June 16, 1973: Koosman and Milner Lead Romp Over Padres

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Date: June 16, 1973
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 10
Padres: 2
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, John Milner, Felix Millan
Key play: Milner’s home run in 1st

The Mets faced the Padres on a Saturday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. Jerry Koosman pitched a complete game and John Milner homered in the first inning to propel the Mets to a 10-2 win over San Diego.

Koosman retired all three Padres batters in the top of the first. With one out in the bottom half, Felix Millan singled against San Diego starter Mike Caldwell. Rusty Staub hit a single and Milner followed with a home run to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Jim Fregosi singled and George Theodore grounded to shortstop Dwain Anderson for an inning-ending double play.

Nate Colbert drew a walk to open the top of the second inning. Cito Gaston doubled to send Colbert to third base. A single by Fred Kendall drove home Colbert and moved Gaston to third. Dave Roberts hit a force play grounder to shortstop Fregosi that plated Gaston with the Padres’ second run. A sacrifice bunt by Derrel Thomas advanced Roberts to second. Koosman got Caldwell to ground out to second baseman Millan and end the inning. Caldwell then held the Mets to a double by Duffy Dyer in a scoreless bottom half.

Koosman hurled a perfect top of the third. Millan singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Staub hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Thomas and an error by Colbert of Milner’s grounder put Mets runners at second and third base. Fregosi was walked intentionally to load the bases. Theodore reached on an error by Anderson that allowed Staub to score. Ted Martinez flied out to right fielder Gaston. Trying to score after the catch, Milner was out at home via a throw by Gaston to catcher Kendall to finish off the inning.

Koosman set down the Padres 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth. Dyer and Koosman reached on errors by Anderson and Caldwell, respectively, to begin the bottom half. Mike Corkins came in to pitch for San Diego and completed a walk to Willie Mays (charged to Caldwell) that loaded the bases. Millan hit a single to drive home Dyer. With Staub at bat, Corkins threw a wild pitch that allowed Koosman to score. Rusty hit a sacrifice fly against reliever Rich Troedson to bring home Mays for a 7-2 Mets lead. Milner flied out to Gaston and a walk to Fregosi ensued. Troedson then got Theodore on a force play ground ball to Anderson to close out the inning.

Koosman set down the Padres in order in the top of the fifth. In the bottom half, San Diego’s Randy Jones (making his major league debut) retired all three Mets to come to bat. Koosman pitched a scoreless top of the sixth and Mays homered to lead off the bottom of the inning. Millan and Staub got back-to-back singles (Felix’s fourth of the game) and Milner flied out to left fielder Gene Locklear. Fregosi singled to score Millan (with Staub moving to third on Locklear’s error) and stretch the Mets’ lead to 9-2. Jones was replaced on the mound by Bob Miller, who got Theodore to foul out to Gaston. Miller then retired Martinez on a fly ball to center fielder Jerry Morales for the third out of the inning.

Koosman and Padres’ reliever Gary Ross each allowed a single in pitching a scoreless seventh. Jerry shut down San Diego again in the top of the eighth. To begin the bottom of the inning, Staub doubled and advanced to third base on Milner’s ensuing ground out to Thomas. Wayne Garrett reached on Thomas’s error (the sixth of the game for the Padres) to score Staub with the Mets’ tenth run. Ross then retired Theodore and Martinez on outfield fly balls for the second and third outs.

Colbert went down on strikes to start the top of the ninth inning. Gaston flied out to center fielder Don Hahn. Koosman then retired Kendall on a foul pop-up to third baseman Garrett to end the game. The Mets had an easy victory on Jerry’s complete game.