But what made this series even bigger was it meant something in the pennant race.
On this day the Dodgers were 1969 Mets dodgers
in sole possession of first place, holding a half game lead over the Cincinnati Reds. The Giants were just one game out & the Atlanta Braves one game & half behind.
The stadium was packed, as 50,460 paid came out to Shea to see Jerry Koosman take on Bill Singer. The last time the Dodgers came to town earlier in the season, the Mets swept them.
In the home 2nd, Wayne Garrett walked & then Ron Swoboda put the Mets on the board with his fourth HR of the year, making it 2-0. In the Mets 3rd, Tommie Agee & Cleon Jones both singled.
Art Shamsky drove a base hit to right, scoring Agee. Bill Singer then threw a passed ball by catcher Jeff Torborg, allowing Jones to score from third, giving the Mets a 4-0 lead.
Torborg would drive in Wes Parker with base hit to put L.A. on the board in the 4th.
Koosman rolled along until the 7th inning he gave up two singles & balked, causing Gil Hodges to take him out of the game in favor of Tug McGraw. Willie Davis & Wes Parker both singled, bringing the Dodgers within a run.
In the 8th inning, Tommie Agee singled, was sacrificed to second & went to third on a wild pitch from new pitcher, Pete Mikkelsen.
The leagues leading hitter, Cleon Jones singled with his second hit of the day, raising his average to .354. The Mets now led 5-3. Tug McGraw earned the save, his ninth of the year, retiring the side in order in the 9th.
Saturday August 23rd, 1969:
This matinee at Shea brought 40,974 paid to see Don Cardwell take on Jim Bunning, who had thrown his classic 1964 Fathers Day no hitter at Shea while with the Phillies.
In the home 2nd, Ken Boswell walked & stole second. Jerry Grote then singled him home for the first run. In the 4th, Art Shamsky hit his 11th HR of the year to lead off the inning.
Cardwell got the Mets to the 8th inning with the 2-0 lead. After retiring the first two batters, Manny Mota singled & Willie Davis then tripled & scored on an outfield Mets error to tie the game.
Trivia: Willie Davis would hit over ten triples in a season five times & led the league twice.
The Mets Ron Taylor & the Dodgers' Jim Brewer took the game to the 9th inning. In the bottom of the 9th, Donn Clendenon drew a pinch hit walk.
With two outs, catcher Jerry Grote doubled into the left centerfield gap, Clendenon scored all the way from first for another exciting Mets win.
Sunday August 24th, 1969: A large crowd of 48,435 paid filled Shea for the series finale & a hopeful Mets sweep. The Dodgers sent their young star, Don Sutton to the mound to face off against Gary Gentry. Gentry who was in a rut, hadn't won a game since July 15th against three losses.
In a crazy 2nd inning, Sutton gave up a pair of singles & a pair of walks, resulting in the Mets first run. In the top of the 2nd, L.A. got the run right back with a Ted Sizemore double scoring Willie Crawford.
In the 4th, Sutton gave up singles to Swoboda & Jerry Grote. Gary Gentry then reached on a rare Wes Parker error, which allowed Grote to score as the Mets took a 3-2 lead.
In the 5th, the pitcher Sutton singled to lead off. Gentry threw a wild pitch & then after getting the next two outs, Willie Davis singled to tie the game.
In the 6th inning, Jerry Grote singled & after two Met outs, scored on Tommie Agee's double. It was Agee's 21st double of the year, second on the club to Cleon Jones who hit his 23rd double in this game as well.
With a 4-3 lead, the Mets Cleon Jones & Art Shamsky led off the 7th with base hits. Manager Walt Alston took Sutton out & the Dodgers once again had Jim Brewer on the mound.
Ken Boswell got aboard, loading the bases, when Brewer threw wild, after fielding his bunt attempt.
Ron Swoboda then doubled (his 7th of the year) bringing in Jones & Shamsky.
Grote followed with his third hit of the game, an RBI single bringing in Swoboda, giving the Mets a 7-4 lead which they will hold on to for the win.
Cal Koonce pitched three scoreless innings, to earn the win for the Mets. It was his sixth straight victory after losing his first three games.
The sweep of the series was the Mets ninth win in their last ten games. They were now 21-5 against California teams & had won seven of nine from L.A.