Houston hammered out 11 runs in two innings, most of them off of the usually reliable Tug McGraw, and the Mets’ downward slide continued as they fell to the Astros 14-8. The loss was New York’s fifth in a row and drops them under .500 for the first time this season. Mike Cosgrove was on the winning side for the visitors, while the aforementioned McGraw took the loss, and Jim Crawford saved his second game for Leo Durocher’s ball club.
After falling behind 3-0 early on, the Mets got to Houston starter Jerry Reuss quickly, scoring four times in his 2.2 innings, as Jim Beauchamp, Rusty Staub, and Jim Fregosi hit consecutive RBI singles after Felix Millan’s run-scoring groundout. Base hits by Ed Kranepool and Bud Harrelson in the fifth added insurance and made it 7-3. But the ’Stros eventually came back, wearing down Harry Parker in the sixth, and Tug McGraw quickly surrendered the lead via an RBI double by Cesar Cedeno and three-run homer by Bob Watson. McGraw wasn’t much better in the seventh, as he walked in the go-ahead run and left the door open for Ray Sadecki to let in six more, including a grand slam by Lee May. A Jim Gosger single in the ninth was nowhere near enough as the Amazin’s went in the red for the first time in 1973.
The starting lineups for today’s bloodbath were as follows:
New York Mets
|1||Jim Wynn||RF||1||Ted Martinez||LF|
|2||Roger Metzger||SS||2||Felix Millan||2B|
|3||Cesar Cedeno||CF||3||Willie Mays||CF|
|4||Bob Watson||LF||4||Rusty Staub||RF|
|5||Lee May||1B||5||Jim Fregosi||3B|
|6||Doug Rader||3B||6||Jerry Grote||C|
|7||Johnny Edwards||C||7||George Theodore||1B|
|8||Tommy Helms||2B||8||Bud Harrelson||SS|
|9||Jerry Reuss||P||9||Harry Parker||P|