August 18, 1973: Mets Rout Big Red Machine

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Date: August 18, 1973
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 12
Reds: 1
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Don Hahn, John Milner
Key play: Hahn’s three-run homer, Milner’s grand slam

The Mets faced the Reds on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of a three-game weekend series. The Mets pounded out 16 hits in a 12-1 win over Cincinnati.

After a scoreless first inning, Mets’ starter Jon Matlack shut down the Reds again in the top of the second. In the bottom half, John Milner and Jerry Grote led off with consecutive singles against Cincinnati starter Fred Norman. Don Hahn followed with a home run for a 3-0 Mets lead. Norman retired Ted Martinez on a pop-up to second baseman Joe Morgan and threw a called third strike past Matlack to end the inning. Jon then pitched a scoreless top of the third.

Felix Millan started the bottom of the third inning with a double to left field. Norman threw a wild pitch and a passed ball by catcher Bill Plummer allowed Millan to score from third base. Willie Mays drew a walk and Cleon Jones flied out to left fielder Pete Rose. Milner singled to send Mays to third and reliever Roger Nelson replaced Norman on the mound. Grote hit a ground ball to third baseman Dan Driessen on which Mays was tagged out in a rundown. Hahn then hit into a force play for the third out.

The Reds failed to score after loading the bases in the top of the fourth inning. Martinez singled to begin the bottom half. Matlack reached first base on a bunt with Martinez advancing to second. Harrelson’s bunt single loaded the bases and Millan was hit by a pitch to force home Martinez. Mays drew a walk to score Matlack with the Mets’ sixth run. Nelson retired Jones on a fly ball to center fielder Andy Kosco. Reliever Dave Tomlin then came in to pitch for Cincinnati.

Milner greeted Tomlin with a grand slam that extended the Mets’ lead to 10-0. Hahn fouled out to Driessen for the second out. Martinez followed with a single for his second hit of the inning. Tomlin fanned Matlack for the third out and Jon kept Cincinnati scoreless in the top of the fifth. Then Mets then failed to score despite Mays’s two-out single in the bottom half.

Matlack retired the Reds in order in the top of the sixth inning. Milner doubled to lead off the bottom half. Grote’s ensuing single scored Milner for the Mets’ eleventh run. Tomlin completed the inning with no further scoring. The Reds had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the seventh. Morgan hit a ground ball on which third baseman Martinez threw out Denis Menke at home. Driessen grounded to shortstop Harrelson for an inning-ending force play. Cincinnati reliever Jim McGlothlin then pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh.

The Reds were shut down by Matlack again in the top of the eighth inning. Grote singled for his fourth hit of the game to begin the bottom half. Hahn hit into a force play and Martinez got an infield single. Matlack followed with a single to center field that brought home Hahn. McGlothlin retired Harrelson on a called third strike. Millan then grounded out to second baseman Menke to end the inning.

Menke walked and Ed Crosby singled to start the top of the ninth. Rose grounded out to Matlack, advancing the runners to second and third. Pinch-hitter Larry Stahl drove in Menke with a ground out to second baseman Millan. Matlack then retired Driessen on a grounder to Millan for the final out of the game. The Mets had an easy victory over the Big Red Machine.