Remembering Mets History (1973) Mets Take 3 of 4 From Phillies- Koosman's Scoreless Streak Continues & Seaver Wins Sweet16


Labor Day September 3rd, 1973: At this point in the season, Yogi Berra's New York Mets were in fourth place, nine games under .500 at 63-72. But in the crazy NL East they were just 5.5 games out of first place. 

The Cubs & Expos were just two games in front of the Mets in a third-place tie. The only team behind them in the division were the Philadelphia Phillies. 

On this Labor Day Holiday, a crowd of 30,748 fans came to see the Mets host Danny Ozark's Phillies (63-74) for an afternoon double header. A great pitching matchup had the 1972 Cy Young winner, Steve Carlton (11-16) go up against Jerry Koosman, (11-14)

Trivia: In 1972 Steve Carlton won 27 games for a Phillies team that won just 59 games, accounting for 46% of the teams' victories.

As for Jerry Koosman he entered this game having pitched 20.2 consecutive scoreless innings. The last run he allowed came in the 5th inning of a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on August 15th, three starts prior to this Labor Day game. 

On August 24th had shut out Juan Marichal & the Giants 1-0 in a ten-inning thriller. He then shut out the Padres for 6.2 innings in his next start.


In the top of the 1st inning, Koosman was shaky as first he walked Cesar Tovar to start the game. After getting two outs he struggled, giving up a base hit to Greg Luzinski & then walked Bill Robinson to load the bases. But he got out of the jam getting Mike Anderson to ground out.

In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Steve Carlton walked Rusty Staub to start the inning. Jerry Grote then singled to right field & Carlton walked Don Hahn to load the bases. 

Mets reserve infielder, Teddy Martinez then dropped a single to right field scoring Staub with the Mets first run.

Jerry Koosman then went down on strikes & Bud Harrelson grounded to short allowing Jerry Grote to score from third base to make it 2-0.

In the bottom of the 4th inning, Teddy Martinez homered off Carlton to make it 3-0. For the light
hitting Martinez it was his only HR of the year in 263 at bats. In his career he hit just 7 HRs in 1480 at bats.

Martinez was not thru, in the 5th inning Cleon Jones led off with a walk. Rusty Staub reached on an error by Craig Robinson at short & Don Hahn was walked intentionally, loading the bases to get to Martinez. But Teddy drilled a double to right field scoring two more Mets run making it 5-0. Martinez would hit 11 doubles & drive in 14 runs on the year.

It was an easy win for Jerry Koosman as he shut out the Phils with his third shutout of the year & second in a week. He now extended his scoreless innings streak to 29.2 innings getting to a 12-14 record with a 2.93 ERA.

Night Cap: In the night cap the Mets took a 6-3 loss as Dick Ruthven (6-9) got the win over Mets rookie Craig Swan (0-1). For Swan it was his MLB debut as he was a September call up when the roster's expanded. Swan would pitch 12 years with the Mets, winning an ERA title in 1978. He was a good pitcher on bad late seventies teams & his career was ruined by injuries.

Tuesday September 4th: Tonight's matchup saw the Phillies Jim Lonborg (12-12) go up against Tom Seaver (15-8).

Tom Seaver was coming off two straight losing decisions, where he gave up just one run each time & the Mets lost both games 1-0. He entered tonight's game with a 1.71 league leading ERA. Veteran Jim Lonborg had won 22 games for the Boston Red Sox in 1967 leading them to a pennant. He had won two of his last three decisions entering tonight's game.


Tonight, Tom Terrific pitched a complete game five hit, one run victory, striking out 13 Phillies & walking just one. It was the fifth time that season he had reached double figures in strike outs. 


The 13 K's were Seaver's second highest single game total on the season. Seaver struck out the Phillies rookie Mike Schmidt three times & slugger Greg Luzinski twice. 

Seaver now had 218 strike outs on the year & was posting a 1.69 ERA. He would lead the league in both those categories in 1973 as well as complete games (18) as he won his second Cy Young Award.

In the bottom of the 1st, the Mets started out with Wayne Garrett leading off with his 11th HR of the season. 

In the bottom of the 3rd, Garrett doubled & scored when Felix Millan reached on an error by Denny Doyle at second base.

Rusty Staub then walked & John Milner singled to left field scoring Millan with the second Met run. 

Wayne Garrett
Ed Kranepool then followed hitting a triple past Bill Robinson in right field driving in two more runs. It was one of two triples Kranepool would hit on the year.

 Jerry Grote then singled bring in Kranepool with the fifth run of the inning, making it 6-0.

The Mets never looked back adding another run in the 7th when Bud Harrelson doubled & advanced on a fielder's choice. Phillies reliever Mike Wallace then threw a wild pitch with Wayne Garrett at bat, allowing Harrelson to score from third base.

Wednesday September 5th: The series wrapped up with a night game in front of 12,563 fans at Shea Stadium. Yogi Berra sent veteran Ray Sadecki (3-3) to the mound to face Wayne Twitchell (13-7). Twitchell had the best year of his ten-year career that year going 13-9 with a 2.50 ERA.


The veteran Ray Sadecki was a valuable pitcher for the Mets in '73, making 11 starts in 31 overall appearances. Sadecki was 5-4 with a save & a 3.39 ERA.

In the bottom of the 1st inning, with two outs, Le Grande Orange- Rusty Stub hit his 12th HR of the season, putting the Mets up 1-0.

In the home 5th, inning Wayne Twitchell walked Wayne Garrett with one out. Then there was more sloppyPhilie's play on the field, this time an error at third by Mike Schmidt put two Mets on. Twitchell then walked John Milner to load the bases & threw a wild pitch with Ed Kranepool up scoring Garrett with the Mets second run.

Ray Sadecki gave the Mets a good outing pitching a shutout into the 6th inning, allowing just three hits. He struck out six & walked five. 

In the top of the 6th, he walked two batters & was relieved by Tug McGraw. 

After McGraw walked Billy Grabarkewitz to load the bases, he got Cesar Tovar to fly out to Staub in right field to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 6th, Philie reliever walked Jerry Grote & gave up a base hit to Bud Harrelson. With two outs, Wayne Garrett ripped a triple scoring Grote & Harrelson giving the Mets a 4-0 lead.

It was all they needed as Tug McGraw rolled along to his 16th save of the year. The Mets got to 66-73 passing the Cubs & just two games behind the Expos in the standings & 5.5 games behind the first place Cardinals. Things were slowly turing around.

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