50th Anniversary of the 1969 Mets: Bud Harrelson's Three RBI's Lead Mets & Gary Gentry (2-0) To Win In Philly

50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets"

Tuesday April 15th 1969: Gil Hodges Mets were 3-5 as they were on a four game losing street, having left Shea Stadium getting swept by the current NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Many thought the same old Mets this early on in the year. After losing the first game of their first road trip, the Mets were at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia to take on Bob Skinner's 2-6 Phillies.

Today it would be the Mets All Star short stop, Bud Harrelson, usually known for his outstanding defense that would be the hitting star. Three hits, three RBIs & a run scored.

The Mets sent Gary Gentry to the mound, after earning a win in his debut five days earlier, going up against the Phillies Chris Short. Short was a 19 games winner (19-13) in 1968 & a twenty game winner three years earlier in 1966. In his 15 year career, he would win 17 or more games four times, being one of the leagues better pitchers in the sixties. 

Short ranks fourth all time among Phillies pitchers in wins as well as strike outs. On October 2md, 1965 he struck out 18 Mets in 15 shut out innings at Shea Stadium but earned no decision, as the game ended in a tie after 18 innings.

Starting Lineups

In the home 1st, after a single & a walk, Deron Johnson's two out base hit made it 1-0 Phils. Short allowed just one hit into the 5th inning. In the top of the 5th, Rookie Amos Otis singled to center & Ron Swoboda doubled. 

After Jerry Grote grounded out, Bud Harrelson singled to left field bring in Otis & Swoboda, as the Mets took a 2-1 lead. Tommie Agee ten singled to center bringing in Harrelson, making it 3-1.

As Genrty entered the 6th, he was greeted with a leadoff HR to Don Money. In the home 7th, Tony Taylor singled & was forced on Johnny Briggs grounder. Dick Allen doubled, and in one of the biggest plays of the day, Mets Outfielder Rod Gaspar threw Briggs out at home plate. But next, Johnny Callison singled to tie the game at three.

Gary Wagner was now pitching for the Phils, in the top of the 8th, Ken Boswell & Cleon Jones both singled. Amos Otis then reached on a Dick Allen error. With two outs, Ron Swoboda & Jerry Grote both grounded out weakly as runners were thrown out at the plate both times. 

But then the hitting hero of the day, Bud Harrelson singled bringing in the go ahead run. It was Harrelson's third hit on the day. Ed Kranepool would then double bringing in Swoboda & Grote making it 6-3. 

Cal Koonce finished off the Phils with two perfect innings, earning his second save of the year. It wasn't beautiful but Gentry earned his second win of the year, allowing three runs on eight hits with five Ks & four walks in seven innings.

Mets Notes: At this early point in the season, Bud Harrelson had a .423 on base %. Ken Boswell & Cleon Jones were batting over .400.


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