August 30, 1966: Five Runs in 3rd Beat Koufax

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Date: August 30, 1966
Mets starter: Tug McGraw
Mets: 10
Dodgers: 4
Winning pitcher: Bob Friend
Key player(s): Bob Friend, Ron Swoboda, Jerry Grote, Cleon Jones
Key play: Mets’ five runs in 3rd

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. A crowd of 50,840 was on hand to see the home team go up against Sandy Koufax, who had a won-lost record of 17-1 (plus one no-decision) when facing the orange and blue. With five runs in the third inning, the Mets chased Koufax from the game and went on to defeat Los Angeles, 10-4.

Maury Wills drew a walk to lead off the top of the first. Wes Parker hit a two-run homer and Willie Davis doubled to center field. Mets’ starter Tug McGraw (on his 22nd birthday) retired the next three Dodgers batters to end the inning and Koufax pitched a perfect bottom half. To open the top of the second, John Roseboro hit a double and John Kennedy drew a walk. Koufax followed with a single on which right fielder Cleon Jones threw to catcher Jerry Grote for an out at home on Roseboro. McGraw was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Bob Friend, who retired Wills on a ground ball to Grote. Friend then got Parker to line out to Jones and finish off the inning.

Jim Hickman drew a walk to begin the bottom of the second. Billy Murphy singled and Ron Swoboda walked to load the bases. Ed Bressoud drew a walk to force home Hickman and reduce the Los Angeles lead to 2-1. Grote lined out to center fielder Willie Davis and a strikeout of Friend ensued. Koufax retired Jones on an inning-ending fly ball to Willie Davis. Friend then gave up just a single to Willie Davis in the top of the third.

Ron Hunt singled against Koufax to open the bottom of the third inning. Ken Boyer followed with a double to advance Hunt to third base. Hickman reached on shortstop Wills’ error to bring home Hunt and send Boyer to third. Murphy reached on a fielder’s choice grounder to drive home Boyer and give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Swoboda singled to drive home Hickman with the fourth New York run of the game and Koufax was replaced on the mound by Dodgers’ reliever Joe Moeller. Bressoud was retired on a fly ball to Willie Davis. Grote hit a double to plate both Murphy and Swoboda, increasing the Mets’ lead to 6-2. Friend was struck out and Jones drew a walk. Moeller then got Hunt to fly out to right fielder Lou Johnson and end the inning.

After a scoreless fourth, Friend yielded only a single to Parker in the top of the fifth. Consecutive singles by Swoboda and Bressoud opened the bottom half. Grote went down on strikes and Friend hit a grounder on which first baseman Parker threw to third baseman Tommy Davis for an out on Swoboda. Jones hit a single to bring home Bressoud. Hunt followed with a single that scored Friend for an 8-2 Mets lead. On the play, Jones was out via a relay throw by catcher Roseboro to Moeller to finish off the inning.

Friend surrendered only a walk to Tommy Davis in the top of the sixth. Moeller pitched a perfect bottom half and Roseboro reached on Friend’s error to lead off the top of the seventh. Ron Fairly flied out to left fielder Swoboda and a two-run homer by pinch-hitter Wes Covington reduced the Mets’ lead to 8-4. Friend retired the next two batters on infield grounders to end the inning and Bressoud got a one-out single against Los Angeles reliever Ron Perranoski in the bottom half. Grote lined out to Willie Davis and a single by Friend followed. Jones hit a single to drive home Bressoud with the ninth New York run of the game. Perranoski then retired Hunt on a ground ball to Tommy Davis that closed out the inning.

Friend held the Dodgers to a double by Jim Lefebvre in the top of the eighth. Boyer doubled to lead off the bottom half. Ken moved to third base on Hickman’s ground out to Parker and scored the Mets’ tenth run on Murphy’s ground out to Tommy Davis. Swoboda singled and advanced to third on a double by Bressoud. Grote was walked intentionally to load the bases. Perranoski then got Friend to fly out to Willie Davis and end the inning.

Roseboro grounded out to second baseman Hunt to open the top of the ninth. Fairly was also retired on a grounder to Hunt. Friend then got pinch-hitter Jim Barbieri to fly out to Swoboda and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a solid victory in which they pinned the loss on Koufax for only the second time in twenty games against the Dodgers’ pitching wizard.

Notes

  • The win for Friend was his 197th and last of his major league career.
  • This was the last time that Koufax’s would pitch against the Mets. In his 20 games against New York, he had a 1.44 earned run average with 173 strikeouts.