Nov 30, 2019

Remembering Mets History (1973): World Series Game #5: Koosman & McGraw Combine To Shut Out A's

Thursday, October 18th 1973: World Series Game #5- Shea Stadium, Queens New York

The fifth game of the 1973 World Series was played on a forty eight degree, breezy night in New York, as 54, 817 fans filled up Shea Stadium. 

The fans seemed more louder on the original television & radio broadcasts than in the first two games at Shea.

 It was a rematch of the Game #2 lefties, Jerry Koosman vs. Vida Blue.

Tug McGraw & Rollie Fingers Laugh It Up Before the Game

Starting Lineups

Don Hahn & Jerry Grote

After a quiet 1st inning, the Mets made some noise in the 2nd. Cleon Jones who was feeling much better, but was still suffering from the flu, drove a lead off double to left field.

Next up "the Hammer" John Milner singled to right field bringing in the game's first run, exciting the Mets fans. 

It was Milner's sixth hit of the Series, as he had hit safely in all but one game up to this point.

In the 3rd inning, Bert Campaneris got a two out base hit to centerfield. Koosman kept a close eye on him & with his great left handed pick off move, nabbed him for the third out on a close play.

In the home 4th the Mets threatened again, as Staub & Cleon Jones both singled. John Milner bunted but Staub was forced at third base. 

After Jerry Grote fouled out, Don Hahn reached on a Bert Campaneris error at short, as he over ran a grounder in the hole. But Vida Blue got Bud Harrelson to pop up to end the inning.

Milner Steps On First Retiring Joe Rudi

In the bottom of the 6th, Cleon Jones blasted a drive to left field. A's outfielder Joe Rudi snagged it, making a fine catch & hit off the fence falling to the floor.

It was a spectacular catch, that even had the Shea Faithful applauding. 

Rudi one of the games best outfielders, had also made a legendary catch in the 1972 World Series against the Reds.

Jerry Grote then reached base with a two out base hit off Blue. Next up Don Hahn tripled to the left center field gap, scoring Grote with the Mets second run making it 2-0. 

Blue was removed & Darold Knowles came in to pitch in his fifth straight Series game.

Meanwhile Jerry Koosman was pitching another fine post season game. Koosman had gone 2-0 in the 1969 World Series & had a win under his belt in the 1973 NLCS against Cincinnati. 

In Game #5 of the 1973 World Series he was spectacular once again. Going into the 7th inning, Kooz was pitching a shut out & had only allowed two hits while walking three. 

Koosman Shuts Down A's
Quotes: Jerry Koosman- "I went into the ball game feeling very confident. I had good stuff in the bullpen, although after an inning or two, I found I wasn't getting my curveball over due to the dry air. My fingers stayed dry, so I relied on a fastball that was moving in every direction".

Back in the 5th inning, Gene Tenace had led off with a walk. With one out catcher Ray Fosse blooped a pop fly behind second base.

 Felix Millan made a circus catch behind the infield, with his back turned from home plate, shades of Willie Mays great 1954 World Series catch with the New York Giants.

Millan's great catch possibly saved the game, as it stopped any chance of the A's having a big inning. Rusty Staub coming in from right field, tangled up with Millan after the catch was made, but no one was hurt. 

Millan had almost gotten the double play at first, but a diving John Milner just missed a tag on a Tenace.

In the top of the 7th, the A's threatened; Gene Tenace drew his second walk of the game & with one out Ray Fosse doubled to left field. 

Manager Yogi Berra, felt Koosman was tiring & he went to his ace relief pitcher; Tug McGraw. 

Yogi Berra Calls on Tug McGraw For Save
McGraw came in to a jam with runners on second & third with one out, as the Mets were clinging to a 2-0 lead.

The Stadium's organist; Jane Jarvis played the traditional "Irish Jig" as McGraw warmed up receiving a big ovation from the crowd.

Tonight McGraw would put in a fine performance on the national stage, adding to his reputation as one of the games top relievers. 

