Tuesday, December 18, 2012

#472- '73 World Series - Game #1



For the World Series cards Topps gets all red, white, and blue with us which will take my seriously limited template skills to task. Game 1 was a Saturday day game in Oakland between two teams that went down to the wire in capturing their respective league crowns. Topps gives us the score of each game on the front as well as an action shot and this one features go-to – at least in this series – reliever Darold Knowles before he lets one fly to either Jim Beauchamp or Wayne Garrett, the only two batters he faced that day. That’s Joe Rudi in left field behind him and since Joe seems to be a shade towards center I am opting with lefty Garrett being the batter.

Oakland went into the Series as a 13-10 favorite, probably on better power since these guys were pretty evenly matched elsewhere. The Mets were still without their best hitter, Rusty Staub, who was still nursing a banged-up shoulder from the NL playoffs. But the two teams matched up really well pitching-wise and NY could be tough on defense when the team was healthy. That was always a big supposition in ’73 but with just Rusty out they were pretty close. Soon-to-be homer champ Hank Aaron threw out the game’s first ball and Jim Nabors – see Claude Osteen’s post – sang the National Anthem. Ken Holtzman for Oakland and Jon Matlack for NY were the game’s starters and each was off an excellent turn in the playoffs.

With Staub out a guy named Willie Mays got a chance to start and Willie got the first hit of the Series in the top of the first with a liner that zoomed by Sal Bando. He got left there though, and there was no further action until the top of the third when Bud Harrelson got to second on a walk and a sacrifice bunt by Matlack. But he got stranded also. Then things got interesting in the bottom of the inning: Dick Green walked and up came Holtzman, who hadn’t hit for a year – there were no DH’s in the Series. Ken tried for a bunt, missed, and Jerry Grote threw out Green going to second for the second out. Holtzman then doubled a shot up the leftfield line and then scored when Felix Millan booted a Bert Campaneris grounder up the middle. Campy then stole second when Matlack made a bad pick-off throw and scored when Joe Rudi singled. Sal Bando then singled to center – a play on which poor Willie Mays showed his age – but Reggie Jackson then popped up to end the inning. So Oakland was on top with two unearned runs. That’s no fun.

In the fourth Cleon Jones rapped a double of Holtzman and came in on a John Milner single. Jerry Grote then hit one to deep center that scared everyone until Reggie – yes, Reggie – made a beautiful catch. 2-1 Oakland and then things quieted considerably. Jesus Alou nearly hit one out in the bottom of the inning and NY threatened again in the fifth after Matlack walked but got erased when a Wayne Garrett bunt attempt went skyward – he couldn’t get a break at the plate – and became a double play. Good thing too because Felix Millan then tripled. But Willie ended the rally by popping out. Holtzman left in the bottom of the inning for pinch hitter Angel Magual and he was followed by Rollie Fingers who supplied some drama in the sixth when he put runners on the corners via a single, groundout, and passed ball before striking out Harrelson in one of those four-out innings. Matlack was still going strong when he was lifted for pinch hitter Ken Boswell who singled. That mini-rally got snuffed quickly when Garrett – see? – grounded into a double play. Milner singled in the eighth but went nowhere. Oakland then threatened in the bottom of the inning when a Campy single, Rudi sacrifice, and a Bando walk put two on. But Reggie ended the inning on a groundout. In the ninth a walk by pinch hitter Ron Hodges took Fingers out and Knowles came in to get Beauchamp and – oof! – Garrett. 2-1 A’s.


On the individual game card backs Topps gives us just the offensive side of things with those old box scores that show putouts, assists, and errors instead of RBI’s. That Millan E was pretty costly. You can glean a little bit of pitching info from the catchers’ putouts, most of which are K’s. The guys without positions listed were pinch hitters. Staub never actually got up. He was supposed to bat for Tug McGraw in the ninth but then Dick Williams changed to lefty Knowles and Yogi Berra brought in righty Beauchamp. Chess game stuff. Here are the pitching lines:

Pitching
IP
H
R
ER
 BB
SO
 ERA
Matlack
  6.0
3
2
0
    2
3
      -  
McGraw
  2.0
1
0
0
     1
1
      -  

  8.0
4
2
0
    3
4
      -  

  



  

  
Holtzman
  5.0
4
1
1
    3
2
   1.80
Fingers
   3.1
3
0
0
     1
3
      -  
Knowles
  0.2
0
0
0
0
0
      -  

  9.0
7
1
1
    4
5
   1.00

1 comment:

  1. This shot must be from a different game game. The A's wore green shirts game 1

    ReplyDelete