Remembering Mets History (1973) Ray Sadecki Battles L.A.'s Don Sutton In Mets Walk Off Win

Tuesday August 21st, 1973: The Mets had completed a four-game series split with the Cincinnati Reds (76-50) in what was a preview of that years NLCS. Now the NL West first place Dodgers (77-47) came to Shea for a three-game series. Walter Alston's Dodgers were holding a two-game lead over the Reds in their division.

As for the Mets (66-67) they were in last place seven games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL East. Tonight, the Mets sent Ray Sadecki (2-2) up against future Hall of Famer, Don Sutton (15-7). At the time Sutton was battling the Mets among others for the Cy Young Award candidacy.

The Mets Ray Sadecki had taken a loss & a no decision in his last two outings. Earlier in the month he earned his second victory of the year, allowing one run to the Pirates in eight innings of work in a 5-1 Mets win on August 2nd.

Don Sutton came into the game on a three-game win streak where had allowed just three earned runs in his last 25 innings of work. He would go 33 the rest of the season.

Ray Sadecki held the Dodgers to just one hit over the first four innings, until short stop Bill Russel hit a solo HR in the 5th inning. It was his third HR of the year. Russel who would play in all 162 Dodger games that year hit just four HRs all season.

In the top of the 6th, Davey Lopes led off with a base hit then advanced on a wild pitch & ground out. But Sadecki left him stranded on third base as he struck out Joe Furgeson to end the inning with L.A. still up 1-0.

The Dodgers Donn Sutton eased through the first seven innings. After giving up lead off singles in the 1st & 2nd innings, he retired the 15 Mets in a row before Felix Millan singled with one out in the 7th inning. Sutton then picked off Millan at first & retired Rusty Staub on a pop up.

In the home 8th, Sutton walked John Milner to start the inning. Ed Kranepool then sacrificed & reached with an infield single, moving Milner over to second. Bud Harrelson came into pinch run for Kranepool. 

Mets manager Yogi Berra then called for Jerry Grote to sacrifice, as he bunted successfully put both runners in scoring position. Next, Don Hahn hit a sac fly to centerfield, scoring Milner with the tying run. 

Ray Sadecki came on for the 9th inning & retired the Dodgers in order. Don Sutton came on for the bottom of the 9th inning for the Dodgers.

The Mets Ken Boswell came in to pinch hit & popped up for the first out. Wayne Garrett then drew a walk. Felix Millan's ground out moved Garrett to second base. 

Don Sutton then intentionally walked Rusty Staub. John Milner (the Hammer) then delivered the walk off single up the middle scoring Garrett with the games winning run in an exciting game.

Trivia: Ray Sadecki would appear in 31 games for the 1973 Mets going 5-4 with a 3.39 ERA, making 11 starts when needed. He made 20 relief appearances with a save & seven games finished.

The walk off win was just the third for Mets that season.


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