Friday, December 21, 2012

#474 - '73 World Series - Game #3



The Series took a day off after the Oakland games and returned on a pretty blustery Tuesday night in NY. Shea Stadium had been mostly restored from the post-game celebration/destruction from the NL playoffs and the team fortified its security with 1,000 National Guardsmen. But Shea was never the best of fields: back then, in fact, instead of the infield dirt being slightly below the grass like at every other field in some places it was higher and more than a few times a grounder that struck the dirt at the edge would bounce back towards the grass like it hit a curb. Such was life in NY in those days. But both teams were happy to be out of the Oakland sun and a cleaner game awaited. This is a great action shot - a shout-out to Night Owl who likes these things – and shows Bert Campaneris being ruled safe at second as Felix Millan holds up the ball and Bud Harrelson circles behind. There was only one instance in the game in which Campy was declared safely into second: a stolen base in the eighth that would prove pivotal. It’s nice when one can pinpoint these shots.

Oakland and the Mets each had their aces going that night: Catfish Hunter and Tom Seaver. Seaver gave up a few hits through the first five – a Joe Rudi double; and singles by Campy and Vic Davalillo – but he also struck out the side twice and finished the fifth with eight K’s and shutout ball. But Catfish, being Catfish, kept things interesting. In the bottom of the first Wayne Garrett – seemingly coming out of his hitting funk – hit his second solo homer to lead off an inning in two games. After Millan and Rusty Staub singled, a pitch in the dirt to Cleon Jones allowed Millan to score. After Jones struck out Catfish messed up a comebacker by John Milner and there were two on with two in. But Catfish got Jerry Grote on a strikeout and then got help from Rudi, who saved two runs by grabbing a Don Hahn shot to left. After a couple relatively quiet innings, Hahn led off the fourth with another liner to left that Rudi couldn’t reach and that bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. After a couple outs an intentional walk to Garrett – that’s a prop by Oakland – and a single by Millan loaded the bases but Staub grounded out to end the threat. After a single and some scary fly-outs in the fifth the score was Mets 2-0.

In the top of the sixth Seaver channeled a little Catfish in a bad way. After Rudi hit one to the warning track in center, Bando did the same thing but his fell in for a double. A strikeout later Tenace doubled to left, scoring Bando. After a groundout and a quick bottom of the inning the A’s came back in the seventh with three successive pinch hitters but Seaver got them all. So Catfish was gone and in came Darold Knowles for his third game of the Series. He threw shutout ball and in the top of the eighth Campy got things rolling with a single. After the steal from the photo he scored on a Rudi single to right. Tie game. Knowles had a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom and in the ninth Oakland threatened again: new pitcher Ray Sadecki got Davalillo on a grounder; at least he thought he did before Millan flubbed it – he was having a tough run at second – and Pat Bourque then singled. Two on and Sadecki was gone. In came Tug McGraw who got three straight outs. In the Mets’ half Staub lined another ground rule double – he off Paul Lindblad - on two outs but Milner popped up. Again the A’s challenged in the tenth when Bando hit a one-out single to left and then got to second when Millan erred on the relay. A Reggie grounder got him to third and an intentional walk to Tenace had runners at the corner. McGraw got Davalillo to fly to right to end the inning. In the bottom after two quick outs Harrelson singled to right and up came Willie Mays to pinch hit for McGraw. In Willie’s last appearance in a game there was no rally-starter but just a grounder to short that got Harrelson. Harry Parker came in to pitch the eleventh and this time Oakland broke through: Ted Kubiak walked and after Angel Mangual struck out the ball got past Jerry Grote for a passed ball. Angel took off for first but he was still out because a batter is only allowed to do that if the base is unoccupied. But Kubiak stole second and scored when Campy singled him in the next at bat. The run was unearned because of the passed ball and Campy got nailed in a rundown but the damage was done. After a Garrett single off Lindblad to open the bottom half, Rollie Fingers came in and got three quick outs and a save. Oakland won 3-2 in the first time in forty years that two consecutive Series games went extra innings. Lindlad got the win, Parker the loss, and Seaver got 12 K’s in his eight innings. He had two excellent post-season games in ’73 and they were both in losses. That must have been pretty frustrating.


This was another game in which the Oakland top three hitters did pretty much all the damage. The NY guys did also. Willie’s name looks a bit non-resplendent down there at the bottom, especially considering it was his swan song. Again I include the pitching line:

Pitching
IP
H
R
ER
 BB
SO
 ERA
Hunter
   6.0
7
2
2
     3
5
  3.00
Knowles
   2.0
0
0
0
      1
0
      -  
Lindblad
   2.0
3
0
0
      1
0
      -  
Fingers
   1.0
0
0
0
    -  
0
      -  

  11.0
10
2
2
     5
5
   1.64

  



  

  
Seaver
   8.0
7
2
2
      1
12
  2.25
Sadecki
    -  
1
0
0
    -  
0
      -  
McGraw
   2.0
1
0
0
      1
1
      -  
Parker
   1.0
1
1
0
1
1
      -  

  11.0
10
3
2
     3
14
   1.64

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