October 9, 1973: Game Four of the NLCS

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Date: October 9, 1973
Mets starter: George Stone
Mets: 1
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: Clay Carroll
Key player(s): Pete Rose
Key play: Perez's & Rose's HRs, Staub catch

The Mets and Reds faced each other in the fourth game of the National League Championship Series on a Tuesday afternoon. A crowd of 50,786 was on hand at Shea Stadium as the Mets tried to finish off the Series. The Reds came away with a 2-1 win over the Mets in twelve innings to even the Series at two games apiece.

Mets’ starter George Stone and Cincinnati’s Fred Norman each pitched two perfect innings to begin the game. Stone retired the side in order again in the top of the third and Don Hahn drew a walk to open the bottom half. Bud Harrelson grounded out to third baseman Denis Menke and a walk to Stone followed. Wayne Garrett flied out to center fielder Cesar Geronimo to advance Hahn from second to third base. Felix Millan hit a single to score Hahn for a 1-0 Mets lead. Rusty Staub then grounded out to second baseman Joe Morgan to end the inning.

After scoreless fourth and fifth innings, Stone set down the Reds in order in the top of the sixth. Cincinnati reliever Don Gullett hurled a perfect bottom half. Leading off the top of the seventh, Morgan grounded out to first baseman John Milner. An ensuing home run by Tony Perez tied the game. Stone got Johnny Bench to pop out to second baseman Millan and issued a walk to Andy Kosco. Mets’ reliever Tug McGraw retired Menke on an inning-ending pop-up to Millan. Gullett then held the Mets to a single by Jerry Grote in a scoreless bottom half.

McGraw and Gullett each retired the side in order in the eighth inning. Pete Rose singled to begin the top of the ninth. Morgan reached on an error by McGraw and a pop-up by Perez was caught by shortstop Harrelson. Bench drew a walk to load the bases and McGraw struck out Kosco. Tug got Menke to pop out to third baseman Garrett and end the inning. Gullett then shut down the Mets in the bottom half to send the game onward.

Ed Crosby singled with one out in the top of the 10th inning. McGraw threw a wild pitch to advance pinch-runner Dan Driessen to second base. Pinch-hitter Phil Gagliano grounded out to Harrelson and an intentional walk to Rose followed. Morgan drew a walk to load the bases. Perez flied out to right fielder Staub to close out the inning. The Mets were then set down in order by Cincinnati reliever Clay Carroll in the bottom half.

McGraw and Carroll each hurled a scoreless 11th inning. Mets’ reliever Harry Parker retired Ken Griffey on a fly ball to left fielder Cleon Jones to start the top of the 12th. Rose homered to put the Reds ahead by a run. Morgan flied out to Jones and a pop-up by Perez was caught by Millan for the third out. Cincinnati reliever Pedro Borbon then set down all three New York batters in the bottom half to close out the game. The Mets had fallen to defeat and the Championship Series was tied.