Sep 28, 2019

50th Anniversary of the 1969 Mets: The Mets 100th Win of the Season

Wednesday October 1st: 1969: Gil Hodges New York Mets had already clinched the NL Eastern Division & today were winding down the regular season, in their last series before the post season. It was fitting they closed out the year at Wrigley Field in Chicago. 

The Cubs who were favorite to win the East & at one time held a commanding 10 game lead over the Mets in mid August, were now nine games behind the Amazings in second place with a fine 91-70 record. But there was no wild card back in 1969.

The Mets were going for another milestone on this two game set, one win would give them 100 victories for the season.

 In this game 10,136 fans came to the Friendly Confines, as Jerry Koosman took on Ken Holtzman.


Starting Lineups



In the bottom of the 1st Koos was not on, back to back Cub base hits followed by a Ron Sant sac fly & Ernie Banks double made it 2-0 Chicago.

But in the top of the 2nd, Ron Swoboda & Jerry Grote both singled. A rare error by short stop Don Kessinger, off the bat of The Glider, Ed Charles, led to the first Mets run.

In the 4th, Holtzman walked Jerry Grote & gave up a single to Ed Charles. After a sacrifice, Cleon Jones was walked intentionally. Bud Harrelson then singled up the middle bringing in two Mets runs, putting New York up 3-2.

The Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks
In the 4th, the Cubs Don Young homered to tie it up at three. Koosman would be done for the day, resting for the post season. He would finish the 1969 season at 17-9 with a 2.28 ERA. Tug McGraw came on for two innings of scoreless relief getting to the 8th inning, when Nolan Ryan came on to pitch.

In the top of the 9th, with the score still tied, Al Weis led off with a base hit off Holtzman. With one out Cleon Jones singled as well. 

After Bud Harrelson flew out, Tommie Agee doubled to right field bringing home both runners, making it 5-3 Mets.

But in the bottom of the 9th, Nolan Ryan had control issues. He walked two batters & gave up a single to Paul Popovich, bringing the Cubs within a run. Manager Gil Hodges took out Ryan & brought in Jack DiLauro. Although DiLauro got Billy Williams to ground out, Kessinger scored to tie the game back up at five.

The game went to the 12th inning. Former Met, Dick Selma was now pitching for Chicago, he served up a lead off double to Bud Harrelson. Harrelson advanced to third on Agee's ground out. Art Shamsky then delivered what was the game winning hit, an RBI single making it 6-5 Mets.

Bob Johnson came on for the Mets & although he gave up a double & a walk, closed the door on the Cubs, as the Mets won their 100th game of the season.

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