Jerry Koosman - New York Mets - “Ya Gotta Believe!” and “It Ain’t Over 'til It’s Over”

“Ya Gotta Believe!” and “It Ain’t Over 'til It’s Over”

In 1970 Koosman posted a 12-7 record with a 3.14 ERA. Over the next two seasons, however, posted losing records: 6-11 in 1971 (a season in which he was beset by arm woes) and 11-12 in 1972 with a 4.14 ERA—more than a run and a half above his career ERA to that point. In 1973 he went 5-0 in his first six starts, but ended the season 14-15. In late August/early September of that year, he set a Mets' record by pitching 31 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings; R.A. Dickey would break this mark by pitching 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in 2012. As in 1969, the Mets unexpectedly won the NL East title—once again overtaking the Cubs, whom they had trailed this time by as many as nine games—on the strength of the pitching of Koosman, Seaver and the previous year's NL Rookie of the Year, Jon Matlack. This comeback would give rise to two slogans: Tug McGraw’s “Ya Gotta Believe!” and manager Yogi Berra’s “It ain’t over 'til it’s over.”

In Game Three of the NLCS against the Cincinnati Reds, Koosman pitched a complete-game, 9–2 victory in a game headlined by Pete Rose's altercation with Mets' shortstop Bud Harrelson. The victory gave the Mets a 2-1 lead in the NLCS; they won the pennant two days later in five games.

Koosman was the winning pitcher in Game Five of the World Series against the defending champion Oakland Athletics, holding Oakland scoreless for 6⅓ innings. This victory gave the Mets a 3-2 lead in the Series; however, Oakland would win the next two games to repeat as World Champions.

Read more about this topic:  Jerry Koosman, New York Mets

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