May 8, 2020

Remembering Mets History: (1970) Gary Gentry Tosses One Hitter At Wrigley Field

Wednesday May 13th 1970: A small crowd of just over 9,000 came out to Wrigley Field in Chicago, to see the reigning World Champion Mets (16-16) just one & one half game behind Leo Durocher's first place Cubs (16-13).

The starting pitchers were New Jersey's own; Bill Hands (5-1) for the Cubs, against the Mets Gary Gentry (3-1).

The young Gentry was overlooked on a staff that featured Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman & Nolan Ryan. But Gentry had a fine rookie year in 1969 & some fine outings in his years with the Mets. This day was one of them.

Starting Lineups

Hands began the game striking out the side in the 1st inning. Gentry started off well too, cruising into the third inning when he struck out the side. He got some run support as Art Shamsky hit a solo HR making it 1-0 Mets. Gentry struck out two more in the 4th inning & then helped his own cause in the top of the 5th inning, as he drove a single to left field scoring Wayne Garrett to make it 2-0.

In the Cubs 5th, they got their first base runner as Ron Santo drew a walk, ending any chance for a perfect game. But the no hitter was still in tact, looming in the air, especially when Johnny Callison grounded into a double play & Ernie Banks grounded out to end that 5th inning.

The Mets added two more runs in the 7th, as Mike Jorgensen singled & was brought in when Wayne Garrett's tripled to center. He then scored as Jerry Grote singled to left field.

The Cubs went down quietly in the 6th & 7th innings, with three ground ball outs, a pop out, a fly out, as well as striking out the pitcher.

Gentry took his no hitter into the 8th inning. First he got Ron Santo & Johnny Callison to both fly out. He was now just four outs away from the no hitter.

But then future Hall of Famer;
Ernie Banks singled to left field, breaking up the no hit bid. The few Cubs fans on hand cheered, as Gentry patted his glove & moved on.

He got Jimmie Hall to fly out & ended the inning. In the 9th, he hit one batter, but retired the other three easily, as Glen Beckert flew out to end the game. 

Gentry went on to finish the complete game one hit shut out, striking out seven & walking just the one.

It was the fifth one hitter in Mets history, Nolan Ryan had tossed one a moth earlier & in just two days later Tom Seaver would toss his second one hitter. The Mets have had 38 one hitters thrown in team history.

In 1970 Gentry went 9-9 with a 3.68 ERA, striking out 134 batters & walking 86 in 188 innings pitched. He tossed two shut outs & had five complete games with one save in 35 appearances (29 starts). In 1971 He would throw his second Mets One Hit game.

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