Sep 17, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (2015) Mets Take First Game of September Subway Series Magic # Down to 8

Friday September 18th 2015: The first place New York Mets (83-63) hosted their cross town rivals, the A.L. New York club (80-66) in front of one of the largest crowds ever at Citi Field.

The Mets began the night eight games up on the Washington Nats with a magic number of 9.

The young Steven Matz, straight out of Long Island took the mound for the Mets tonight against Masahiro Tanaka. Mantz did not have his best stuff tonight, but he fought hard and after a shaky 1st inning where he allowed a run, he settled in to shut out the A.L. New Yorkers for the next five innings.

In the bottom of the 2nd, Lucas Duda connected for his 22nd HR of the year to tie up the game at one. It ended a long HR drought for Duda whom the Mets hope they could get going for the post season.

In the 6th Daniel Murphy hit a long HR to right center field, putting the Mets up  2-1. It was Murph's 12th HR of the year.

In the 7th inning, with Tanka gone on the losing end as pitcher of record. With Wilmer Flores on, Juan Uribe came in to pinch hit against Chasen Shreve and blasted a HR to right field. It was his 14th HR of the year & the Mets fourth pinch hit of the year.

In the home 8th a wild pitch to Lucas Duda scored Eric Young from third base to top off the Mets 5-1 victory.

Addison Reed pitched a scoreless 8th & Jeurys Familia had a shaky 9th loading the bases but allowed no one to score. Steven Matz got the win to go 4-0 and the Mets remained eight games in front of the Washington Nats, with 15 games left to play. The Mets magic number was now down to eight.

Sep 11, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1973) Tug McGraw Saves A Jon Matlack Win As Mets Move Within 2 1/2 Games of 1st Place

Wednesday September 12th, 1973: As the surging New York Mets were making their way to the N.L. Eastern title, tonight was another big game. Yogi Berra's Mets (70-75) moved within 2 1/2 games of first place as they went down the New Jersey Turnpike to Philadelphia, to take on Danny Ozark's last place Phillies (65-80).

Starting Lineups

Yogi Berra had his left hander Jon Matlack take the mound, Matlack had won five of his last eight games & was in the midst of a personal four game September win streak.

The Phillies went ahead as future Mets hitting instructor Bill Robinson doubled in a run the 2nd inning. In the Mets third inning, Wayne Garrett hit his 13th HR of the year a solo shot to lead off the inning.

The score remained tied until the 6th inning when John Milner hit his 22nd HR of the year. The Mets sophomore slugger was the team leader in HRs.

In the 8th after Rusty Staub had doubled, Milner had an infield single, a throwing error caused the slow footed Staub to score the Mets third run, 3-1 New York.

After Mike Anderson hit a solo HR off Matlack, Manager Berra went to his ace out of the bullpen, leading fireman Tug McGraw. McGraw allowed two singles but ended the inning striking out a young Mike Schmidt & Tommy Hutton.

In the 9th he struck out Larry Bowa, got pinch hitter Terry Harmon to fly out & then struck out Billy Gra barkewitz to end the end with another Mets win. The win was Matlack's 13th 913-15) & the save was McGraw's 19th. The win was the Mets 15th in their last 22 games.

Sep 6, 2016

Legendary Mets Scout: Roy Partee (1962-1985)

Roy Robert Partee was born September 7, 1917 in Los Angeles, California. Partee would sign with the Boston Red Sox and make the major leagues in 1943. He got the job as the Sox main catcher, hitting .281 in 96 games, but had no power in his bat, not hitting a single HR.

In fact in 1090 career at bats he only hit two career HRs. The following season he was called for military duty to serve in World War II but was rejected due to a bad ankle.

He rejoined his team, & posted the 2nd best fielding percentage among catchers at .989. He hit both of his two career HRs while driving in 41 runs, but his average fell to .243. At the end of the year, he enlisted in the military on his own, in San Pedro California and served until the War ended. He came back to the Red Sox in 1946, & ended up losing his starting job to Hal Wagner. That year the Red Sox went to the World Series, but only went 1-10 playing in five games.

The Mad Dash: He is most famous for having Enos Slaughter slid past him in the so called “mad dash”. Slaughter was on first with tie score & two outs in the bottom of the 8th inning.

Harry Walker blasted a hit as Slaughter was attempting a steal, he ran all the way home and beat Johnny Pesky’s throw, sliding under Partee.

As a part time player he hit a career best .315, and after one more season was traded to the St. Louis Browns. He played 82 games in St. Louis, but hit only .203 wrapping up his brief 5 year playing career. He was traded to the A.L. New York team but did not play in the majors.

Retirement: Lifetime he hit .250 with 273 hits 2 HRs 114 RBIs & a .334 on base % in 367 lifetime games.

After his playing days, he managed in the California & Pacific Coast league into the end of the fifties. When the New York Mets were born, he came aboard as a scout and would play a huge part in signing many of the Mets young players for the next twenty three years.

Over the years he signed players like Bud Harrelson, Tug McGaw, Bobby Heise, Rick Aguilera, & Greg Jeffries just to name a few. Partee passed away in 2000 at the age of 83 in Eureka, California.

Sep 5, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1973) Seaver Ks Season High 13 & Mets Sweep A Twin Bill In Montreal

Tuesday September 4th, 1973: Yogi Berra's New York Mets were in 5th place, five & a half games out of first place, the only team behind them were the Philadelphia Phillies. That night, the Phils came to Shea Stadium as a small crowd of 13, 000 came to see Jim Lonborg (12-12) go up against Tom Seaver (15-8).

