Saturday, June 29, 2019

Amazin' Date 6/29/1969: Tom Seaver Becomes Mets All-Time Leader in Wins

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #61: Sunday, June 29, 1969 - BR
Pittsburgh Pirates @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

Mets Salvage Series Finale Against Pirates

With Sunday's complete game victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates Tom Seaver becomes the New York Mets all-time leader in wins.  En route to career victory #44 Seaver yields three earned runs on six hits and four walks with ten strikeouts.  He improves his record to 12-3 on the season with a 2.57 ERA.  Tom Terrific also reaches double-digit strikeouts for the second time this season and the seventh time in his career.

The Mets provide Seaver with seven runs getting a pair of RBI each from Ed Charles and Cleon Jones.  Recently acquired Donn Clendenon is 2 for 3 with three RBI.  All seven runs are charged to Pirates starter Bob Veale on seven hits and four walks with one strikeout in only 3.2 innings pitched.  First baseman Carl Taylor who both tripled and homered off Seaver drives in all three Pirates runs.

Mets salvage the series finale against the Pirates as well as snap a four game skid.  They now lead the third place Pirates by three games.  However despite Sunday's victory the Mets fall another half game behind the first place Cubs.

  • Mets Record: 39-32
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 8.5 GB


Liberty Division Showdown: Long Island Ducks Invade Somerset

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Ducks lead series 1-0
I - LID 3; SOM 1
II - LID 6; SOM 4*
*10 innings

Long Island Ducks
vs.
Somerset Patriots

Long Island and Somerset enter Friday's game one showdown tied for first place.  Jake Fisher toes the rubber for the Ducks and is opposed by Patriots starter Liam O'Sullivan.  The two engage in a scoreless duel through five.  O'Sullivan yields no runs on just four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts through six innings.  He leaves the game on the winning side of a 1-0 game thanks to catcher Mike Ohiman's home run in the sixth off Fisher.  However, relievers Cody Mincey and Vin Mazzaro join to stop the Patriots cold.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis leads off the top of the eighth off reliever Mike Broadway with a single up the middle.  Deibinson Romero likewise reaches safely with a hit.  With one out, Hector Sanchez connects on a three run home run for a 3-1 Ducks lead.  Mazzaro pitches a scoreless bottom half of the eighth, and Enrique Burgos pitches a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts en route to earning his seventh save of the season.

With the much needed victory Long Island retakes sole control of first place, but only by a game.  The rivalry resumes Saturday evening in game two at Somerset and for game #61 of their respective seasons.  The first-half Liberty Division title hangs in the balance.


GAME TWO
Ducks    6
Patriots  4
10 innings

Three outs away from victory, the Patriots come undone.  Trailing 2-4 after eight innings, the Ducks rally for two unearned runs in the top of the ninth forcing extra innings.  In the tenth, they score two more unearned runs for their second straight victory over the Patriots at Somerset.

Darin Downs pitches well despite a no-decision.  He yields two runs on seven hits and just one walk with eight strikeouts through six innings pitched.  Patriots starter David Kubiak likewise settles for a no decision pitching eight strong innings while surrendering two runs on just four hits and one walk with five strikeouts.

With one out and the bases loaded in the ninth, Deibinson Romero grounds to short.  Patriots second baseman Rey Navarro throws away the relay while attempting a double-play.  Both Ezequiel Carrera and L.J. Mazzilli score on the play.  In the tenth, Vladimir Frias singles in the go-ahead run.  The Patriots then lend Long Island an insurance run on Rey Navarro's second error allowing Ramon Cabrera to score from third.

Reliever Michael Tonkin pitches a scoreless bottom half of the frame en route to earning his first victory of the season.

Long Island enters Sunday afternoon's match with a two game lead over the Patriots.



Yankees and Red Sox Rivalry Invades London


THE RIVALRY
LONDON SERIES
Yankees win series 2-0

BOSTON RED SOX
vs.
NEW YORK YANKEES
FROM
Across the Pond
LONDON


A year ago today the Yankees and Red Sox open a three game series at Bronx County.  First place Boston arrives in town with a 55-27 (.671) record.  Their second place hosts own a 52-26 (.667) record.  The Bombers wind up winning two of three and take over first place by percentage points over the Red Sox.  But whereas Boston stays the course with a 53-27 (.662) record over their final 80 games the Yankees fail to keep pace posting a 48-36 (.571) record over their final 84 games.  The Red Sox clinch the A.L. East at Yankee Stadium and go on to register an MLB best 108-54 (.667) regular season record.  Despite hitting the century mark in wins (100-62) the Yankees must settle for one of two Wild Card berths.  Their one game playoff victory over the Oakland A's at Yankee Stadium sets the stage for an ALDS showdown against the Red Sox.  Boston goes on to befuddle the Yankees in four games, and for a second time within three weeks pop off champagne celebrations in the visitor's clubhouse at Yankee Stadium.  The Red Sox roll on, defeating the defending world champion Houston Astros for the American League pennant then taking out the Los Angeles Dodgers in five to clinch Boston's ninth championship in franchise history.

The Yankees enter this year's London Series in first place of the A.L. East with a 52-28 (.650) record, the same number of wins as last season but with two more losses.  Remarkably they've not only withstood a season long spate of injuries but have thrived to the extent of achieving a tie with the Minnesota Twins for most wins in the American League.  Miguel Andujar has not been apart of the season; they most recently lost Giancarlo Stanton again this time to a knee injury; and still remain without Luis Severino.  Aaron Judge only recently rejoined the line-up.  In the meantime, acquisitions DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit are becoming stars before out very eyes.  Gleyber Torres is another.  The 22-year old has 19 home runs with 47 RBI in only his second season in the bigs.  This past Tuesday DJ LeMahieu and the Yankees break and set the MLB record for hitting a home run in the their 28th straight game.  With center field at London's facility reportedly only 385' away from home late (Olympic standards), there's a good chance this series devolves into a gas house gorillas skit.

The defending world champion Boston Red Sox enter London Series with a 44-38 (.537) record and in third place of the A.L. East, a distant nine games behind the Yankees.  This season, it appears the Red Sox will be the one sweating out a Wild Card berth while the Yankees run away with the division.  In that regard they must contend with the Tampa Rays, Cleveland Indians, and damn near the entire A.L. West save for Seattle.  Unlike the Yankees, the Red Sox Achilles heel has been their bullpen.  Out of 33 save opportunities, they've converted only 17 for a 51% rate of blown saves.  The Yankees on the other hand are saving 71% of their games.  And therein lies your difference from one season to the next.

