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Amazin’ Look Back – April 18th, 1973: Chicago Cubs Blank New York Mets Again, 1-0


After coming off a tough 1-0 defeat against the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets looked to even the series. Instead, New York found themselves in familiar territory as the Mets’ offense was shut down yet again, this time against Cubs starter Ray Burris. Burris ended up tossing five shutout frames, while scattering just four hits. Mets starter Jon Matlack was just as good, going the distance and pitching a complete game, but a costly wild pitch in the first inning proved to be the difference maker, as the Mets fell to the Cubs for the second consecutive day, by a score of 1-0.

June 05, 2011; Flushing, NY, USA; The New York Mets logo behind home plate before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Braves 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Andrew B. Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

After Matlack allowed a leadoff single to center fielder Cleo James, James wasted no time stealing second base. The following batter, Glenn Beckert laid down a bunt to allow the runner on second base to advance to third. The only scoring play of the game came as Matlack threw a wild pitch to Billy Williams, allowing James to score the only run the Cubs needed for the victory.

Relievers Larry Gura and Jack Aker combined to shutout the Mets through the final four innings as Aker induced three consecutive groundouts after allowing a leadoff single to Cleon Jones, sealing the 1-0 victory and earning the save for the Cubs.

Despite taking the loss and falling to a record of 1-2, Matlack struck out seven while allowing five walks in his complete game effort.

Here’s a look at the box score and starting lineups for each respective team that day:

Chicago Cubs

New York Mets

Cleo James CF

Bud Harrelson SS

Glenn Beckert 2B

Felix Millan 2B

Billy Williams LF

John Milner 1B

Ron Santo 3B

Rusty Staub RF

Jose Cardenal RF

Cleon Jones LF

Joe Pepitone 1B

Wayne Garrett 3B

Randy Hundley C

George Theodore CF

Don Kessinger SS

Duffy Dyer C

Ray Burris P

John Matlack P

Up Next: The Mets try to even up the series against the Cubs, as the two teams face off in a doubleheader. Jerry Koosman will be on the hill for  game 1 and Jim McAndrew will pitch the finale.