50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets"
Today was a special day, as Mets fans were ecstatic that the Mets (34-28) were 3 1/2 games ahead of the reigning NL Champions St. Louis Cards (32-32). The Cards were in fact NL Champions for the past two seasons winning a World Series in 1967.
Quotes: When manager Red Schoendienst was asked if his teams difficulties could be related to complacency of being a two time champion, he said "No I don't think so. They've been trying hard. They feel they can win this thing. They've been hustling. It's just for a while we weren't able to put it all together".
Todays pitchers were Cardinals Hall of Famer, Steve Carlton going up against New York's Gary Gentry. In the 1st inning, Lou Brock singled & advanced to third, then Brooklyn native Joe Torre drove in the Cards first run with a base hit.
In the 3rd inning, Carlton was shaky, he gave up four straight Mets singles. Bud Harrelson & Tommie Agee, were first to get on. Then Cleon Jones who was batting .342 at the time, singled & drove in the first run. Next up the newest Met, Don Clendenon singled driving in his first Mets run. It was a 2-1 game.
The Mets struck again in the bottom of the 4th, the bottom of the order Jerry Grote & Al Weis both got aboard with base hits. Pitcher Gary Gentry bunted but the lead runner was erased.
Bud Harrelson then singled bringing in another run & knocking Carlton out of the game. Chuck Taylor came on to pitch. Tommie Agee then singled bringing in Gentry to make it 5-1 Mets.
Gary Gentry went on to earn his seventh win of the year (7-5). He struck out six, allowed one run on six hits with four walks. Cal Koonce came on in relief in the 9th inning to earn his fourth save of the year. The Nets won the first game 5-1.
Nightcap: The second game would be a real classic pitchers' duel. The Mets sent Jerry Koosman to the mound To face off against the Cards Mike Torrez.
The game was scoreless until the 7th inning, as both pitchers had their games in control. In the Mets 7th, with two outs Bud Harrelson tripled to centerfield. As the crowd began to stir up some excitement, Tommie Agee delivered a double, also to center. Harrelson scored in what was the only run of the game.
Koosman would go the distance, allowing seven hits with four walks. He struck out nine Cards in his shut out. Koosman would record six shut outs in 1969, fourth most in the NL. The sweep would put the Mets just five games behind the Chicago Cubs as the NL Champion Cards fell further back.