The third place New York Mets (25-27) went to Los Angeles for a weekend series with the second place Dodgers (30-21). The Mets did make a nice summer run that season but fell short, finishing the season in third place at 86-76. The Dodgers won 92 games (92-70) but had no chance catching the Big Red Machine.
On Friday night June 4th, a huge crowd of 52,516 packed Dodger Stadium to see Tom Seaver (4-4) go against knuckle curve ball pitcher Burt Hooton (4-5).
As good as Seaver was, Dave Kingman stole the show. Kong blasted three HRs that night & drove in a Mets record at that time eight runs. Carlos Delgado broke the record with nine RBIs in 2008.
In the 4h inning, John Milner led off with a base hit. Kingman then hit his first HR of the night. It came off Burt Hooton, making it 2-0 Mets.
In the 5th inning, Met third baseman Roy Staiger singled & eventually scored on Mike Phillips base hit. Wayne Garrett then drew a walk. Kingman came up for his second at bat & blasted a three run HR, also off of Hooton. Ed Kranepool followed with a HR for back to back round trippers.
In the 7th, Mike Phillips & John Milner got aboard with singles. In his next at bat, Kingman hit his third HR of that night, this one off pitcher; Al Downing (the man who gave up Hank Aaron's historic 715th HR). Kingman now had eight RBIs setting a new Mets club record.
This topped off the Mets eleven run, fourteen hit night.
The three HRs gave Kingman a total of twenty, league leading HRs on the season. People were already talking about a possible record breaking season.
Unfortunately, Kingman went on the DL for over a month from July 19th - August 27th. He finished up with 37 HRs on the year, which was second best in the NL to Mike Schmidt.
He did set a Mets single season record at that time. Kingman would drive in 86 runs (10th most in the NL) but bat just .238 & strike out 135 times in 1976.