Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Amazin' Date 7/31/1969: Astros Complete Sweep at Shea Stadium

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

Game #99: Thursday, July 31, 1969 - BR
Houston Astros @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

Foiled again ... and swept by the Houston Astros.  Jim Wynn breaks a scoreless tie in the sixth with his 24th home run of the season.  Tom Seaver then yields a hit by shortstop Denis Menke and a double by first baseman Curt Blefary.  Menke scores when Jerry Grote fails to secure Tommie Agee's throw from right/center.  And that's all she wrote.  Houston starter Tom Griffin pitches eight scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and five walks with six strikeouts.  Fred Gladding completes the shut out for his 22nd save of the season.  Tom Seaver suffers only his sixth loss against 15 victories, with a 2.51 ERA.  Rod Gaspar getting the start in right accounts for half the Mets hits.
  • Mets Record: 55-44
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 6.5 GB

N.Y. Mets: Unrepentant Jason Vargas Traded for Double-A Catcher

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


Apology accepted ... See you tomorrow, Jason?

I had no particular use for Vargas.  He had no fan in me.  So no harm done on this end as far as I'm concerned.  At least the beat reporters are safe now.  In fact I'm surprised the Mets got back a warm body in exchange - a catcher no less. 

Truth be told he should fit in well with the Phillies; wink.  So just what exactly are the Mets getting in catcher Austin Bossart?

Don't hold your breath ...

At 26-years old Austin is a minor league career .261 hitter with a .695 OPS.  With (AA)-Reading this season Bossart is slashing a mere .195/.303/.335, with just 14 extra-base hits, and 28 RBI through 63 games and an even 200 at-bats.  His forte is apparently behind the plate.  He owns a career .990 fielding average through 246 minor league games and over 2,000 innings played.  Through five seasons he's thrown out would-be base thieves with a 41% rate of success.  This season with Reading he is down to a 35% rate of success - a representative number nonetheless.

I've stated my opinions regarding the catching situation very clearly.  I'm not happy about it.  To review, Wilson Ramos is beyond demonstrating his liabilities behind the plate.  Rather he confirms them on a nightly basis.  I'd be remiss if I didn't congratulate the man for tying his career high of ten passed balls in 48 fewer starts (122 starts in 2016).  While the league averages a 27% rate of caught stealing, Ramos still lags far behind with a rate of 15% caught stealing.  A career high 64 base thefts have occurred on his watch.  Tomas Nido, poor guy, owns a 9% rate of caught stealing.  A whopping 84 stolen bases have occurred under both their watch.

I want first and foremost a supreme defender behind the plate; an agile fellow who fields his position well; and whom features a strong and accurate arm.  I want a superior receiver, someone practiced in the art of forming symbiotic relationships between pitcher and catcher; someone pitchers can trust with pitches out of the zone.  I want an on-field coach behind the mask, and a bully, and a friend, and brother, sometimes all at once.  Offensive capabilities interest me not.  Let other positions carry the load.  I need a Jerry Grote type and the Mets need a more conductive battery.

In the meantime the Mets have a very transient situation on their hands.  Marcus Stroman is in, and Jason Vargas is out.  Stroman is clearly an improvement over Vargas.  If only that were the end of this conversation.  Be that as it may Stroman's place in the rotation hierarchy is not yet determinable as the Mets seem obsessed with trading Noah Syndergaard.

To be continued ...



Brooklyn Cyclones Get Tangled Up By Lowell Spinners

From the desk of: THE SURF AVENUE SLUGGERS

The McNamara Division 
Goes Round and Round

A would be battle of the best ends up being Lowell and the rest.  The Spinners improve to a league leading 27-15 record with a twin bill sweep over the Cyclones on Tuesday at MCU Park.  They're presently the only New York-Penn League team playing .600 baseball.

The saying around Brooklyn is if you wanna be the best, you gotta beat the best.  And that's precisely what they fail to do.  In game one, the Brooks take a 3-2 lead into the seventh and final frame.  However they commit three errors including one by losing pitcher Matt Mullenbach which all contribute to a pair of runs and a game lost.

Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game two, the Cyclones come undone in the third when Lowell strikes for five runs off losing starter Frank Valentino, who is charged with five runs, four earned, on seven hits and one walk with four strikeouts through 2.2 innings pitched.  Brooklyn scores once more in the fifth en route to a 6-2 defeat.  Wilmer Reyes accounts for two of Coney's four hits.

