May 25, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1969) Ron Swoboda Helps Mets Sweep A Wrigley Field Twin Bill

Sunday May 4th 1969: In Chicago in May of 1969, Manager Leo Durocher, his Cubs & their fans were already talking World Series. They were fielding their best team since the turn of the century riding high in first place. The New York Mets came to an overflowing Wrigley Field crowd of over 40,000 for a Sunday afternoon double header.


In the first game  of the twin bill, Tom Seaver (2-2) pitched a complete game, allowing  just two runs on nine hits, striking out seven Cubs, lowering his ERA to 2.28. 

The losing pitcher was the Cubs, New Jersey born pitcher; Bill Hands. Hands gave up three runs on six hits, in his five innings pitched. 

In the 4th inning, Ed Kranepool hit his third HR of the year, tying the game at one. The top of the 5th was classic Mets Gil Hoges small ball. Tom Seaver walked & Rod Gaspar singled. Then Ken Boswell singled to bring home Seaver making it 2-1 Mets.

Next the hero of the day, Ron Swoboda hit a sac fly bringing in Gaspar in what turned out to be the winning run.

In the nightcap, the Mets Tug McGraw  got the start against Dick Selma. McGraw was still a young pitcher & had not turned into the star reliever he would become known for. In the 1st inning, the Mets scored two quick runs. 

Rod Gaspar drew a lead off walk & Ken Boswell  brought him home on a base hit. Cleon Jones who was batting .400 at the time, drove Boswell home with his base hit.

But the pesky Cubs came right back with two in the bottom of the 1st inning, with RBI base hits from future Hall of Famers; Billy Williams & Ron Santo tying the game at 2-2.

The Mets were starting to become "The Amazing Mets" at this point, but had not proven anything yet, today they started sending the '69 Cubs a message. 

Tug McGraw, would go on to finish the game not allowing another run the rest of the way; striking out eight Cubs along the way. With this win, he would best his record to 3-0 on the season.

In the 7th inning, Ron Swoboda walked & reached second base on a Al Weis single. Then Cubs pitcher Dick Selma threw a wild pitch. Cubs catcher; Randy Hundley (Met Todd Hundley's father) went chasing it. Ron Swoboda, who was never known for his speed, rounded third & scored all the way from second base. That run was the difference in the game, as Swoboda was the hero again. 

The Mets gained two games in the standings and were now six games behind Chicago approaching the .500 mark.

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