True Story: I visited London back in 1989.  A waitress says to me, "Oh, you're from the colonies, are you?  I wanted to respond with something innocuous, but what came out of my mouth was far from that, "If by that you mean New Amsterdam, then, yes, I am."  To my fellow Americans crossing the pond, please behave won't ya!
NO ROUNDERS!
PLAY BALL!!


SATURDAY
Red Sox  13
Yankees  17
FINAL

In a game more resembling Batting Practice With the Stars, the Yankees outlast the Red Sox by an unsightly 17-13 final score requiring nearly five hours to decide.  Each team takes turns scoring six runs in the game's first inning alone.  With a total of 37 hits and 30 runs scored, Saturday's respective pitching performances leave much to be desired.  Parties of both sides are guilty as charged.  The feature match-up pitting Masahiro Tanaka against Rick Porcello never makes it out of the first as each are given the hook prior to recording a third out.  Perhaps we owe #UK fans an apology for treating them to such a poor exhibition of pitching.

The Yankees get home runs from Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge.  Boston matches them with one home run from Jackie Bradley Jr., and two off the bat of Michael Chavis.  DJ LeMahieu goes 4 for 6 with five runs batted in.  Didi Gregorius is 2 for 5 with a double and three RBI.  Yanks bat 9 for 18 with runners in scoring position.  Yankees are now 9-2 in their last ten trips.

With a 44-39 record Boston now trails the Yankees by ten games.



SCENES FROM LONDON STADIUM
Courtesy my cousin who made the trip.



SUNDAY
Yankees   12
Red Sox    8
FINAL

So what did we learn?  That pitchers need more time recovering from overseas flights?  It's my understanding when flying the body suffers dehydration.  Did pitchers need to better hydrate?  Is that it?  So much for Boston's $500,000 charter flight with all the fixings.  Let's face it, just about every pitcher from both the Yankees and Red Sox whom toed the rubber sucked.  The Yankees outscore the Red Sox by a 29-21 margin.  However Boston out-hits the Yankees 33-32 and hits six home runs to the Yankees four.  The common denominator is the roughly seven hour flight to London.  

Otherwise I have no idea ...

Congratulations London, England, and greater UK on your first ever major league baseball games.  Although the series lacked somewhat the more artistic aspects of pitching, sometimes a good old slug fest works just as well.  Thing about baseball is you never know what you're going to get.

Entering Monday night's action, the first place Yankees own a seven game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays, and an 11 game lead over the defending champion Red Sox.  The Yankees 54-28 record presently tops the American League.  The Los Angeles Dodgers lead baseball with a 57-29 record.




Friday, June 28, 2019

Amazin' Date 6/28/1969: Bucs Extend Mets Skid to Four

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #70: Saturday, June 28, 1969 - BR
Pittsburgh Pirates @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

Mets rookie Gary Gentry duels veteran and perhaps one day Hall of Famer Jim Bunning through seven innings during which each pitcher yields two runs.  Ed Kranepool opens the scoring with a home run in the second plating Cleon Jones for a 2-0 lead.  The visiting Pittsburgh Pirates strike back in the fourth.  With two outs, left fielder Jose Pagan doubles home Manny Sanguillen.  Then with Bill Mazeroski at the plate, Gentry unleashes a wild pitch permitting first baseman Al Oliver to score the tying run from third.

When Gentry walks Willie Stargell leading off the eighth manager Gil Hodges summons Tug McGraw from the bullpen.  After which Bunning becomes the beneficiary of a five run eighth, two of the unearned variety.  Ed Kranepool's error and another wild pitch unleashed by McGraw are contributing factors.

The Mets would rally for two runs in the ninth on a Cleon Jones home run and a run batted in from Al Weis, but ultimately fall short in a 7-4 final.  Gentry's sees his record fall to 7-6 with a 3.26 ERA.

The Pirates take their second straight at Shea and extend the Mets losing streak to four.  While still in second place the Mets have lost three games in the standings in their last four games.

  • Mets Record:  38-32
  • N.L. East:  2nd; 8 GB



Metsian Podcast Catharsis: The Aftermath Episode

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


THE ROAD TRIP FROM HELL; Ep. #30

A MESIAN PODCAST
with SAM, RICH, and MIKE

With Special Guest
John 
aka

116 Minutes




STUFF
Fred Wilpon ~ Jeff Wilpon ~ Brodie Van Wagenen ~ Mickey Callaway
Not That Sorry ~ Sunday Crummy Sunday: The Aftermath ~ Jason Vargas
The Road Trip ~ The Phillies ~ The Bullpen ~ The Wreckage ~ The Pain
What in the world are the Mets gonna do with Robinson Cano?
All-Stars ~ No Stars ~ Exploding Stars
Players to wear #30 in Mets History
50th Anniversary of the Miracle Mets
and so much more!




* ART BY CYCLE

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Amazin' Date 6/27/1969: Bucs Take Series Opener at Shea

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #69: Friday, June 27, 1969 - BR
Pittsburgh Pirates @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

For a second straight game Mets bats lay dormant.  Limited to three hits all game by Pittsburgh starter Steve Blass, the Mets score their lone run of the game in the ninth.  But it turns out being too little too late.  Blass strikes out five through 8.1 innings as the Pirates take game one of a weekend series at Shea.

Mets starter Jerry Koosman endures another disappointing loss and sees his record flatten out to 5-5 through 12 starts.  He allows just two earned runs on six hits and one walk with nine strikeouts through seven innings pitched.  Cal Koonce yields one run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts in two innings of relief.

After climbing ten games over .500 the ever streaky Mets lose their third straight.  Friday marked their 13th game in the last ten days.  Jerry Grote and Buddy Harrelson were given the day off.  Tommie Agee, Art Shamsky, and J.C. Martin who drives in the Mets only run, account for the only Mets hits.

  • Mets Record:  38-31
  • N.L. East:  2nd; 7 GB


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Brooklyn Cyclones: Noah Syndergaard Fans Nine in Victory Over Aberdeen

From the desk of:  THE CONEY ISLAND NINE



Tuesday
Brooklyn Cyclones  7
Aberdeen Ironbirds  4
FINAL

Noah Syndergaard on rehab assignment (hamstring) from the New York Mets joins the Brooklyn Cyclones on their road trip to Aberdeen were he climbs the bump against the Ironbirds on Tuesday.  He yields three runs on five hits (including a two run home run in the sixth inning) with no walks and nine strikeouts through five full innings pitched.  He throws 67 pitches with 56 (83%) going for strikes, and exits with Brooklyn leading 4-3 after five.

