Apr 27, 2010

Mets Sweep a Twin Bill From the Dodgers (1971)

I had to go here……before last night’s game it had been 39 years since the Mets swept a doubleheader from the Dodgers at home. Let take a look back- It was August 28th 1971, Paul McCartney’s “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey” was just about to take over the #1 spot on the charts over the Bee Gees “You Can’t Mend A Broken Heart”. Carole Kings “Tapestry” album was enjoying it's three month run at the top of the albums charts, after knocking out the Stones “Sticky Fingers”.

There had been a rainout on Friday night so it was a Saturday afternoon double header at Shea starting at 2;15 PM. Gil Hodges’ Mets were in 4th place 10 ½ games back at .500 (64-64) & Walter Alston’s Dodgers came to town in second place 7 ½ games back (69-62). The Mets exploded in the 1st inning scoring six runs off L.A.’s Claude Osteen, as the first seven batters reached base. Teddy Martinez & Ken Boswell led off with singles, then Cleon Jones walked to load the bases. Don Clendenon followed with a base hit scoring two runs. Clendenon added a two run HR in the 2nd inning, giving him a four RBI day. To close out the 1st inning, Tommie Agee, Bob Aspromonte & Jerry Grote all added RBI hits. Tom Seaver took the mound with the early lead & went the distance allowing only 2 runs on 8 hits while striking out six and lowering his season ERA to 1.96. Seaver would finish the year leading the league in ERA for the second straight year at 1.76. Teddy Martinez had a big first game that day with 3 hits, including a double, 2 runs scored & a stolen base.

By the 2nd game, 43,000 plus had piled into Shea to watch Gary Gentry & Don Sutton go at it in classic pitcher’s duel. Sutton shut the Mets out for 7 innings, striking out six, then getting pulled for a pinch hitter in the 8th. Gentry also pitched 7 shutout innings striking out six Dodgers. In the top of the 8th, catcher Duke Sims doubled and was then replaced by pinch runner, rookie Bobby Valentine. Tom Haller (pinch hitting for Sutton) singled home Bobby V. making it 1-0 Dodgers.

In the Mets 8th Dodger pitcher Jim Brewer retired the first two Mets, before catcher Duffy Dyer doubled. Gil Hodges also had a pinch hitter of his own come through, as Tommie Agee singled to tie the game. Tug McGraw retired the side in order in the top of the 9th, then with two out in the bottom of the 9th, Cleon Jones hit a game winning walk off HR for the sweep. Quite a day & a happy recap at Shea……

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