Aberdeen edges out Mahoning Valley and thus takes a half game lead over the now second place Cyclones.  The Renegades fall one full game back after losing to Auburn.



Tuesday, July 30, 2019

N.Y. Mets: Meet The Magicians

From the desk of:  HEAD BUTTING MR. MET


The New York Mets acquire pitcher Marcus Stroman (and cash) from the Toronto Blue Jays.  Toronto receives from the Mets pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson.

Stroman is 28-years old and comes with one more season of organizational control.  He owns a career 3.76 ERA and 1.278 WHiP, with a 9.0 H/9 and 7.2 K/9 average through 789 career innings pitched.  This season he is 6-11 with a fine 2.96 ERA through 21 games.  He throws a full repertoire of pitches: fastball; slider; cutter; curveball; and change-up.  This season he is throwing his cutter and curveball at the expense of his fastball far more often than in his four previous seasons according to Fangraphs.  Is the strategy working?  This season he is inducing ground balls at a rate of 56% to date.  Over his last four seasons he averaged a 62.1% rate of ground balls.

Make of it what you will, because I don't care.

In lieu of acquiring a legit positional slugger, I'd be perfectly content with this acquisition if it winds up being their only transaction.  Stroman is a fine addition; key word being addition.  And there's the rub.  I fear acquiring Stroman is merely a prelude to disaster.  I'm not averse to trading Noah Syndergaard, Edwin Diaz, or anyone else for that matter.  I personally love blowing teams up and starting from scratch.  But that requires a competent front office and a well thought out plan.  Brodie Van Wagenen is not yet a full year on the job, we're only four months into the season, and the organization is in a complete panic.  His incoming bravado; dynamic off-season transactions; the bold new narrative; all of it; a complete fail.

The Wilpons say fans won't support a rebuild (meanwhile New York City teams are rebuilding all around them).  They're also verified unwise and broke.  Although, I'll play along and agree that a full rebuild is not necessary at the present time.  That being said there's only so much Brodie can do in the absence of hard cold cash.  But this is the condition he agreed to when he took the job.  What's a new general manager tasked with quickly resuscitating a losing organization to do?  He essentially wipes out the minor league system in an ill conceived attempt at immediate contention.  That didn't work.  Thus here we are two days shy of the trade deadline with the Mets scrambling to implement another hastily contrived plan.  Hence this latest death defying high wire plan of emptying the farm's last vestiges of talent in order to acquire Syndergaard's replacement, whom they are reportedly hoping to trade for sake of replenishing said farm system and(!?) adding major league solutions to their myriad of positional problems while still striving towards post-season contention in time for 2020 ... all at the same time ... is complete folly!  In this latest scenario we find ourselves tripping back over the old narrative.  Like father, like son, the overwhelming problem is Fred and Jeff are too blind to see the err of their ways.

Meet the Magicians ...

On the bright side Brodie Van Wagenen has somehow cornered the market on available starting pitchers (Stroman, Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler).  But the likelihood he recoups talent representative of what he's given away are at best speculatively low.  Here's to hoping Brodie has another trick up his sleeve.  It just better not be handkerchiefs or a pigeon.

Oh, and I see they just traded Jason Vargas.

To be continued ...






Red Sox Remind Bronx Bombers Who Defending Champs Are

From the desk of:  BLAME CARLOS MAY


Red Sox Win Series 3-1
I - BOS 19; NYY 3
II - BOS 10; NYY 5
III - BOS 9; NYY 5
IV - NYY 9; BOS 6

If the defending champion Red Sox proved anything over the weekend, it is that they are alive and very well.  You might even call this most recent series a reverse Boston Massacre of forty-some years ago at Fenway Park.  Only this time it was the Red Sox inflicting the great majority of damage.  Make no mistake, underestimating or overlooking Boston at this stage would be folly considering they've closed to within one game of the second wild card spot.  It's been a slow climb but they're now eleven games over .500 and 10-7 since the break.

The Yankees did well in salvaging the series finale at Fenway Park on Sunday.  It was the least they could do after getting doubled-up by a 44-22 run disparity through four games.  In fact, this was exactly the kind of wake up call Bronx County needed.  Sure the Yankees still own a nine game lead over Boston, whom still must leapfrog the Rays.  But sometimes it can get pretty lonely and somewhat boring when you're alone at the top as the Yankees have been.  When the Red Sox were winning last year's division race they at least had the Yankees hot on their heels and keeping them on their toes.  Desperation was in the house on a nightly basis.  Not so with this year's Yankees, who have efficiently cruised this entire season.  Tampa posed an early threat, until the two teams met head-to-head, that is.

