Wednesday July 21st 1965: The tenth place 1965 New York Mets headed by Casey Stengel, were already 25 games out of first place at this point. The Mets (30-63) headed to Forbes Field in Pittsburgh to face Harry Walkers sixth place Pirates. Future 1969 Met; Don Cardwell (8-3) was the Pirate pitcher taking on the Mets; Al Jackson (4-12).
This game was all about good pitching. Cardwell went the distance, giving up just five hits & a walk, striking out two. In the top of the 5th inning, Ron Swoboda singled to left field. He was forced out at second on Chuck Hiller’s ground out. Hiller advanced on Chris Cannizzaro’s ground out. The Mets pitcher; Al Jackson came up and grounded to second base, there Bill Mazeroski booted the play, Jackson was safe but more importantly Hiller scored. It was the only run of the entire game.
As good as Cardwell was, Jackson was better.
Al Jackson had himself a perfect game going until the 7th inning, then with one out he walked Roberto Clemente. Next another future 1969 Met; Donn Clendenon grounded into a double play to end the inning. Jackson entered the 8th inning with a no hitter & a one run lead. The first batter Bill Mazeroski grounded out to Charley Smith at third base.
The next batter was future Hall of famer; Willie Stargell. Stargell singled to left field, spoiling Jackson’s no hitter. Stargell would be a Mets nemesis his entire career hitting the most HRs against the team than any one.
Jackson got Jim Pagleroni & Gene Alley to ground out, ending the inning.
In the 9th Ozzie Virgil led off with a single but Jackson then retired the rest of side in order, completing the two hit shutout. Jackson walked just the one batter & struck out three. Jackson would win eight games (tied for the team lead with Jack Fisher) & lose twenty in 1965 (3rd most in the NL) with a 4.34 ERA for the tenth place Mets (50-112).