Remembering Mets History (1971): Second String Catcher Duffy Dyer's Two Walk Off Hit Games

Sunday June 20th, 1971: On this Father's Day doubleheader, a big crowd of 51,134 came out to Shea Stadium for a matchup of Gil Hodges second place Mets (37-26) & Frank Lucchesi's last place Philadelphia Phillies (26-39). The Phillies would lose 95 games that season.

Less than two weeks earlier the Mets had been tied for first place, now just 2.5 games back, but they would not top the East again this season. Things looked good a few days ahead, as they won 8 of 10 games but then a horrible July start saw them lose 16 of 19 games.

 In the first game of this matinee twin bill, Gil Hodges sent Nolan Ryan to the mound to face the Phils' Barry Lersch.

Nolan Ryan had a wild 1st inning; he gave up a leadoff single then walked the next two batters to load the bases. But Ryan then struck out Willie Montanez, Oscar Gamble & Ron Stone to get out of the inning. 

He retired the next eight batters, walked two more then got John Vukovich to fly out to end that inning.

In the bottom of the 1st, Bud Harrelson led off with a double to left field. Young Mike Jorgensen who had grown up in Queens, then hit a two run HR making it 2-0. His third HR of the year. 

Later in the 3rd, Jorgensen led off the inning with a base hit to left field, Art Shamsky then connected for a two run HR making it 4-0 Mets. It was his 4th HR of the year.

In the top of the 6th, Ryan had a rough time. He faced 12 batters giving up six runs, with six hits & three walks. 

He gave up back-to-back HRs to Oscar Gamble & Willie Montanez. Then RBI singles to Denny Doyle & Tim McCarver. McCarver had two hits in the inning.

Overall, Ryan struck out seven & walked seven. His control issues drove Gil Hodges crazy. Ron Taylor came on in relief with the Mets behind 6-4. 

The game went to the bottom of the 9th with the Mets down 6-4. Ron Taylor & Tug McGraw had held down the Phillies in the last three innings. 

The Mets immediately got to reliever Bucky Brandon as Tim Foli, Dave Marshall & Bud Harrelson all singled. With the bases loaded, Don Hahn then singled bringing in Marshall & Foli to tie the game at six.

Pinch hitter, Duffy Dyer then came up & delivered the
game winning, walk off single delighting the Father's Day crowd as the Mets came from behind to win it 7-6. 

Trivia: Tug McGraw earned win to go to 5-3. He would have one of his best years in 1971 going 11-4 with 8 saves posting a 1.70 ERA. He struck out a career high 109 batters in 111 innings in 51 appearances.


Tuesday July 27th, 1971: On this warm summer evening, the Mets (52-47) hosted Red Schoendienst's St. Louis Cardinals (55-48) in front of 35,597 fans at Shea Stadium. 

Tonight, Tom Seaver took the mound against Chris Zachary.  

In 1971 Seaver would win twenty games (20-10) lead the NL in ERA 1.76 & strike outs with a career high 289. Chris Zachary would go 3-10 with a 5.32 ERA spending time between AAA & St. Louis.

Red Schoendienst would manage the Cardinals for 14 years going 1041 -955, winning two pennants. In 1971, the Cards won 90 games finishing second to the eventual World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates by seven games.

In the top of the 3rd, St. Louis pitcher Chris Zachary led off with a base hit. He advanced on Lou Brock's ground out. Then Matty Alou singled, bringing in Zachary for the Cards first run. 

In the 4th, St. Louis catcher Ted Simmons doubled to left field. Seaver struck out Joe Torre (the 1971 NL MVP) & Luis Melendez around Simmons. But Ted Sizemore doubled making it 2-0 Cardinals.

The Mets answered in the home 4th, as Cleon Jones hit a two out double. Ed Kranepool then singled bringing in Jones making it a 2-1 game. 

Seaver retired 113 of the next 14 batters, pitching eight innings, allowing the two runs on six hits, striking out seven. Danny Frisella pitched a scoreless 9th holding it to a 2-1 score. 

Chris Zachary held his own, pitching into the 9th inning & getting the first out. Next Tommie Agee & Cleon Jones both singled. Don Hahn was brought in to run for Agee as he was hurting. 

The Cards manager Red Schoendienst brought in reliever Frank Linzy to pitch.

Ed Kranepool then delivered with a base hit to left field, bringing in Hahn with the tying run. It was Kranepool's second RBI of the game. Mets outfielder, Dave Marshall then flew out for the second out.

Duffy Dyer who was 0-2 with a walk came up & the catcher delivered a single to right field, scoring Cleon Jones with the walk off winning run. The Mets won it 3-2. Danny Frisella won it to get to 5-2. 

Trivia: That year the Mets had one of the league's best bullpens with Tug McGraw & Danny Frisella. Frisella would go 8-5 with 12 saves & a 1.99 ERA in 53 appearances. He struck out 93 batters in 90.2 innings.


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