This week the Red Sox host a pivotal series against Tampa while the Yankees engage the Arizona Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium.  After which August will have arrived.  The Yankees and Red Sox then usher in the dog days of summer with a four game series this upcoming weekend at Yankee Stadium.

After last weekend, the Red Sox now lead the American League in runs scored.  The Yankees are a close second.  The Yankees are second in home runs, while the Sox rate sixth.  However, the Sox are second in total bases and team OPS, while the Yankees rank fourth respectively.  The disparity in strikeouts is not as stark as last season.

On the mound however, the Red Sox are second in strikeouts while the Yankees are fifth.  The Yankees are sixth in team ERA and the Sox are a close seventh.  They're neck and neck in batting average against.  But the Yankees lead the league with 35 team saves which has been Boston's Achilles heal this season but are much improved of late.

The trade deadline will have come and gone by the time these teams meet again.  We'll see if either general manager makes any season altering transactions then.




Amazin' Date 7/30/1969: Houston Astros Dominate Twin Bill at Shea Stadium

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

Games #97 & #98
Houston Astros @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

Clean up on Roosevelt Avenue, please.  Houston makes a complete mess of the Mets in both games of Wednesday's doubleheader at Shea Stadium, outscoring their fellow expansion brothers by an overall 27-8 margin.

GAME ONE: July 30, 1969 - BR

Houston's 16-3 victory marks the most runs allowed in one game by the Mets this season.  The Astros initially hold a modest 5-3 lead through the eighth.  But in the ninth Cal Koonce and Ron Taylor prove completely ineffective and the game goes awry.  Houston strikes for eleven runs, sending 15 batters to the plate, and getting home runs from Denis Menke and the toy cannon Jim Wynn.  Jerry Koosman admittedly struggles, yielding five runs, three earned, with five walks and two strikeouts.  He is credited with the loss and sees his record drop to 8-6 with a still fine 2.08 ERA.  Ed Kranepool drives in his 40th run of the season with a two out single in the fourth.

GAME TWO: July 30, 1969 - BR

The Astros explode for another ten runs in the third inning en route to an 11-5 final in game two.  Mets starter Gary Gentry is knocked out of the box after just 2.2 innings pitched, but not before surrendering eight earned runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts.  Houston then roughs up Nolan Ryan for another three earned runs on four hits and two walks, with seven strikeouts.  Astros starter Larry Dierker pitches to the scoreboard, allowing five runs, four earned, on 12 hits and one walk with nine strikeouts for his 13th victory of the season.  Ed Kranepool is 3 for 4 with a double, home run, and four more RBI on the day.

The Mets fall to 2-6 against the Astros this season.  They are now just 2-4 on this home stand.

  • Mets Record: 55-43 (.561)
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 5.5 GB


Monday, July 29, 2019

L.I. Ducks: Monday Swim 7/29/2019

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Ducks defeat Patriots 2-1
I - LID 1; SOM 0
II - SOM 8; LID 3
III - LID 4; SOM 1

Par for the course ... the Ducks waddle into their Monday break with an 8-8 record, which for the moment is good enough for first place of the Liberty Division.  The High Point Rockers trail Long Island by 1.5 games, while the New Britain Bees and Somerset Patriots lay two games back.

In the latest showdown between the Ducks and Patriots, Long Island takes two of three.  If you recall Long Island overcame perfection in extra innings of game one on Friday.  Somerset bounces back with an 8-3 victory on Saturday.  The Ducks take Sunday's rubber game in comeback fashion with a burst of runs late in game three.

Somerset opens the scoring in the first when shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez tags from third on catcher Mike Ohlman's sac-fly to left.  They cling to their one run lead through the seventh.  Long Island finally breaks through with three runs in the eighth on a two run home run from T.J. Rivera, and an RBI single from Daniel Fields.  With two outs in the top of the ninth Rey Fuentes connects on his eighth home run of the season giving the Ducks a 4-1 final margin of victory.

Making his fourth start Seth Simmons yields one run on just two hits with five walks and seven strikeouts through six innings pitched, but departs on the losing side of a one run affair.  Rob Rogers earns the victory in relief of Simmons with two scoreless innings of three hit ball with two strikeouts.  Michael Tonkin fans two in a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.