  • Aberdeen Ironbirds center fielder and lead-off batter Johnny Rizer homers off Noah Syndergaard in his first game, and only his third at-bat as a professional.


Brooklyn jumps out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the fifth on runs batted in from recent returnee Gavin Cecchini, shortstop Yoel Romero, DH Nic Gaddis, and center fielder Ranfy Adon.  By the fifth however, Aberdeen cuts their deficit to one.  In the top of the sixth Adon connects on a two run home run for a 6-3 Brooklyn lead.  Both teams trade a run each the seventh.

Cyclones reliever Matt Mullenbach is summoned to pitch the ninth inning and promptly walks the bases loaded  He then walks a fifth straight batter making it a 7-6 Cyclones lead.  Manager Edgardo Alfonzo can't yank him fast enough.  Reliever Luis Silva inherits the crisis.  In steps Johnny Rizer who's fly to center is too shallow for runners to tag.  However, shortstop Clay Fisher's fly to center this time is deep enough for the runner to score from third making it a 7-6 affair.  With two outs designated hitter Maverick Handley follows with a sharply struck liner to left snatched out of the air by left fielder Jaylen Ferguson.

Game over.

The Cyclones victory gets them back to .500, and a half-game back of the first place Hudson Valley Renegades.




Amazin' Date 6/26/1969: Phillies Deal Don Cardwell Another Hard Luck Loss

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #68: Thursday, June 26, 1969 - BR
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

How can you not feel for Don Cardwell after another fine appearance is rewarded with yet another hard luck loss?  Such is his three year odyssey with the Mets.  Facing off against Philadelphia's Grant Jackson for the second time in nine days, Cardwell allows just two runs on seven hits and one walk with two strikeouts over 7.1 innings pitched.  The Mets bats however lay dormant.  Grant Jackson goes the distance in whitewashing the Mets, allowing four hits and four walks with ten strikeouts for his eighth victory of the season.  Cardwell despite lowering is ERA to a 3.23 mark sees his record drop to a ponderous 2-8 mark.

Cleon Jones, 2 for 4, with a double, accounts for half of the Mets total hits.  Larry Hisle continues his onslaught against the Mets with two more hits (double) and two runs scored.

After sweeping Tuesday's double-header, the Mets settle for a four game split with Philadelphia.

Next up: the Pittsburgh Pirates visit Shea Stadium.

  • Mets Record: 38-30
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 7 GB

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

L.I. Ducks: Time and Division Lead Running Short

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE


Ducks Defeat Barnstormers 3-1
I - LAN 4; LID 3
II - LID 12; LAN 8
III - LID 4; LAN 3
IV - LID 7; LAN 4

Pressure On Flock To Avoid Getting Stung by Bees

Wins and time are increasingly of the essence.  First place Long Island enters Tuesday's action with a league best 35-21 (.625) record.  They're presently staked to a precarious 1.5 game lead over Somerset, and a three game lead over the expansion High Point Rockers.  A mere 13 games remain before the all-star break and conclusion of the season's first half.  They Ducks have been perched atop the standings for much of the season making the Liberty Division theirs to lose.  That said, they host the New Britain Bees this week before heading back to Somerset for what should amount to another fierce battle for first place against the Patriots.

The Bees may be in last place of the Liberty Division, but they're only five games out of first.  The entire division is playing above .500 baseball.  New Britain enters Bethpage Ballpark with a 30-26 record, and like the Ducks enter the series winners of three in a row.

New Britain Bees
vs.
Long Island Ducks
FROM 
THE POND


David Washington is tied for the league lead with 16 home runs, and is third with 40 RBI.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis is second on the team with ten home runs and 35 runs batted in.  L.J.Mazzilli leads the team with 14 doubles.  Despite hitting the league's second most home runs the Ducks are only sixth in runs scored.

As we know, nine pitchers have had their contracts purchased this season from the Ducks.  Yet, the Flock continues getting clutch performances from those still donning a Long Island uniform.  On Friday the Ducks split a double-header against Lancaster, while getting a respectable five inning start from Joe Iorio.  On Saturday, Jake Fisher turns in an effective veteran effort to earn his fourth victory of the season.  In Sunday's series finale, the Ducks get an abbreviated albeit arguably effective start from Darin Downs.

The ongoing question remains: do they have enough starting pitching to see this first half through to a pennant?





Amazin' Date 6/25/1969: Mets Bow to Phillies in Extra Innings

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #67: Wednesday, June 25, 1969 - BR
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

Let us not mince words; the Mets blew a five run lead.

Cleon Jones opens the scoring straightaway with an RBI single in the first.  The Mets add three runs in the fourth on a single from J.C.Martin and a two RBI double off the bat of second baseman Al Weis.  Cleon Jones strokes another single to right in the fifth plating Ken Boswell for a 5-0 Mets lead.

Starter Nolan Ryan keeps the Phillies scoreless through his first five innings of work while striking out eight.  The first hint of trouble comes in the six when Mets killer Larry Hisle drives in the Phillies first run with a triple off Ryan.  In the seventh, a Wayne Garret error contributed to a three run seventh inning for Philadelphia.  Then with Cal Koonce pitching in the eighth, third base replacement Dave Watkins connects on his first home run of the season tying the game at five.

After a scoreless ninth, into extra innings they go.

Opening the tenth reliever Ron Taylor quickly induces two ground ball outs.  However, Dave Watkins follows with a triple to straightaway center.  Left fielder John Briggs then singles back through the box; Watkins scores the go-ahead run.

The Mets load the bases in the bottom half of the frame courtesy of three bases on balls.  But with two out Ed Kranepool bounces out second to first ending the game.

Ron Taylor takes the loss.

The series finale is slated for Thursday afternoon.

  • Mets Record: 38-29 (.567)
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 6 GB



Monday, June 24, 2019

The Mickey Mess Show Metsian Podcast w/ Greg Prince

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


METS HAVE A WTF MOMENT AT WRIGLEY
So what else is new?

A METSIAN PODCAST
with SAM, RICH, and MIKE

With Guest 
of


Settle in for 132 minutes of intensely packed Mets discussion.



