April 19, 1973: Koosman Five-Hits Cubs

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Date: April 19, 1973
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 3
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Wayne Garrett, Jerry Grote, John Milner
Key play: Garrett’s double, Grote’s RBI single, Milner’s home run

The Mets faced the Cubs in a doubleheader Thursday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played a two-hour opener of the twinbill. Jerry Koosman pitched a five-hitter in a 3-1 Mets win over Chicago.

Koosman retired the side in order in the top of the first inning. Chicago starter Rick Reuschel hurled a perfect bottom half and Jim Hickman reached second base on right fielder Rusty Staub’s error to lead off the top of the second. Ron Santo lined out to second baseman Felix Millan and a single by Jose Cardenal brought home Hickman. With Randy Hundley at bat, Cardenal got caught in a rundown on catcher Jerry Grote’s pickoff throw and was tagged out by first baseman John Milner. Koosman got Hundley to pop out to Millan and finish off the inning. Reuschel then surrendered only a walk to Milner in the bottom half.

After a scoreless third, Glenn Beckert doubled to lead off the top of the fourth. Koosman set down the next three batters to close out the inning and Milner hit a two-out single in the bottom half. Wayne Garrett followed with a double to drive home Milner and tie the game. On his own hit, Garrett advanced to third base via a throw. Grote singled to score Garrett and put the Mets ahead, 2-1. Koosman hit a single and Reuschel retired Bud Harrelson on a line drive to third baseman Santo that ended the inning.

Koosman pitched a perfect top of the fifth. Reuschel gave up just a double to Staub in the bottom half and Koosman held the Cubs to a single by Beckert in the top of the sixth. Milner singled to begin the bottom of the inning. Garrett hit a force play ground ball to Santo and moved to third base on a single by Grote. Koosman was struck out and Harrelson grounded to Santo for the inning’s final out. Jerry hurled a scoreless top of the seventh. Reuschel then retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Cleo James singled with two outs in the top of the eighth. James stole second base and Beckert flied out to left fielder Cleon Jones to end the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Milner homered against Chicago reliever Dave LaRoche for the Mets’ third run. Garrett hit a single and Grote was retired on a fly ball to center fielder James. Koosman then grounded back to LaRoche for the third out of the inning.

Billy Williams got a single for the Cubs’ fifth hit to open the top of the ninth. Hickman flied out to Jones and a walk to Santo followed. Cardenal went down on strikes. Koosman then got Hundley to fly out to Jones and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory to start the doubleheader.