  • Steve Lombardozzi is presently on the 10-day IL as of 7/23.
  • Ducks closer Enrique Burgos had his contract purchased by Leones de Yucatan.  Burgos made 29 appearances for the Ducks, posting a 4-2 record and 2.43 ERA, with 13 saves and 49 strikeouts through 29.2 innings pitched.

Next stop on Long Island's road trip is New Britain where a three game series awaits against the Bees.



Brooklyn Cyclones: All Alone in First Place

From the desk of:  THE CONEY ISLAND NINE

Cyclones Sweep Lake Monsters 3-0
I - BKN 2; VER 1*
II - BKN 5; VER 1
III - BKN 9; VER 1
* 10-innings

How about those Hudson Valley Renegades!  Now there's an example of a good neighbor unlike those rats from Richmond County.  Our Dutchess County friends to the north take two of three from Aberdeen with their rubber game defeat of the Ironbirds on Sunday.  Coupled with Brooklyn's victory over the Lake Monsters, the week long mathematical voodoo spell cast over the recent McNamara Division standings is broken.  The Brooklyn Cyclones once again own a full game lead over both the Renegades and Ironbirds as of close of business Sunday.  Said another way, fractions be damned.

For a third straight game Brooklyn pitching limits Vermont to just one run.  They also hold them to just three hits; five hits in game two; and just two hits in game one.  That's three runs and just ten hits through three games.  Sunday's was a group effort.  Manager Alfonzo tasks five pitchers to cover the load.  Starter Colin Holderman kicks things off will three scoreless innings of no-hit ball with four strikeouts, although he did not factor in the decision.  Next in Corey Gaconi yields just one hit through three scoreless innings with two strikeouts, and is credited with his second win of the season.  Justin Lasko yields the Monsters lone run of the game in the seventh.  Matt Mullenbach chips in with a scoreless eighth, and Luis Silva closes out the ninth with two strikeouts.

Brooklyn tallies nine runs on 15 hits, striking four extra-base hits including home runs from shortstop Wilmer Reyes and Gavin Garay (making the start at first).  The two account for five RBI all with two outs.  The Cyclones hit 7 for 12 with runners in scoring position and strand just four runners on base.

The Kids from Coney are now winners of five straight.


TUESDAY
Brooklyn Cyclones
vs.
Lowell Spinners


Talking Trade Deadline with Mediagoon, Keith Blacknick of QBC, on Another Metsian Podcast

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

SATURDAY AT THE GAME


A METSIAN PODCAST
with SAM, RICH, and MIKE

With Featured Guest
Keith Blacknick of QBC, aka 


sixty-six minutes



STUFF
Marcus Stroman ~ Steven Matz
Noah Syndergaard ~ Trade Deadline ~ Edwin Diaz
Anthony Kay ~ Simeon Woods Richardson
Todd Frazier ~ JD Davis ~ Jeff McNeil
Queens Baseball Convention



Sunday, July 28, 2019

Brooklyn Cyclones Win Fourth Straight

From the desk of:  THE CONEY ISLAND NINE

Cyclones lead Lake Monsters 2-0
I - BRK 2; VER 1
II - BRK 5; VER 1

GAME THREE
Brooklyn Cyclones
vs.
Vermont Lake Monsters


For a second straight night Brooklyn pitching limits the Sea Monsters to a lone run in game two at Burlington, Vermont.  The Cyclones score five times all with two outs off Vermont starter Tyler Baum in the first inning.  Yoel Romero and Luke Ritter hit safely, and Jose Peroza follows with a third straight hit scoring Romero.  Joe Genord then steps in hitting his sixth home run of the season.  The Lake Monsters get one back in the bottom half of the frame on Logan Davidson's first home run of the season.  Brooklyn otherwise shuts them out over the final eight innings of play, and score once more in the ninth for good measure.

Making his first start for Brooklyn, right-hander Michel Otanez is promoted from Kingsport were he posts a 2-2 record and 3.31 ERA with 44 strikeouts through 32.2 innings pitched.  On Saturday against Vermont he faces 21 batters, throwing 79 pitches with 51 (65%) going for strikes.  In winning his first New York-Penn league game he yields just one run on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts through five innings pitched.  Jared Biddy and Brian Metoyer combine to pitch four scoreless innings of no-hit baseball with three strikeouts.  Metoyer earns his second save.

