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Braves Top Mets in 10, 4-3

Apr. 15, 1963 - Defeat in any form is painful. But the type of cat-and-mouse 4-3 defeat inflicted upon the New York Mets today in Milwaukee was downright sadistic. If there is a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Cellar-Dwellers, it should launch an immediate investigation. In yesterday’s contest, the Mets were tortured only a little by the Braves in a 10-inning 1-0 defeat in which they were unable to mount any offense. Today, though, they had actually rallied in the late innings, taken a 3-2 lead, and were ready to enjoy their first victory through the efforts of Tracy Stallard, apparently the good relief pitcher the club lacked last year. Stallard had two out and nobody on in the ninth, having struck out four of the last five men. He had just made world-class sluggers Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews look foolish. Then, shockingly, without warning — but probably not without premonition — came a single by pinch hitter Mack Jones and a home run by Lee Maye, and the game was lost. The Mets could not believe it. Half a dozen of them continued to sit in the dugout, stunned and staring, as the other players slowly walked in from the field. The slowest walker was Stallard, who came in and sat among them. Finally, one by one, they drifted into the passageway leading into the clubhouse — but Stallard remained, sitting alone, his head bowed. Stallard is the young man who served up Roger Maris’s 61st home run in the last game of the 1961 season. It was a distinction all pitchers had labored to avoid and one Stallard is apparently stuck with since there’s been little else to identify him during an undistinguished career. Today, he had to swallow the knowledge that he had shaken off two requests from his catcher, Choo Choo Coleman, for a curveball before throwing the fastball that Maye crushed. After about 10 minutes, Stallard disappeared into the tunnel.


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