Aug 22, 2009

Today In Mets History: 1964- Willard Hunter Earns Both Wins In Twin Bill Sweep

August 23, 1964: The '64 Mets were on one of their hottest streaks of the season just coming off five straight & in the midst of nine wins in eleven games. In this twin bill sweep at Shea Stadium, Newark, New Jersey's own Willard Hunter earned both victories. Strangely Hunter only pitched a combined 1.2 innings in both games and would only win three games all year and four total in his Mets career.

In the first game Galen Cisco took the Mets into the 8th with a 1-1 score. Larry Bearneath pitched a perfect 9th. In the 10th Bill Wakefield gave up a single ^ a walk which got him the hook in favor of Hunter. Hunter got the last two outs of the inning easily, including getting Hall of Famer Billy Williams to ground out. In the bottom of the 10th, George Altman doubled, which led to two intentional walks to get to young Ed Kranepool. Krane delivered with an RBI game winning single bloop to left.

In the nightcap, Altman & Bobby Klaus both homered as did the Cubs Billy Williams. The game went into the 9th inning tied at 4-4. Hunter came in to pitch, and after three batters retired the side. The Mets, Klaus led off with a single off the Cubs Joe Amalfitano. After a Ron Hunt sacrifice, Amalfitano intentionally walked the next two batters to lead the bases. Jim Hickman popped up & then shortstop Charley Smith singled home the game winner. It was his second hit & RBI on the day, he had 20 RBIs all year.

Hunter got his second win of the day, he was now 3-1 with a 4.54 ERA. His next two decisions were both losses, he lost in the bottom of the 9th at Houston on September 19th & gave up a walk off HR to Dennis Menke at St. Louis during the last week of the season. He finished up 3-3 with 5 saves and a 4.41 ERA. Hunter had come over from the Dodgers with Charley Neal the previous year, he was out of the major leagues the next season, going 4-9 lifetime, 5 saves and a 5.68 ERA.

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