STUFF
The Cubs Series ~ Sunday's Meltdown
Upcoming Phillies Series ~ Mets Rivalries Through the Years
Pete Alonso Rookie Home Run Record
The Bullpen Woes ~ Terrible Fielding
Reflecting on the 1969 Season ~ Mets Players to Wear #29
Mickey Callaway's Press Conference Outburst
Jason Vargas ~ Brodie Van Wagene's Next Move
and so much more.
Packed with Stuff!




Amazin' Date 6/24/1969: Mets Sweep Second Straight Double-Header at Shea

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Mets win their third and fourth games in a row upon sweeping Tuesday's double-header against the Philadelphia Phillies at Shea Stadium.

Game #66: Tuesday, June 24, 1969 - BR
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium/ GAME ONE

With two runs in the third off Phillies starter Woodie Fryman, the Mets hold on to win game one by a slim 2-1 margin.  In the third, Bud Harrelson triples home Al Weis, and Cleon Jones singles home Harrelson.  Tom Seaver goes the distance, yielding seven hits including a fifth inning home run to Larry Hisle, while walking one and fanning nine for his 11th victory of the season against three losses.

Game #67: Tuesday, June 24, 1969 - BR 
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium/GAME TWO

Jim McAndrew and Ron Taylor join to whitewash the Phillies in the night-cap.  McAndrew tosses a gem yielding just two hits and no walks with two strikeouts through eight innings en route to his first victory of the season.  Ron Taylor pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts for his sixth save of the season.  The Mets score four times in the fourth on runs batted in from Art Shamsky, Wayne Garrett, Ed Kranepool, and even Jim McAndrew.  Tommie Agee hit his tenth home run of the season in the eighth.  The Mets knocked Phillies starter Jerry Johnson out of the box after 3.1 innings pitched.

That's back-to-back double-header sweeps for the Mets (Cardinals/Phillies).  Don't look now ... but the Mets are ten games above the .500 mark.

  • Mets Record: 38-28
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 5 GB


Sunday, June 23, 2019

N.Y. Mets: Pete Alonso Breaks Mets Rookie Home Run Record

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


Pete Alonso hits the monster mash.  It went out in a flash.
It was a Wrigley smash; the record breaking bash.

The Polar Bear doesn't just break the Mets rookie home run record.  He obliterates it.  Home run #27 comes against old Mets antagonist Cole Hamels in the fourth inning of Sunday's game against the Cubs.  He breaks Darryl Strawberry's club record in just his 77th game and 279th official at-bat of the season.

ICYMI:
Drafted out of high school, Strawberry makes his major league debut at 21-years of age on May 6 against the Reds at Shea Stadium.  He plays 122 games slashing .257/.336/.512, with 26 home runs and 74 RBI through 420 official at-bats earning him Rookie of the Year honors.
A college product, Alonso makes his MLB debut at 24-years old and is with the club since opening day.  He's presently slashing .274/.362/.632, with 26 home runs and 60 RBI through 76 games and 277 at-bats, essentially bum rushing the Mets rookie home run record in 46 less games and 145 less at-bats than Strawberry.  Darryl also had 48 extra base hits in all of 1983, while Alonso so far has already amassed 45 extra base hits.
Alonso surpasses the Dodgers Cody Bellinger's previous record for most home runs (25) prior to the all-star break.  Pete has played in all but one of the Mets 77 games to date.  With 85 games left in their regular season, Alonso is uniquely positioned to completely rewrite several more Mets records rookie or otherwise.

Who knew he'd break the record the very next day.

Go Polar Bear!

Grrrr!



N.Y. Yankees: Bombers Continue Shredding League's Top Competition

From the desk of:  THE HOUSE THAT HAL INHERITED


Yankees lead Astros 3-0
I - NYY 10; HOU 6
II - NYY 4; HOU 1
III - NYY 7; HOU 5
IV - SUNDAY

HOUSTON ASTROS
vs.
NEW YORK YANKEES
FROM
River Avenue Grounds

Outside of Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks, the return of Aaron Judge means the Yankees are relatively intact for the first time since April.  As such, Cashman's New World Order is back in effect and reaffirming control over their competition.  With a 49-27 record the Yankees reestablish a 5.5 game lead over the Tampa Rays and an eight game lead over the Boston Red Sox.  Only the Minnesota Twins have a better record in the American League by one game over the Yankees. 

They're winners of eight in a row which includes a sweep of the second place Tampa Rays followed by three straight victories over the West Division leading Houston Astros with the series finale slated for Sunday afternoon.

The Yankees hit an MLB leading 267 home runs last season.  They're on a similar pace again this season with 125 home runs through 76 games.  With home runs from Austin Romine and Gio Urshela on Saturday the Yankees have now hit at least one home run in 25 consecutive games.  The MLB record is 27 straight games set by the 2012 Texas Rangers.



N.Y. Mets: Pete Alonso Ties Mets Rookie Home Run Record

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


PETE ALONSO TIES DARRYL STRAWBERRY'S 
METS ROOKIE HOME RUN RECORD IN RECORD TIME

It's safe to say among position players no Mets rookie has ever burst on the scene quite like Pete Alonso.  The man dubbed the Polar Bear hit his 26th home run of the season off Cubs starter Jose Quintana in the first inning of Saturday's game at Wrigley Field.  Reaching down low for an off-speed pitch he deposits Quintana's offering into the right/center field bleachers thus tying Darryl Strawberry's rookie home run record set during the 1983 season.

Drafted out of high school, Strawberry makes his major league debut at 21-years of age on May 6 against the Reds at Shea Stadium.  He plays 122 games slashing .257/.336/.512, with 26 home runs and 74 RBI through 420 official at-bats earning him Rookie of the Year honors.

A college product, Alonso makes his MLB debut at 24-years old and is with the club since opening day.  He's presently slashing .274/.362/.632, with 26 home runs and 60 RBI through 76 games and 277 at-bats, essentially bum rushing the Mets rookie home run record in 46 less games and 145 less at-bats than Strawberry.  Darryl also had 48 extra base hits in all of 1983, while Alonso so far has already amassed 45 extra base hits.

A personal metric of mine is to subtract home runs from runs batted in.  Strawberry hit 12 solo home runs, and 14 home runs with 62 RBI (net 48 RBI) with runners on base.  Alonso has 14 home runs with the bases empty, and 12 home runs with 46 RBI (net 34 RBI) with runners on.  However, he more recently has been wreaking a bit more havoc with runners on base.  And for anyone interested, both Alonso and Strawberry strike out at relatively the same rate of 30.3% during official at-bats.

