Aug 17, 2009

Today In Mets History: 1969- Mets Sweep Back to Back Doubleheaders

August 16/17, 1969: Back in the heat of the Summer of '69 as the Woodstock concert was going on in Upstate New York, back in Queens the 2nd place Mets were taking some giant steps forward. Although still 9 1/2 games back of the Cubs, the Mets were eyeing Gil Hodges 1st goal & that was to win 85 games.

The last place Padres rolled into Shea Stadium for a weekend of back to back double headers. Music all weekend at Woodstock, Mets winning baseball all weekend at Shea.

Saturday Game one: Tom Seaver was his Cy Young self again throwing 8 innings of shutout ball allowing only four Padre hits & 2 walks as he won his major league leading 17th of the year. It was the most of Tom's career at that point. He tired in the eighth and Ron Taylor was brought in to close the door with a perfect 9th & his 11th save.

The Met bats didn't exactly help much but Tommie Agee drove in Bud Harrelson with a single in the 5th inning. A guy named Bobby Pfeil inserted in the line up at third base, drove in one of his 10 Mets career RBIs in the seventh inning. (The reserve infielder Pfeil, played in 62 games for the Mets in 1969 hitting .232.)

Nightcap: Another pitchers duel in which 5 Pardre pitchers held the Mets down to only four hits. Jim McAndrew held the Pad's down to only one run on 3 hits over seven innings, while striking out seven, earning his 4th victory. Tug McGraw came on to earn his 8th save pitching the last two frames.

In the 4th inning Cleon Jones launched his 12th HR of the year to tie the game. Then in a crazy chess match between Gil Hodges & Preston Gomez in the seventh inning, Jerry Grote drove in the winning run. The inning saw three pitching changes & three pinch hitters. With all the maneuvers Ron Swoboda led off and reached on an error, Bud Harrelson was intentionally walked & with 2 out Grote singled. And the crowd roared............

Sunday was a Shea classic; Banner Day" & another twin bill sweep for the Mets.

Game one: The Mets won another squeaker 3-2, as Jerry Koosman came out and threw a complete game five hit shutout . No need to use the bullpen as Kooz sailed along striking out 5 & walking only 2 earning his 10th win of the year (10-8). The Mets were down 2-0 into the 5th, when Harrelson & Clendenon both singled off Joe Neikro. Then catcher Duffy Dyer hit his 2nd HR of the year to put the Mets ahead for good 3-2. (Dyer would only hit 3 HRs all season).

In the night cap the Mets handed the woeful Padres their 10th loss in a row & fourth in two days at Shea. Don Cardwell got the start and didn't allow any runs through seven innings pitched. Cal Koonce started the 8th with a 3-0 lead but exited after giving up two runs. Ron Taylor the Mets ace of the bullpen in '69, saved it with two scoreless innings. his 12th save of the year.

With a scoreless game in the bottom of the 7th, Ed Kranepool singled, Al Weis came in to run for him, then Jerry Grote walked. Bud Harrelson tripled to the deepest part of centerfield as both runs scored for a 2-0 lead. J.C. Martin pinch hit and scored Harrelson with a sac fly.

The Mets started a six game winning streak and a twelve out of fourteen stretch taking them to the end of August. They were getting very hot and everyone was contributing to get wins. The Miracle was gaining momentum.

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