October 13, 1973: Game One of the World Series

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Date: October 13, 1973
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 1
Athletics: 2
Winning pitcher: Ken Holtzman
Key player(s): Ken Holtzman
Key play: Holtzman's double, Millan's error

The Mets and Athletics opened the World Series on a Saturday afternoon. The teams faced each other in front of 46,021 fans at the Oakland Coliseum. A pair of unearned runs proved costly to the Mets as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to the defending world champions.

Mets’ starter Jon Matlack and the Athletics’ Ken Holtzman each pitched scoreless ball in the first and second innings. In the third, Holtzman shut down the Mets again and doubled with two outs in the bottom half. Bert Campaneris followed with a ground ball on which second baseman Felix Millan made an error that allowed Holtzman to score the first run of the game. Joe Rudi singled and a single by Sal Bando drove home Campaneris. Matlack then got Reggie Jackson to pop out to shortstop Bud Harrelson and end the inning.

Cleon Jones hit a one-out double in the top of the fourth inning. An ensuing single by John Milner scored Jones. Jerry Grote lined out to center fielder Jackson and a walk to Don Hahn ensued. Holtzman struck out Harrelson to end the inning and Matlack set down the Athletics in order in the bottom half. Holtzman pitched a perfect top of the fifth. Matlack then retired all three Oakland batters in the bottom of the inning.

The Mets had runners at first and third base with two outs against Athletics’ reliever Rollie Fingers in the top of the sixth. Harrelson went down on strikes for the third out and Matlack pitched a scoreless bottom half. In the top of the seventh, pinch-hitter Ken Boswell led off with a single. Wayne Garrett hit a ground ball to second baseman Dick Green for a double play. Fingers retired Millan on a line drive to shortstop Campaneris for the final out of the inning. Mets’ reliever Tug McGraw then set down the side in order on three grounders to Harrelson in the bottom half.

Fingers and McGraw each allowed a single in a scoreless eighth inning. In the top of the ninth, pinch-hitter Ed Kranepool lined out to Campaneris and a walk to pinch-hitter Ron Hodges followed. Facing Oakland reliever Darold Knowles, pinch-hitter Jim Beauchamp was retired on a pop-up to Green. Garrett then flied out to right fielder Jackson (who had shifted from center the previous inning) to end the game. The Athletics had the early lead in the Series.