Lastly, Alonso surpasses the Dodgers Cody Bellinger's previous record for most home runs (25) prior to the all-star break.  Pete has played in all but one of the Mets 77 games to date.  With 85 games left in their regular season, Alonso is uniquely positioned to completely rewrite several more Mets records rookie or otherwise ... if an increasingly desperate upper management doesn't run him into the ground first.

Since his selection in the second round of the the 2016 draft and throughout his professional career Alonso has maintained remarkable consistency.  His trajectory speaks for itself.
  • (A-) .321/.382/.587, five home runs, 21 RBI; 30 games and 109 official at-bats.
  • (A+) and (AA) .289/.359/.524, 18 home runs, 63 RBI; 93 games and 353 official at-bats. 
  • (AA) and (AAA) .285/.395/.579, 36 home runs, 119 RBI; 132 games and 478 official at-bats.

Todd Hundley and Carlos Beltran hold the Mets season record with 41 home runs.

Beware the Polar Bear.



Saturday, June 22, 2019

L.I. Ducks: Flock Outburst Salvages Twin Bill Split With Lancaster

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE



LANCASTER BARNSTORMERS
vs.
LONG ISLAND DUCKS
FROM
THE POND


As the first-half Liberty Division race begins winding down in earnest the Ducks are tasked with regaining a measure of separation from Somerset and High Point.  Just in time the schedule makers hand the Ducks a second division team as Lancaster enters this weekend series at the Pond with a sub par 19-32 record.

But alas even the best laid plans go awry.  Lancaster pulls out a last inning victory in game one of Friday's scheduled double-header.  Twice Long Island takes the lead, and twice the Barnstormers tie the game.  As such the teams enter the seventh and potentially last inning (abbreviated game) all knotted up at three.  Manager Wally Backman hands the ball to reliever Josh Lueke whom promptly issues a lead-off walk.  An out and a stolen base later and Lueke issues a second walk.  With two outs, Lueke then yields a hit to Lancaster second baseman Dan Gamache plating the go-ahead run.  In the bottom of the seventh the Barnstormers' Cody Eppley strikes out the side en route to his ninth save of the season.

After five innings of game two, the Ducks appear headed for a second straight loss.  They trail Lancaster 8-1 with but six outs left to spare.  In the bottom of the sixth however the game changes on a dime.  Long Island sends 16 batters to the plate.  Seven base hits, one home run, three walks, a hit batsman, and an E-6 later, and the Ducks post eleven runs in the inning and win by a stunning 12-8 final.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis is big man on campus, going 2 for 4, with a home run, four RBI, and two runs scored.

With the victory the Ducks also gain a half-game advantage over the Somerset Patriots whom were defeated on Friday by the York Revolution.

  • UPDATE:  Starter Alec Asher becomes the latest (and the ninth) pitcher to get plucked from the Flock.  His contract was purchased by the Chinese professional league.



Amazin' Date 6/22/1969: Packed Shea Crowd Treated to Twin Bill Sweep Over Redbirds

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #63: Sunday, June 22, 1969 - BR
St. Louis Cardinals @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium/GAME ONE

Gary Gentry's strong performance on the front end of Sunday's double-header gets the Mets back in the win column.  Making his 14th start of the season the Mets impressive rookie limits the Cardinals to just one earned run on six scattered hits and four walks with six strikeouts through 8.1 innings pitched.

Ironically St. Louis opens the scoring in the first inning.  Lou Brock leads off the game with a base hit, and soon scores on Joe Torre's two out single to left.  After which Gentry would hold the Cardinals to just four hits the rest of the way.

The Mets on the other hand treat St. Louis starter Steve Carlton rather rudely, bullying him for five runs on eight hits in just 3.1 innings pitched.  Hits from Cleon Jones and Donn Clendenon in the third stake Gentry to a 2-1 lead.  In the fourth Bud Harrelson drives in the Mets third run, and Tommie Agee drives in two more giving the Mets a 5-1 lead and final margin of victory.  Donn Clendenon drives in his first run as a member of the Mets.  Meanwhile the top three hitter's in the line-up (Harrelson, Agee, Jones) join to go 8 for 12 with four runs batted in and three runs scored.

Gary Gentry improves his record to 7-5 and lowers his ERA back down to a 3.21 mark.


Game #64: Sunday, June 22, 1969 - BR
St. Louis Cardinals @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium/GAME TWO

The largest crowd in attendance at Shea Stadium this season is not only treated to a double-header sweep and series victory over the Cardinals.  Fan witness another near masterpiece authored by Jerry Koosman.  Game two fast evolves into a classic pitcher's duel.  Both Koosman and Cardinals starter Mike Torrez trade zeroes through the first six innings until the Amazins finally break through in the home seventh.  With two outs Buddy Harrelson triples into the right/center gap.  Next up, Tommie Agee's double into the opposite gap sends Harrelson trotting home with the game's only run.

Mike Torrez lasts seven innings allowing the one run on seven hits and four walks with five strikeouts.  He falls to 1-4 on the season.  Jerry Koosman improves to 5-4 and further shaves his ERA to a stingy 1.42 mark.

The second place Mets are now a franchise all-time best eight games above the .500 mark, and with Sunday's pair of victories close to within five games of the N.L. East leading Cubs whom sport a league best 43-25 record.

  • Mets Record: 36-28 (.562)
  • N.L. East:  2nd; 5 GB


Brooklyn Cyclones: Staten Island Rats Run Amok at Coney Island

From the desks of:  
THE SURF AVENUE SLUGGERS  and  RICHMOND COUNTY PIZZA FRAUDS

BATTLE OF THE BOROUGHS II
Cyclones lead season series 2-1
I - BRK 5; SIY 4
II - BRK 2; SIY 1
III - SIY 10; BRK 3
IV - BRK @ SIY
V - SIY @ BRK

FRIDAY
Staten Island Yankees  10
Brooklyn Cyclones        3
FINAL

After being swept by Brooklyn during last week's home and home opening day series, Staten Island romps to their first victory over the Cyclones at Coney Island on Friday.  Despite striking out seven Yankee batters, Brooklyn starter Jaison Vilera yields five runs (four earned) on seven hits and one walk in just four innings of work.  After getting a scoreless no-hit two inning effort from Daniel Goggin, Staten Island roughs up reliever Brian Metoyer for another five earned runs on three hits (one home run) and two walks in just one inning of work.

