August 26, 1965: McGraw Beats Koufax

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Date: August 26, 1965
Mets starter: Tug McGraw
Mets: 5
Dodgers: 2
Winning pitcher: Tug McGraw
Key player(s): Tug McGraw, Roy McMillan
Key play: McMillan’s double in 1st, Christopher’s & Swoboda’s home runs in 8th

The Mets faced Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. Koufax had never lost to the Mets in his career. This night was different as Tug McGraw held down the Los Angeles lineup enough for the Mets to get their first win over Sandy. The final score was 5-2.

The Dodgers scored a run off McGraw in the first, but the Mets bounced back in the bottom of the inning. Koufax walked Ron Hunt to lead off and Roy McMillan followed with a double to bring him home. The Mets later took a 2-1 lead on a single by Jim Hickman that scored McMillan.

Tug and Sandy pitched scoreless baseball from the second inning to the sixth. McGraw allowed four Los Angeles hits while Koufax gave up just one to the Mets during the five-inning stint. Tug retired the Dodgers in order in the seventh for another shutout inning.

Ed Kranepool doubled off Koufax with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Later, McGraw came up with Kranepool at third and Bobby Klaus at first with two out. Tug hit a ball on which third baseman Don LeJohn made an error, allowing Kranepool to score for a 3-1 Mets’ lead.

In the eighth, the Dodgers got a run on a triple by Wes Parker that scored Dick Tracewski. Jack Fisher relieved McGraw and finished the inning with the Mets still in front. Joe Christopher and Ron Swoboda then hit back-to-back homers off Los Angeles reliever Johnny Podres in the bottom of the inning.

Fisher retired the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the ninth to nail down the win. The Mets had their first victory over Koufax after losing to him 13 times. Just four days short of his 21st birthday, McGraw had accomplished something never done before by a Mets’ pitcher.