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