All nine batters in Staten Island's line-up record at least one hit.  Designated hitter Juan DeLeon (2 for 5, RBI) and first baseman Miguel Flames (2 for 4; home run; four RBI), post multiple hit games.

Brooklyn goes a woeful 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position.  Right fielder Zach Ashford, shortstop Yoel Romero, and third baseman Wilmer Reyes, all drive in one run apiece.

The series shifts to Staten Island for game two on Saturday, then back to Coney Island for the series finale on Sunday.



Friday, June 21, 2019

N.Y. Mets: No Fielding, No Pitching, No Dice

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


Come Get Us!

Come get the fourth best team in the N.L. East!  Because for all Brodie Van Wagenen's maneuverings that's exactly what the Mets are.  As the summer solstice nears the Mets are closer to last place than first.  The all encompassing question is why?  We know the reasons are myriad, convoluted, and in certain instances uncommonly depressing.  Allow me then to merely scratch the surface with mention of three of the more glaring inefficiencies afflicting the 2019 Mets.


I - FIELDING
  • Despite handling the National League's sixth least total chances, the Mets easily lead the circuit with 54 errors.  As such they rank last in fielding percentage (.980) and second to last (.678) in defensive efficiency ratio.
  • Meanwhile base runners run circles around them.  The Mets allow the most stolen bases.  Opposing base runners are successful 86% of the time.  In turn they throw out the fourth least base runners.  Wilson Ramos has thrown out just eight would be base thieves versus 54 successful attempts for a rate of 13% which is less than half than league average (27.5%).  Tomas Nido is 0 for 5 in stolen base attempts.  However equal blame falls on the starting pitchers for their woeful inability to hold runners.
  • Wilson Ramos has also allowed the second most passed balls (7), and is now just three away from his career high of ten.  Ramos (4) and Nido (2) account for six errors.  Pete Alonso (5) is tied for second most errors among first basemen.  Amed Rosario (11) is tied for most errors among shortstops.  Todd Frazier (6) and J.D. Davis (4) have combined on ten errors which ties Atlanta's Josh Donaldson (10) for most errors at third base.  That's four infield positions accounting for 59.2% of Mets errors.
  • To a lesser extent the outfield has only seven errors to speak of spread among five players.  Three different players have joined for seven errors at second base; Robinson Cano has committed four.

II - PITCHING
As a team Mets pitchers have thrown the second most pitches in the National League and the seventh most in baseball.  They own the National League's third worst ERA (4.67), yield the fourth most hits (656), and own the fifth worst WHiP (1.36).  Slash wise, the Mets .256 average against is fourth worst/.326 OBP sixth worst/.433 slugging sixth worst/.760 opposing OPS fifth worst.
 A) THE BULLPEN
Twenty different pitchers have manned the Mets bullpen this season.  Collectively, they've thrown roughly 252 innings - which roughly accounts for 38% of all Mets innings pitched - in which they've yielded 155 runs for a 5.53 ERA.  Of the five relief pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched only Seth Lugo owns an ERA below three.
  • Jeurys Familia - 27.2 inn; 7.81 ERA.
  • Drew Gagnon - 20 inn; 7.65 ERA.
  • Robert Gsellman - 39.1 inn; 4.81 ERA.
  • Edwin Diaz - 28.2 inn; 3.77 ERA.
  • Seth Lugo - 34.1 inn; 2.36 ERA.
  • Wilmer Font and the Fearful Fourteen account for 102.2 innings and a 7.22 ERA.
  • The Mets have had the third most (33) save opportunities but only converted 17 for tenth most.  Said another way they're blowing 49.5% of their save opportunities.
 B) THE STARTERS
On the positive side, the starting rotation has stayed relatively injury free.  Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, and Jason Vargas, have combined to start 70 of the Mets 74 games to date.  Prior to Thursday's (terrible) start by Walter Lockett, only Justin Wilson and Wilmer Font were asked to make four spot starts.
Although Jacob deGrom hasn't necessarily picked up where he left off last year he's pitching very well nonetheless.  He seems to be battling himself more than anything, and throughout the season has appeared noticeably angry be it with himself or otherwise.  He is still the staff ace ace and the rotation stabilizer.  No issues here. 
Jason Vargas is easily the surprise performer of the season if not the Mets second best starter to date.  And there's the rub.  How is it that he should be outperforming Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz?  Yet, he is doing just that with a 3.74 ERA through 12 appearances and 11 starts and a rotation best .240 batting average against. 
It's a good thing, too.  The Mets are still a team built around starting pitching.  And so far three of their top four starters have yet to fulfill expectations.
  • Noah Syndergaard indeed possesses the talents of a Nordic god.  That's what makes him and his 4.55 ERA so damn frustrating.  The man lacks refinement, or more to the point, craftsmanship.  Instead, he continually looks to lower the hammer.  With 98-mph fastballs more a norm throughout baseball and no longer the exception, where then is the novelty of velocity without deception and effective situational application?  He's not fooling anyone.  Despite 93 strikeouts, he's allowed 91 hits (8.6 H/9) and eleven home runs through 95 innings.  The opposition is slashing .253/.304/.398/.703 against him.  He also leads the staff with 15 stolen bases against him.  Pencil him onto the list of team underachievers.
  • Zack Wheeler is not having the type of walk season I nor perhaps he anticipated.  With health finally on his side, I predicted a great season ahead.  Through 15 starts and 94.2 innings pitched, Zack Wheeler's ERA this season has yet to dip below three.  He presently sports a staff high 4.94 ERA having yielded 14 home runs to date.  He has surrendered two home runs in a game five times.  The first time occurred in April.  The last four times have come in his last six starts.  Like Syndergaard, Wheeler isn't fooling anyone.  He is allowing more hits than innings pitched.  As such he has allowed a league high 52 earned runs.  Back in spring training Wheeler took a hard line against the Mets indicating his desire to test free agency and that his price would be firm.  The Mets publicly said they were willing to let the season play itself out and revisit the situation then.  There is much to appreciate about Zack Wheeler which will potentially make him the Mets main trading chip come deadline time ... or not.
  • Steven Matz biggest problem remains between his ears.  It's all mental with this guy.  His lack of composure jumps out like a jack-in-the box.  His long ball woes are even greater than that of Wheeler's.  Matz who on average has 20 less innings pitched than Syndergaard, deGrom, and Wheeler, has surrendered a staff high 15 home runs in just 73 innings.  Matz likewise has yielded more hits than innings pitched.  After 14 starts he owns a 4.28 ERA with a rotation high 1.37 WHiP.

