Koosman Wins 9th With Shutout

Filed under New York Mets
June 4, 1968

Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman (9-0) is the early front-runner for Rookie of the Year honors in the National League.
Jerry Koosman scattered seven hits over nine innings as the New York Mets defeated the Chicago Cubs, 2-0. Art Shamsky hit a two-run home run in the sixth to account for the game’s only runs.

The rookie Koosman earned a victory in his first major league appearance on April 16, 1967, and then did not win another game for the rest of the season. This season, however, Koosman cannot lose. He has won nine of his eleven starts, and completed seven of those starts. It has been an amazing season for the lefthander and for the Mets who stand at .500 at the latest point in a season in club history. Yesterday, Koosman stood toe-to-toe with last season’s Cy Young winner, Fergie Jenkins, and it was Jenkins who blinked with a mistake that Shamsky deposited onto Sheffield Avenue. And it is Koosman who is making the fans back in New York forget about last season’s rookie sensation, Tom Seaver. The Cubs came close in the fourth inning after Glenn Beckert and Billy Williams hit consecutive singles off Koosman. But, the cool Koosman from Minnesota induced Ron Santo to bounce into a double play, and Ernie Banks ended the inning with a fly out to left, stranding Beckert at third. Koosman revealed after the game that he received some help from another southpaw who was pretty good in his day, Sandy Koufax. The two spent considerable time talking at Shea Stadium recently. Koosman came away with a new grip on this curve ball. Sandy told him to hold the ball cross-seamed and to “choke” it more in the palm of his hand. There is not many outside of Shea Stadium who believe this rookie needs any further tutoring. These two clubs have two remaining games in the series before the Mets continue west to San Francisco and the Cubs will host the Atlanta Braves.

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