Remembering Mets History (1965) Johnny Lewis Spoils Jim Maloney's No Hitter

Monday June 14, 1965: On this evening Casey Stengel's New York Mets (21-39) were on the road at Cincinnati to play Dick Sisler's Reds (31-26) who were tied for third place in the NL. 

The Mets were last in a field of ten, already 17 games out of first place.

The Mets were on a ten-game losing streak, having been swept at home by the Dodgers & Giants, as well as having lost three of four in Pittsburgh. The team were obviously struggling to find ways to win & any thrill was welcomed.

A small crowd of just 5,989 showed up to see the Mets, Frank Lary (1-1) go up against the Reds ace Jim Maloney (5-2).  

Frank Lary came to the Mets in 1964, he went 2-3 then was traded to the Milwaukee Braves for Denis Ribrant. 

His contract was then purchased by the Mets again, for 1965. Frank Lary who was once known as the AL New York team Killer, in his years pitching in Detroit as he went 27-10 against them from 1955-1961. Lary was in his final season of a 12-year career where he went 128-116 with a 3.49 ERA. 

Lary had led the AL in innings pitched & complete games three times, starts twice wins once (1956). Lary also hit 97 batters in his career, leading the league in that category four times. He was a two-time twenty game winner & won 15 or more games, five times. 

Jim Maloney was one of the hardest throwing pitchers of his era. He would throw two official no-hitters, along with this one tonight, which at that time was considered a no-hitter until a rule change many years later.

Maloney had won 23 games in 1963 (23-7) and would win 15 games or more for six straight seasons. 

In 1965 Maloney was an All Star, a twenty-game winner with a 20-9 record. He was second on the Reds staff to Sammy Ellis who won 22 games. Tonight, would be a record setting day for Maloney, as he set down the Mets with a no hitter through nine innings.

In the 2nd inning, Maloney walked the Mets Ed Kranepool, the only base runner the Mets would have thru the first nine innings of play. In this incredible performance, Maloney would strike out 18 Mets batters, 17 of them through the first nine innings. 

Trivia: Maloney is one of seven pitchers to strike out 18 batters in an extra inning game, with Nolan Ryan doing it three times.

With the exception of the 6th inning, Maloney had at least one strike out in every inning. He struck out the side in both the 3rd & the 8th innings. Mets batters Billy Cowan, Charley Smith, Ron Swoboda & Johnny Lewis would all so down on strikes three times each.

The Mets pitcher, Frank Lary did a good job himself. Lary shut out the Reds through eight innings, allowing just five hits, with three strike outs & a walk. 

Mets pitcher, Larry Bearnarth came on for the Mets, in the 9th inning. He would pitch three scoreless innings himself, allowing two hits with a strike out & a walk.

In the top of the 11th inning, the Mets Johnny Lewis led off with a HR, spoiling the no hitter & the shutout as well, it was 1-0 Mets. Maloney did allow one more hit in the inning to short stop Roy McMillan. 

Bearnarth got the first two outs of the home 11th, then allowed a single to Frank Robinson. But he then got Gordy Coleman to ground out to McMillan at short to end the game, as he earned the 1-0 win. Maloney taking a heartbreaking loss.

Trivia: Maloney would pitch a no hitter in 1969 against the Houston Astros. The next day the Astros Don Wilson would toss a no hitter against Maloney's Reds.

Johnny Lewis spent three years with the Mets, with 1965 being is best year, 15 HRs 15 doubles 45 RBIs while batting .245.

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