He first loaded the bases walking pinch hitter Deron Johnson. He then got pinch hitter; Angel Mangual to pop out to Harrelson at short. 

With two outs, & the Shea fans going wild, cheering him on, he got Bert Campaneris to strike out looking at his famous screwball.

The crowd went wild, as a revved up Tug McGraw came back to the dugout pounding his glove on his upper thigh.
This was his trademark move, a sign of affection toward his wife, a message between the two that said I love you.

In the 8th inning, McGraw got Rudi & Bando for two quick outs but then got in a bit of a jam. He walked Reggie Jackson & Gene Tenace putting the go ahead run up at the plate.

 Blue Moon Odom came in to pinch run for Tenace. McGraw then got Jesus Alou to line out to Garrett at third base, ending the threat.

In the 9th inning, McGraw got Ray Fosse to line out to left field for the first out. He then fooled Ted Kubiak & pinch hitter; Billy Conigliaro to both strike out looking.

Jerry Koosman got the win, his second of the post season & his third World Series win of his career.

Koosman is still the Mets most
winning post season pitcher going 4-0 with a 3.37 ERA. He allowed 15 earned runs while striking out 31 batters & walking 15 in 40 innings of work over six games.

Tug McGraw earned his second save of the 1973 post season, his first in the World Series. He was the winning pitcher in Game #2 & had struck out 14 A's in the series. 

McGraw was 1-0 with two saves in his Mets post season career, pitching in eight games he posted a 1.71 ERA giving up four runs on 13 hits, with 18 strike outs & 13 walks in 22 innings of work.

The game took two hours & thirty nine minutes to play, ending just before eleven PM.

The Mets were now up three
games to two, heading back to California needing just one more win for another Championship. It would have been another Amazing, Miracle season. All of New York got involved in the hype. It was a true Mets twon.

Even Mayor John Lindsay, got in on the action. He borrowed a sign from the famous Shea Stadium sign man that read "You Gotta Believe". It got the attention of Mets players in the dugout. Tug McGraw even came out to take a peek & acknowledge the Mayor.

Nov 27, 2019

Remembering Mets History (1973): World Series Game #4 -Rusty Staub HRs With Five RBIs To Even Series

Wednesday October 17th 1973: World Series Game #4 Shea Stadium, New York

Mets Game Four Winner: Jon Matlack
The Mets were coming off another tough loss in Game #3, after going down 3-2 in extra innings. Now they were down two games to one in the series.

But they felt like they should have won both of the games they had lost, had a bad break gone their way instead of against them. They knew they could play with the mighty reigning World Champion A's, so there was much excitement heading into Game #4.

A's Drama: The controversial A's, were always use to drama & heading into this game things were no different. 

A's infielder; Mike Andrews had been deactivated by owner Charlie Finley on Sunday, being placed on the disabled list after making two errors in the Mets win.

His team mates, Marvin Miller head of the Players Union, & the baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn all stepped in on Andrews' behalf. Andrews was then reactivated, flew to New York & was in full uniform at Shea Stadium tonight.

Before the Game NBC broadcaster; Tony Kubek interviewed Tom Seaver & catfish Hunter together at the same time. They spoke negatively about Charlie Finley, agreeing the fans come to see the players not the owners.

On the World Series pregame show; "the Baseball World of Joe Garagiola", Reggie Jackson sat with Joe Garagiola talking about the situation as well. Jackson even agreed when asked "Is it True you asked to be traded"? he replied with a big smile " I sure did".  

Mets proud Owner Mrs. Joan Payson

An official crowd of 54,817 came out to Shea Stadium to cheer on the Mets, on a chilly Wednesday night in New York. Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher; Nelson Briles sang the National Anthem & Bill Shea; who Shea Stadium was named after threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The A's wives were seated in the first row of the temporary VIP seats on the third base line tonight, after having been seated in the upper level for Game #3.