Tom Seaver was coming off two straight losing decisions, but tonight would be different. Tom Terrific pitched a complete game five hit, one run victory, blowing 13 Phillies away with strike outs. 

The 13Ks were Seaver's second highest single game total on the season. Seaver sent the Phillies Mike Schmidt down swinging three times & slugger Greg Luzinski down twice. 

Starting Lineups

The Mets started out with Wayne Garrett leading off with his 11th HR of the season. In the 3rd, Garrett doubled & scored when Felix Millan reached on an error. 

Then Rusty Staub walked & John Milner singled to left scoring Millan. Wayne Garrett Ed Kranepool then followed with a triple driving in two more runs & Jerry Grote's single made it 6-0.

The Mets never looked back adding another run in the 7th when reliever Mike Wallace threw a wild pitch to Wayne Garrett scoring Bud Harrelson from third base.

Wednesday September 5th, 1973: The next night 12,500 came to Shea Stadium to see Ray Sadecki (3-3) get a start against Wayne Twitchell (13-7). Sadecki had started the year as a reliever but since early July, had been in the rotation going 3-3. Tonight Sadecki was at his best, he pitched three hit shutout ball into the 6th inning.

In the 6th he walked Greg Luzinski & Mike Schmidt, that being his fifth walk of the night. Manager Yogi Berra came out, as Sadecki was relieved by Tug McGraw.

With two outs McGraw walked Billy Grabarkewitz but got pinch hitter Cesar Tovar to fly out ending the inning. McGraw would roll along and finish up the game, shutting down the Phillies for a combined shut out win with Sadecki. McGraw went 3.1 innings, allowing just one hit & one walk, striking out two while earning his 16th save of the year. McGraw who had struggled all year, was finally pitching well over the past two weeks. With strong starting pitching a now McGraw holding able to shut teams down in the final innings, the Mets were a tough team to beat.

On this night the offense put up four runs, with Rusty Staub starting it off with his 12th HR of the year, coming in the 1st inning. A crazy 5th inning had Twitchell walk Wayne Garrett & John Milner. A Mike Schmidt error had Felix Millan reach safely & then a wild pitch to Ed Kranepool scored Garrett. Garrett added a two run triple down the right field line in the 6th, scoring Jerry Grote & Bud Harrelson to make it 4-0.

Friday September 7th, 1973 (game one): Friday night brought the Mets to Canada to face off against the Montreal Expos for a twi-night doubleheader. Gene Mauch's Expos were one half game ahead of the Mets at this point, so this was a big series at Parc Jary. The Expos sent former Met prospect; Steve Renko (12-11) to the mound. Renko was one of the players traded away in June 1969 to acquire Donn Clendenon. The Mets sent Jon Matlack (11-15) to the mound, who was much better than his record showed.

This was a classic pitcher's duel, with Matlack going to the 9th inning, shutting out the Expos to just five hits, while striking out seven along the way. Renko gave up a leadoff HR to Wayne Garrett in the 1st inning, Garrett's 12th HR of the year. The third baseman had now settled in the Met line up as the clubs main third baseman.

This was after the whole Jim Fregosi debacle had ended in early summer. The Red headed third baseman would hit 16 HRs on the year, second best on the club. It would be the only run Renko allowed & one of just six hits, but not enough to beat Matlack in this game.

Both pitchers did struggle with control, as the each walked six batters. In the 9th Matlack walked Pepe Mangual & former Met Mike Jorgensen with two outs. Tug McGraw was called in to put out the fire, as closers in those days were called "firemen". He did so by getting former Met Ron Hunt to ground out to the mound.

Friday September 5th, 1973 (game two): In the nightcap, the Mets sent Jerry Koosman to the mound to face off against Mike Torrez. Both pitchers did well giving up a run each, but were long gone when this game ended in the 15th inning. Koosman gave up an RBI single to Bob Bailey in the 3rd inning, he would pitch six innings allowing four hits.

As for Torrez he would make his own trouble by walking Met batters. Walks would always be a problem for Torrez in his long career, something that drove Expo Manager; Gene Mauch crazy & got Torrez him traded. On this night, in the 7th inning, after Jerry Grote reached on an error with two outs, he then walked Don Hahn & Bud Harrelson.

Mauch let him pitch to Ken Boswell who he also walked tying up the game. Mauch was furious, he went to his bullpen & brought in work horse Mike Marshall, who was one of the best relievers in the game in the early seventies. Marshall would pitch 8.1 innings and give up eleven hits before taking the loss in the top of the 15th.

In the inning John Milner singled & Ed Kranepool doubled but Milner was held up at third. Don Hahn came through with a sac fly to put New York up 2-1. Marshall then walked Bud Harrelson & threw a wild pitch advancing the runners. The batter was Tug McGraw batting for himself after pitching four innings, my how the game has changed. The logic was he's the best relief pitcher we have, he stays in the game.

As fate would have it, McGraw drove a base hit to right field scoring Kranepool & Harrelson. The Mets dugout went crazy.

In the 15th McGraw did allow a run, and got into some trouble. After retiring the first batter he gave up a single & a walk, then Mike Jorgensen doubled home a run.

Ray Sadecki came in to replace the tired McGraw & struck out Pepe Mangual & got Felipe Alou to fly out ending the game, with the Expos bases loaded. Tug McGraw earned his third win in two weeks (3-6) and the Mets jumped ahead of Montreal to fourth place just four games out of first place.