub singled. Ed Kranepool then walked with two outs to load the bases. A Wayne Garrett base hit made it 2-1 Mets.

Koosman surrendered two more runs, in the top of the 4th as the pitcher; Richard & Greg Gross brought in runs on a bunt & groundout. Cesar Cedeno added an RBI single in the 7th putting the Astros up 4-2.

In the bottom of a crazy 9th, Mike Cosgrove came on to pitch. The Mets sent three pinch hitters up, after George Theodore flew out. Duffy Dyer then collected a pinch hit single.

Teddy Martinez also collected a pinch hit, connecting for a double, bringing in Dyer. A throwing error on Cedeno allowed Martinez to get to third base. 

Bud Harrelson then walked. Felix Millan then reached on a bunt base hit, Martinez scampered home to tie the game. Rusty Staub walked up again, being the hero of the day as he singled to left, scoring Millan with the walk off game winner.

Koosman went the distance, allowing four runs on eleven hits with four walks & four strikeouts.


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