Amazin’ Look Back – August 20, 1973: Tug Falters in the 16th as Mets Lose to Reds, 8-3

By Sam Maxwell

The New York Mets’ winning streak was halted at 2 when they lost to the Cincinnati Reds in 16 innings by a score of 8-3 at Shea Stadium on Monday, August 20, 1973. Tug McGraw (0-6, 5.45 ERA) took the loss after 12 amazing innings by Tom Seaver.

A solo shot by by Larry Stahl in the 2nd and another by Joe Morgan in the 3rd off Tom gave the Reds and early 2-0 lead.

The Mets, however, got both back in the 6th inning. Felix Millan doubled in Seaver, who led off the inning doubling as well. Rusty Staub singled over Felix, who scored on John Milner‘s sac fly.

Every opportunity was wasted thereafter by both teams until the top of the 13th, when Tug McGraw replaced Tom. Though he struck out the first batter he faced, Pete Rose and Morgan both singled, setting up runners on the corners. The defense then failed the Fireman, as John Milner recorded an E3 on Denis Menke‘s sac bunt, scoring Rose.

With their backs against the wall, Felix Millan walked after Bud Harrelson grounded out. Rusty then doubled him over to 3rd, forcing the Reds to intentionally walk John Milner. Cleon Jones then tied the game with a sac fly, scoring Millan. Ken Boswell pinch-hit for the catcher Jerry Grote, but unfortunately lined out to the pitcher.

Tug stayed in the game and the Mets, but time ran out for him by the 16th. The Reds stringed together 3 straight 1-out singles to take the lead by 1. He walked Stahl before manager Yogi Berra replaced him with Harry Parker. A single by Cesar Geronimo plated 2, as did a triple by Ed Crosby, giving the Reds an 8-3 lead they would not relinquish.

Starting Lineups

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