METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE OCTOBER 20, 1973 GAME:
June 30, 2003
I was ten then; I'm forty now. I've had thirty years to think about it, and I still don't understand it. Why did Yogi pitch Seaver on three days rest when he had a 3-2 lead? Imagine how tough the Mets would have been in game 7 with Seaver starting and Matlack in the bullpen. I didn't get it then. I don't get it now, and my best guess is that I won't get it when I'm seventy.
March 10, 2006
I still don't understand why Yogi pitched Seaver on three days rest when he was one win away from their second World Championship in 5 years. This decision still frustrates me 33 years later.
Frank the Met
October 13, 2008
Ok, I too have been wondering and have been bothered about all this for 35 years. Let's go over what preceded it. The Mets rotation went Seaver-Matlack-Koosman-Stone. When the Mets were up 2 games to one against the Reds, with a game they could afford to lose, Yogi went with Stone. Bear in mind that Stone had a career year, going 12-3, and pitched very well against the Reds, giving up only one run and getting a no-decision. The Mets lost the game in 12 innings but had a well-rested Seaver in Game 5, which they obviously won.
Now we get to the World Series. An almost identical situation, except the Mets were on the road in Oakland for the last two games. They had been home against the Reds.
Anyway, the Mets were up 3 games to 2 and could afford to lose one. What is crucial for younger fans to understand is that Tom Seaver was the biggest proponent of the fourth day of rest. He was very vocal about it his entire career. And there is no doubt that Seaver was simply not as dominant on three days rest.
But Yogi chose to go with Seaver in game 6 and Matlack in Game 7. And we all know what happened.
For years, I have given Yogi the benefit of the doubt, but I've changed my mind for two reasons. Last year, I heard the 1973 Oakland manager Dick Williams say he was shocked at what Yogi had done, and felt the A's simply could not have beaten a well-rested Seaver in a Game 7.
Then just last week, in an All-Star game interview on WFAN, Ed Kranepool, who said the 1973 Series loss was the most devastating point in his career, criticized Yogi's decision.
Kranepool said that Yogi was worried about being criticized in the press for not going with his two best pitchers.
October 15, 2008
Yogi should have started George Stone this game and saved Seaver for Game 7. Stone was 12-3 2.40 for the year winning his last 8 decisions and he deserved to start. And Seaver would have been well-rested for Game 7. Seaver did not pitch terrible in Game 6 but he did not have his best stuff. Could you imagine this happening today with SNY, ESPN, WFAN and all the sports coverage out there now? This decision would have been analyzed and re-analyzed then second-guessed ad nauseum. I was only 7 in 1973 and I remember a big deal being made about it back then.
I saw Stone at a baseball card show with a friend like 10 years ago and asked him about it and he definitely wanted the ball in Game 6. We'll never know what could have been.
August 9, 2010
It doesn't make a difference whether or not Yogi pitched Stone. Why don't they criticize Dick Williams for pitching Catfish on 3 days rest, or Holtzman for that matter. Rusty Staub could have put the Mets ahead, but struck out in game 6 (only because of his separated shoulder). Matlack was the hottest Met pitcher down the season stretch. It made sense pitching him in game 7. Tom Seaver said so himself, repeatedly, that it was the right move. Injuries were the plague of the 1973 season. If the Mets were completely healthy, they would've won over 90 games and be world champs!
September 26, 2013
Joe is correct, Matlack was darn near unhittable the last month of the season. Berra would have been skewered by the press if he pitched Stone in 6 and Seaver in 7 and pushed Matlack out of a start - who would know Matlack would stink it up in Game 7? Hindsight is 20/20. There are lots of fingers you can point at why the Mets lost this World Series: Millan's error, Grote's passed ball, Reggie Jackson's 2 GREAT catches playing CF for an injured Bill North, Tenace and Bando's clutch hits in Game 3, Staub's K in Game 6, Mets inability to drive in runners in scoring position in tight games. Definitely a shame. It was still an amazing 6 weeks for this third grader. I can still feel the sinking feeling when Garret's pop up came to rest in Campy's glove. Weren't we all sure they would win?