Remembering Mets History (1969) The Mets Win their 100th Game 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. It was their last series before the post season was to begin. Fitting enough, they were closing out the season at Wrigley Field in Chicago. 

The Cubs who were the heavy favorite to win the NL East at the beginning of the season. The team that featured four future Hall of Famers in Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo & Ferguson Jenkins held a commanding ten game lead over the Mets in mid-August. 

Manager Leo Durocher worked his regulars too hard playing them every day & it began to wear them down. But mainly because the Mets had the best pitching in baseball & Manager Gil Hodges had his team playing to the best of their abilities. Everyone contributed in some way to the Mets winning as the club went 38-11 since that time on August 13th when they were ten games back.

Now the Cubs were nine games behind the Amazing's in second place with a fine 91-70 record. But there was no wild card back in 1969 so second place got you nothing.

The Mets were going for another milestone in this two-game set, as one win would give them 100 victories for the season. Today 10,136 fans came to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley, as Jerry Koosman (17-9) took on the Cubs Ken Holtzman (17-13).



In the bottom of the 1st, Koos was not at his best, he served up back-to-back Cub base hits followed by a Ron Santo sac fly to make it 1-0. Then Ernie Banks double made it 2-0 Chicago.

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, Ken Holtzman walked Mets catcher Jerry Grote & gave up a single to Ed Charles. After a sacrifice bunt by Jerry Koosman, Cleon Jones was walked intentionally to load the bases. Bud Harrelson then singled up the middle bringing in two Mets runs, putting New York up 3-2.

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 to right field. 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, after striking out Don Young, the Mets reliever Nolan Ryan had control issues. He walked Willie Smith & Don Kessinger, then gave up a RBI single to Paul Popovich, bringing the Cubs within a run. 

Manager Gil Hodges took out Ryan & brought in rookie Jack DiLauro. Although DiLauro got Billy Williams to ground out, Don Kessinger scored to tie the game back up at five.


Ron Taylor came on to pitch & got the Mets to the 12th with two scoreless innings. Phil Regan took the Cubs that far as well.

In the 12th inning, former Met, Dick Selma was now pitching for Chicago, giving up a leadoff double to Bud Harrelson. 

Harrelson advanced to third on Tommie Agee's ground out. Art Shamsky then delivered what was the game winning hit, with 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.

Comments

Great recap. Great job as always.

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