All this being said, Dave Eiland was relieved as pitching coach on Thursday.  Phil Regan now takes over while Rickey Bones returns for a second stint as bullpen coach.  That's fine and well, but what the Mets need is talent.  Brodie Van Wagenen can shuttle this present collection of pitchers back and forth between Syracuse and Flushing all he wants.  But nothing will change until he imports higher quality talent.  That in turn (like most things Mets) entails a discussion reserved for a future post  involving the team's COO.


III - POTHOLES and PITFALLS
The Mets are presently on an 11-game road trip.  They've already dropped two of three at Atlanta, and lost Thursday's series opener against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  That drops their road record to 15-26 (.365) on the season.  They're also 12-13 in one run games.  Like kryptonite, the N.L. Central continues having a crippling effect on the Mets.  This has been going a few years now.  While the Mets own a 19-15 record against their division opponents, they are 5-13 against N.L. Central likes of the Brewers, Reds, Cardinals, and Cubs.  They're 7-9 against the N.L. West.

Of course this is merely the beginning.  The Mets have more problems than a math book.  For now, these are just some of the reasons why I believe the Mets presently find themselves five games under .500 through their first 75 games of the season.  My next round of reasons will include position players, Mickey Callaway, Brodie Van Wagenen, and you guessed it ... the Wilpons.  After which I'll delve into possible remedies for this sickness we call Mets baseball.

Stay tuned ...

#LGM



Amazin' Date 6/21/1969: Cardinals Win Game Two Over Listless Mets

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #62: Saturday, 6/21/1969 - BR
St. Louis Cardinals @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

Cardinals Game Two Victory at Shea Snaps Mets Streak at Three.

Jack DiLauro and the Mets are outdone by Cardinals starter Nelson Briles in game two at Shea Stadium on Saturday.  The two hurlers duel through four scoreless innings until Briles put matters into is own hands with a fifth inning home run off DiLauro.  Soon after yielding a double to Lou Brock, Curt Flood singles off DiLauro giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

Jack DiLauro exits the game after six innings on the losing side of a 2-1 game.

The Cardinals extend their lead in the seventh when second baseman Julian Javier connects for a two run home run off Jim McAndrew pitching in relief of DiLauro.  Art Shamsky cuts the deficit to two with a solo home run in the seventh.  But that was promptly erased by yet another run scoring hit courtesy of pitcher Nelson Briles.

Briles allowed the Mets a third run in the eight on a wild pitch, but finishes the night yielding three runs on just four hits and three walks with seven strikeouts for his sixth victory against five losses.  Jack DiLauro's record falls to 0-2 on the season albeit with a 1.57 ERA.

Art Shamsky collects two of the Mets four hits lifting his average to .344 for the season.  All four of Shamsky's home runs have come within his last seven games.

  • Mets Record:  34-28
  • N.L. East:  2nd; 6 GB


Thursday, June 20, 2019

L.I. Ducks: Flock Yields First Place to Somerset Patriots

From the desk of: THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

LIBERTY DIVISION SHOWDOWN
Patriots lead Ducks 2-0
I - SOM 5; LID 2
II - SOM 4; LID 1

The Somerset Patriots win their fifth in a row while Long Island loses their fourth in a row.  After leading a tightly packed division for a great majority of this first half the Ducks now trail the Patriots in the Liberty Division standings by one full game.  They relinquish their lead via a second straight loss at Somerset on Wednesday.

The Patriots did what they do best: pitch.  Through two games Somerset has now limited Long Island to three total runs and rationed them to five hits in each game.

Starter Thomas Dorminy blanked the Flock through five innings, allowing just three hits and three walks with three strikeouts.  A trio of Patriots relievers would then join in limiting Long Island to one run on just two hits and no walks with two strikeouts.  Somerset closer Mike Antonini pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his league leading 21st save of the season.

With Somerset leading 3-0 after seven, Long Island scored their lone run of the game in the eighth on consecutive doubles from Steve Lombardozzi and L.J. Mazzilli.  

Ducks starter Darin Downs seventh start of the season is brief after allowing two runs on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts trough three innings of work.  He falls to 0-2 on the season while his ERA jumps from 3.09 to a 3.34 mark.  The Ducks relievers joined on five innings allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts.



N.Y. Yankees: C.C. Sabathia Adds to Milestone Season

From the desk of:  THE HOUSE HAL INHERITED


SABATHIA AT THE GATES
Solidifying Bid for Hall of Fame

It's mid June and there exists an American League East battle for first place which does not presently involve the Red Sox - at least not yet.  Instead, the Yankees are hosting the under spoken yet threatening second place Tampa Bay Rays whom after losing games one and two in the Bronx entered Wednesday's game 2.5 games back of the first place Yankees.  Looking to avoid a sweep the Rays face Yankees starter CC Sabathia who is making the 550th start of his career.

Suffice it to say things do not go Tampa's way as the Yankees jump out to a 6-0 first inning lead.  Once on the hill Sabathia faces 24 batters through six innings, throwing 94 pitches with 59 (62%) going for strikes.  He yields just one run on a mere three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts en route to his fourth victory of the season.

The victory marks the 250th win of CC Sabathia's 19-year career.  He now boasts a 250-157 (.613) career record with a 3.71 ERA.  This also marks his 133rd victory since joining the Yankees eleven season ago.  He previously won 117 games pitching for the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers.

Sabathia becomes only the 48th pitcher in MLB history to achieve 250 wins.  Earlier this season, he became only the 17th pitcher in MLB history to achieve 3,000 strikeouts.  Moreover, he becomes only the 13th pitcher and only the second southpaw to achieve both 250 wins and 3,000 strikeouts.

A six time all-star Sabathia won the A.L. Cy Young award in 2007 while pitching for Cleveland.  He then became a World Series champion and series MVP in 2009 while leading both the Yankees and American League with 19 victories.  In 2010, he led the American League a second straight season with 21 wins.

I can not say enough good things about the man.  He's an extremely influential person both in the locker room and on the field.  He adheres by old school standards knowing exactly when to apply traditional justice with unfailing duty and dedication to his mates.  He's also a husband and man of values who acts with conviction lest we forget he opted to attend rehab at his wife's behest despite the Yankees being in the midst of a pennant race.  That takes fortitude, and love.

One of the greatest persons to ever grace a New York City pitcher's mound ...



