Mar 30, 2021

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".

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