New York Mets vs. Cincinnati Reds
October 6th, 1973: NLCS Game #1
|Managers Yogi Berra & Sparky Anderson|
|New York Mets||Cincinnati Reds|
|1||Wayne Garrett||3B||1||Pete Rose||LF|
|2||Felix Millan||2B||2||Joe Morgan||2B|
|3||Rusty Staub||RF||3||Dan Driessen||3B|
|4||John Milner||1B||4||Tony Perez||1B|
|5||Cleon Jones||LF||5||Johnny Bench||C|
|6||Jerry Grote||C||6||Ken Griffey||RF|
|7||Don Hahn||CF||7||Cesar Geronimo||CF|
|8||Bud Harrelson||SS||8||Darrel Chaney||SS|
|9||Tom Seaver||P||9||Jack Billingham||P|
The series opened with the both clubs top aces going at it; Tom Seaver (19-10 / 251 Ks / 2.08 ERA) for the Mets & Jack Billingham (19-10 / 155 Ks / 3.04 ERA) for the Reds. Billingham led the league in shut outs (7) starts (40) & innings (293).
The Mets threatened early in the 1st inning, as Wayne Garrett led off with a base hit & was sacrificed over to second by Felix Millan. Rusty Staub drew a walk & John Milner ripped a single to centerfield. As the ball flew off the turf quickly & with the arm of Cesar Geronimo, Garrett was held at third base. But with the bases loaded & one out, Cleon Jones grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, ending the threat.
In the top of the 2nd, Bud Harrelson drew a two out walk & scored as Mets pitcher, Tom Seaver, drilled a line drive into left center field helping his own cause.
It was the only run Billingham would allow on the afternoon, as he pitched eight shutout innings, allowing three hits while striking out six & walking three.
|Tom Seaver drives in the Mets only run|
Seaver struck out 13 Reds, a post season franchise record that still stands today. He gave up six hits on the day, while walking no one. It was a fine performance but the lack of offensive support created the end result.
|Riverfront Stadium Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Bench's HR Wins It|
In the bottom of the 9th inning, with one out Seaver gave up the game winning walk off HR to Johnny Bench. It was a devastating blow as the Mets fell behind in the series, one game to none.