Amazin' Date 6/20/1969: Mets Defeat Bob Gibson at Packed Shea Stadium

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR.MET
AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #61: Friday, June 20, 1969 - BR
St. Louis Cardinals @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

Mets return from successful 8-4 road trip to a heroes welcome as 54,000 fans pack Shea Stadium to express their appreciation. 

On account of Tuesday's twin bill at Philadelphia, Nolan Ryan makes his second start of the season.  He is opposed by Cardinals ace Bob Gibson who straightaway must pitch out of trouble.  The Mets quickly load the bases in the first inning.  Cleon Jones drives home two with a single up the middle, and Art Shamsky follows with a sac fly to left scoring Wayne Garrett from third for a 3-0 lead.  Tommie Agee then leads off the second with a single and scores on Ken Boswell's triple into the right field corner.

St. Louis responds with two runs in the fifth on an RBI hit from Curt Flood, and a sac fly from Vada Pinson.  Nolan Ryan pitches a scoreless sixth and exits the game on the winning side of a 4-2 affair after yielding two runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts.  Making his 16th appearance Tug McGraw surrenders a solo home run in the seventh to Bob Gibson himself cutting the Cardinals deficit to one.  But that's as close as they'd get.  McGraw strikes out the side in the ninth to earn his fifth save.  Ryan improves his record to 3-0 on the season.

With Friday's victory the Mets enter uncharted waters rising seven games above .500 for the first time this season, and their first time ever.

  • Mets Record: 34-27
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 6 GB


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

L.I. Ducks: Somerset Patriots Tie Flock For First Place

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE


LIBERTY DIVISION SHOWDOWN
Patriots lead series 1-0
I - SOM 5; LID 2
II - WED @ SOM
III - THU @ SOM

With Game One Victory Somerset Forges Tie With Ducks Atop Liberty Division Standings.

Somerset roughs up Long Island starter Jake Fisher for five runs (four earned) on six hits and one walk through five innings, handing him his sixth loss of the season against three wins.  After ten starts his record falls to 3-6 while his ERA is up to 5.24 and climbing.

Patriots starter Brett Oberholtzer limited the Ducks to a pair of runs courtesy of Ramon Cabrera's two run double in the eighth.  Otherwise Oberholtzer yields four total hits and one walk with five strikeouts for his fourth victory of the season against just one loss.  The Ducks were limited to five hits all game.

With Somerset's victory on Tuesday, the Long Island Ducks and Patriots are now tied for first place of the Liberty Division.  The Patriots have now won four in a row, while the Ducks drop their third straight.



Amazin' Date 6/19/1969: Ken Boswell Hit in Ninth Lifts Mets Over Phils

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #60: Thursday, June 19, 1969 - BR
New York Mets @ Philadelphia Phillies
Connie Mack Stadium

Ninth Inning Rally Gets Seaver Off Hook; Mets Take Series Finale at Connie Mack Stadium

A late New York rally in the ninth Thursday night at Connie Mack Stadium gives the Mets their third victory in four games over the Philadelphia Phillies, and moves them a half game closer to the first place Chicago Cubs.

The Phillies however mistreat Tom Seaver on this evening roughing him up for five earned runs on ten hits and five walks with eight strikeouts before forcing his exit on the losing side of a 4-5 affair in the bottom of the eighth.

Philadelphia produces their five runs with RBI hits from Johnny Callison and Rick Joseph, and with home runs from Mike Ryan and Cookie Rojas.  Through eight innings the Mets manage an RBI hit from Al Weis, a two run home run from Art Shamsky in the sixth, and a second Shamsky home run in the eighth.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, Ken Boswell singled home both Donn Clendenon and Ron Swoboda with the tying and winnings runs respectively.  Tug McGraw closed out the Phillies in the bottom half of the frame earning his fourth save of the season.  Ron Taylor is credited with the win for his work in the eighth in relief of Seaver.

The Mets wrap up their 12 game road trip with a triumphant 8-4 record.  They've now climbed to a season high six games above .500 for a second time and remain in striking distance of the Cubs.

  • Mets Record:  33-27 (.550)
  • N.L. East:  2nd; 6 GB


Brooklyn Cyclones Squeeze Out Game One Victory at Lowell

From the desk of:  THE CONEY ISLAND NINE


MONDAY
Brooklyn Cyclones   2
Lowell Spinners        1
FINAL

Brooklyn Trio Tangle Up Spinners.

Brooklyn starter Malky Mena turns in a stellar performance as he and two other Cyclones pitchers combine on a nine inning gem in game one of their series against the Spinners at Lowell, Massachusetts.

Malky Mena, promoted from the GCL Mets, faces 21 batters, throwing 75 pitches with a nifty 53 (70%) going for strikes.  He yields one earned run on six hits and no walks with five strikeouts through 5.2 innings en route to his first victory.  Justin Lasko and Andrew Edwards again team up in late relief of Mena with 2.1 innings of scoreless one-hit ball with no walks.  Edwards fans three in the ninth.

Center fielder Ranfy Adon leads-off the game with a single to center, then advances to second on a botched pick-off attempt by Lowell starter Bryan Lucas.  Adon soon moves to third on second baseman Wilmer Reyes hit to left.  Still with no outs, Brooklyn attempts a double-steal - Reyes is thrown out at second but Adon scores from third.  Lowell ties the game at one in the third.  But Brooklyn scores the eventual game winner in the fifth on shortstop Yoel Romero's lead-off triple, and catcher Ariel Yera's one out base hit through the left side.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Amazin' Date 6/18/1969: Jerry Koosman Blanks Phillies

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #59: Wednesday, June 18, 1969 - BR
New York Mets @ Philadelphia Phillies
Connie Mack Stadium

Making his tenth start of the season, Jerry Koosman goes the distance in leading the Mets through to a 2-0 victory over the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium.  Koosman and Phillies starter Rick Wise duel through five scoreless innings until Ed Kranepool finally breaks through with an RBI single scoring Cleon Jones in the sixth, and Wayne Garrett singles home Tommie Agee in the seventh staking the Mets to a 2-0 lead.  The Mets southpaw handles the rest, completing his whitewashing of the Phillies, yielding just four hits and one walk with six strikeouts en route to his fourth victory of the season.

Koosman evens his record at 4-4 to go along with a stellar 1.59 ERA.

The Mets gain a full game on the first place Cubs who lost in extra innings against the Pirates at Pittsburgh.

  • Mets Record: 32-27 (.542)
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 6.5 GB