Gene Tenace & other A's players were vocal about their unhappiness about the seating. They were also concerned for their safety, after the events of the NLCS & complaints from the Reds players about their wives with the rowdiness of the crowd. 

The A's Wives
This time the Mets organization responded with front row seats & plenty of security. 

The starters were a rematch of Game Ones left handed pitchers; Jon Matlack vs. Ken Holtzman.

Starting Lineups

Oakland Athletics       New York Mets
1Bert CampanerisSS1Wayne Garrett3B
2Joe RudiLF2Felix Millan2B
3Sal Bando3B3Rusty StaubRF
4Reggie JacksonCF4Cleon JonesLF
5Gene Tenace1B5John Milner1B
6Jesus AlouRF6Jerry GroteC
7Ray FosseC7Don HahnCF
8Dick Green2B8Bud HarrelsonSS
9Ken HoltzmanP9Jon Matlack

In the top of the 1st inning, Campy Campaneris attempted a lead off bunt base hit, but John Milner made the play for the first out.  With two out Matlack walked Sal Bando but struck out Reggie Jackson for the third out.

The Mets took care of business right away in the home 1st inning. 

Third baseman; Wayne Garrett led off with a single, followed by a Felix Millan bunt base hit down third base.

Then sore shoulder & all; Rusty Staub blasted a three run HR to the opposite field in left center, putting the Mets up 3-0. The Shea Faithful came alive as the legendary sign man held up a sign that read "Far Out".

The Mets got two more base runnerson, as John Milner walked & Jerry Grote singled.  A's manager Dick Williams came to the mound & pulled Holtzman out of the game. 

Blue Moon Odom came in & got Don Han to ground out. The Mets failed to score again in the inning. 

In the home 4th; Don Hahn
& Buddy Harrelson both singled to lead off the inning.

Odom was removed for Darold Knowles. Knowles struck out Matlack but then hit Wayne Garrett with a pitch.

Felix Millan reached on an error by Dick Green at second base that scored Don Hahn making it 4-0.

The hero of the night; Rusty Staub then drove a base hit to right field scoring Harrelson & Garrett to make it 6-1.

Staub had one of the biggest offensive nights in Mets World Series history, collecting four hits (4-4) with a HR, five RBIs & a walk. 

It was all Matlack needed as he rolled along pitching eight innings, one run that was unearned on just three hits.

The A's sole run came in the 4th, as Sal Bando reached on a Wayne Garrett error at third. Reggie Jackson then singled to center sending Bando to third.

Gene Tenace then grounded out to Harrelson at short, Sal Bando crossed the plate with the A's only run. It was Tenace's third RBI of the series. 

On the night, Matlack pitched eight innings, allowing one run on just three hits, he walked two batters & struck out five.  

In three 1973 post season games, up to that point, Jon Matlack had not allowed as earned in 23 innings of work. He had allowed just nine hits, seven walks & struck out 17 batters posting a 2-1 record. 

In the home 7th, with one out Jerry Grote drove a base hit to center field. He advanced to second when Don Hahn grounded out.

Pitcher Jon Matlack then got a base hit of his own, but Joe Rudi threw Jerry Grote out at home plate.

In the 8th inning, Dick Williams sent up the now infamous Mike Andrews to pinch hit to lead off the inning. 

He was greeted by the Shea Stadium fans with a standing ovation, a sign of affection as much as sending an in your face message to Charlie Finley. Finley took it in stride waving an A's banner in the box seats.

Ray Sadecki closed out the game, making his third appearance in the World Series, while earning his first save.

Every Met in tonight's line up, except for John Milner, had at least one hit in the Mets 13 hit attack on the night.

Second to Rusty Staub's big four hit night, Jerry Grote had himself a three hit night. The World Series was now all tied up at two games each & things were very exciting for Mets fans.

Quotes: Rusty Staub- "To be able to have the kind of Fourth game I had, with the our hits & the HR, it just made me feel real good that I did the right thing to get in the line up.

To be part of what a World Series is & be part of a championship team has just been the greatest thrill of my entire life, it really has".