October 17, 1973: Game Four of the World Series

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Date: October 17, 1973
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 6
Athletics: 1
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Rusty Staub, Jon Matlack
Key play: Staub's 3-run home run & 2-run single

The Mets faced the Athletics in the fourth game of the World Series on a Wednesday night. A Shea Stadium crowd of 54,817 looked on as the Mets aimed to get even in the Series. Rusty Staub collected four hits and drove in five runs to lead the Mets to a 6-1 win over Oakland.

Mets’ starter Jon Matlack pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Wayne Garrett and Felix Millan began the bottom half with back-to-back singles against the Athletics’ Ken Holtzman. Staub followed with a home run to left field for a 3-0 Mets lead. Cleon Jones grounded out to second baseman Dick Green and a walk to John Milner ensued. Jerry Grote singled to send Milner to third base and Holtzman was replaced on the mound by John Odom. Don Hahn then hit a double play ground ball to third baseman Sal Bando to end the inning.

Matlack set down all six Oakland batters in the second and third innings. Odom responded with scoreless bottom halves. With one out in the top of the fourth, Bando reached on an error by third baseman Garrett. Reggie Jackson singled to center field, sending Bando to third and moving to second on a throw. Gene Tenace grounded out to shortstop Bud Harrelson to drive home Bando. Matlack then got Jesus Alou on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Jones.

Hahn and Harrelson opened the bottom of the fourth with consecutive singles off Odom. Athletics’ reliever Darold Knowles threw a called third strike past Matlack and walked Garrett to load the bases. Millan reached on an error by Green that plated Hahn with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Staub hit a single to score Harrelson and Garrett. Jones drew a walk to reload the bases and Knowles got Milner on a grounder back to the mound for a double play that ended the inning. Matlack held Oakland to a leadoff single by Ray Fosse in the top of the fifth. Athletics’ reliever Horacio Pina then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Matlack pitched a perfect top of the sixth inning. Pina limited the Mets to a two-out single by Staub in a scoreless bottom half. Jon shut down Oakland in the top of the seventh and Grote singled off Pina with one out in the bottom of the inning. Hahn grounded out to first baseman Tenace and an intentional walk was given to Harrelson. Matlack hit a single on which Grote was out at home via a throw by left fielder Joe Rudi to catcher Fosse to end the inning. In the top of the eighth, the Athletics had two runners on base with one out. Bando lined out to left fielder George Theodore. Matlack retired Jackson on a grounder to second baseman Millan for the third out of the inning. Oakland’s Paul Lindblad then held the Mets to a single by Staub in the bottom half.

Tenace singled off Mets’ reliever Ray Sadecki to start the top of the ninth. Alou lined out to Harrelson and a strikeout of Fosse ensued. Pinch-hitter Deron Johnson singled and Sadecki issued a walk to pinch-hitter Vic Davalillo to load the bases. Ray then struck out Bert Campaneris to end the game. The Mets had a victory to even the Series at two games apiece.