April 22nd, 1973: the Mets faced off against the Montreal Expos for a Sunday double header, in front of a crowd of around 30,000. In the first game Tom Seaver went up against John Strohmayer, who would pitch for the Mets later in the season & in 1974.
The Expos Ron Fairly, hit a lead off second inning HR and Strohmayer held down the Mets scoreless through the end of the 8th inning. He was relieved by relief ace, Mike Marshall who allowed a leadoff 9th inning walk to Jim Fregosi, then threw a wild pitch advancing him to second. Jerry Grote sacrificed Fregosi to third & pinch hitter Ken Boswell came through with a base hit tying the game.
Newly acquired Mets relief pitcher Phil Hennigan, had his own troubles in the 10th inning. He walked John Boccabella, then walked pinch hitter Boots Day, intentionally. After a force play, former Met infielder Tim Foli singled to right field which scored what was the winning run.
|Jim McAndrew two RBIs |
& Winning Pitcher
It began with a Felix Millan base hit & a walk to the Hammer; John Milner. Rusty Staub flew out to deep centerfield advancing both runners.
Then Ed Kranepool singled, driving in both runners. After another out, short time '73 Mets centerfielder Rich Chiles doubled to score Ed Kranepool. Renko was then taken out of the game & relieved by Pat Jarvis.
|Ed Kranepool drives in Four Runs|
After walks to Teddy Martinez & Felix Millan, John Milner (the 12th man to bat in the inning) then singled to left scoring McAndrew & Martinez. The Mets scored seven runs in the inning & sent 14 men to the plate.
The Mets then scored again in the 5th inning on another Ed Kranepool, two run double. In the 6th, McAndrew reached on an error & Martinez singled. Kenny Boswell then hit a base hit scoring McAndrew. Next up, reserve outfielder Jim Beauchamp singled scoring Boswell & Martinez.
The Mets went on to win the game 13-3, as McAndrew got the win & George Stone finished it off. The 13 runs would be the most runs the Mets would all year long in a single game. They also had 16 hits on the day, and were within one & a half game of first place.
Every Met in the lineup that day had a hit, except Rusty Staub. Kranepool had the biggest day, with three hits, two doubles & four RBIs.
1973 Expos notes: The 1973 Montreal Expos were a decent ball club, with their powder blue road uniforms & their classic Red, White & Blue M's as their logo.
They were managed by the legendary Gene Mauch, who managed for 27 years with the Phillies (1960-1968) Expos (1969-1975) Twins (1976-1980) & Angels (1981-1987). Mauch finished first twice but never got to a World Series.
The '73 Expos finished fourth at 79-83 just 3.5 games behind the New York Mets. The Expos top hitter was former Met Ken Singleton, who was traded along with Tim Foli & Mike Jorgensen in the Rusty Staub deal. Singleton, led the league in on base % (.425%) & hit .302 (8th in the NL) with 23 HRs & 103 RBIs (5th in the NL).
Former Met Ron Hunt led the league in hit by pitches for the sixth straight year & batted .309 (but did not qualify in the batting race with 401 at bats). Bob Bailey led the team in HRs (26) drove in 86 runs & hit .273. Former Dodger Ron Fairly hit .298 with 17 HRs & Hal Breeden hit 15 HRs batting .275.
The pitching staff was led by Steve Renko (15-11) with a 2.81 ERA (7th in the NL) & 164 strike outs (10th in the NL). Long time Expo, Steve Rogers was in his rookie year going 10-5 with a 1.54 ERA. Rogers would pitch 13 years with the Expos going 158-152 with a 3.17 ERA in 399 games.
Also on the staff was Mike Torrez (9-12) & reliever Mike Marshall. Marshall was 14-11 with a league leading 31 saves.
Marshall would lead the league in appearances three straight years, including a record 106 appearances the next year in 1974 with the NL Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. In 1973 & 1974 he was leagues best closer leading the league in saves both years.