That's four straight for the Cyclones.  Brooklyn and Aberdeen end the day locked in a mathematical tie for first place.  With Saturday's loss against the Ironbirds, Hudson Valley falls one full game back.



Three Guys Walk Into Citi Field and a Whitewash Breaks Out

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


SATURDAY
Pirates   0
Mets      3
FINAL



My esteemed Metsian Podcast partner, Rich, Greg Prince of FaithAndFearInFlushing.com and I joined forces Saturday evening in rooting on our beloved New York Mets.  Among our many topics of discussion is Mets game starter Steven Matz.  I said I do not trust what is inside the man's mind nor the things rattling inside his elbow.  So what happens ...

Making his 90th start as a New York Met Steven Matz pitches an absolute gem.  Velocity, off-speed effectiveness, accuracy, pace, low pitch economy, he nails it.  Matz yields no runs on just five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts through nine full innings.  He averages 11 pitches per inning while overall throws an efficient 99 pitches with 67 (68%) going for strikes.  The marks Steven Matz' first ever career complete game shutout.

On trading Noah Syndergaard: the Mets insistence on starting Todd Frazier over JD Davis to me says the Mets are desperate to win now.  But if they trade Syndergaard will they not be considered in rebuild mode?  Therefore which is it?  Somehow we'll all be shaking our heads come the trade deadline.  Of that I'm sure.  If nothing else the Mets are demonstrating they have no plan.  Four months into the season and they're in a panic.  Perhaps the best thing for them to do is nothing at all.

How's that?

There's too much talent on this team for it to remain this bad this long.  More likely than not, the law of averages will begin favoring the Mets, perhaps with six weeks left in the season.  They'll catch fire and finish strong.  It's a worst case scenario for many and obvious reasons.  Because if you're gonna trade Syndergaard, then you might as well blow the entire thing up (with two or three obvious exceptions).













Read more about Steven Matz' performance, the game, and the night in general,
Mr. Matz on the Moon - by Greg Prince


Pete Alonso



Saturday, July 27, 2019

Amazin' Date 7/27/1969: Misplays Abound in Mets Loss to Reds

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

Game #96: Sunday, July 27, 1969- BR
Cincinnati Reds @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

The Cincinnati Reds build a five run lead from which the Mets do not recover.  Cincy jumps all over Mets starter Don Cardwell with haste.  Pete Rose leads off the game with a double to left and eventually scores when Bobby Tolan grounds into a fielder's choice.  With one out and Tolin the runner at first, Tony Perez connects on his 25th home run of the season for a 3-0 Reds lead.  But the Mets true undoing occurs in the fourth.  Two errors by shortstop Al Weis and another by first baseman Donn Clendenon pave the way towards a pair of unearned runs and a five run deficit.  Don Cardwell is done after 3.1 innings having yielded five runs, three earned, on seven hits.  The Mets finally get on the board with two runs in the sixth on a single from Cleon Jones and a sac-fly from Clendenon.  The teams trade runs in the eighth.  Cincy reliever Wayne Granger finalizes the Reds 6-3 victory with his 13th save of the season.

The game marks the sixth time this season attendance exceeds 50,000 at Shea Stadium.  Sunday's announced crowd of 55,391 is their second largest crowd of the season.

  • Mets Record: 55-41 (.573)
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 5 GB

L.I. Ducks Overcome Perfection in 10th Against Somerset Patriots

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

We Interrupt this Perfect Game to Bring You This

FRIDAY
Ducks    1
Patriots  0
10 innings

Somerset Patriots starter Rick Teasley faces 27 Long Island batters and retires them all in order.  No runs, no hits, no walks, no errors; the man pitches a perfect game through nine full innings with seven strikeouts.  He throws 110 pitches with 75 going for strikes.  Problem is neither the Patriots nor the Ducks manage any runs within the game's first nine frames.  The scoreless deadlock necessitates extra innings which unfortunately tags Rick Teasley with a hard luck no decision.

Vladimir Frias is the obligatory runner at second base to begin the tenth.  Ezequiel Carrera successfully bunts Frias to second.  Center fielder D'Arby Myers then singles off Somerset's Tyler Cloyd plating Frias from third.  Ducks relievers Cody Mincey and Michael Tonkin close out the Patriots in the bottom half of the frame walking one and striking out three.  Mincey earns the victory for pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless ball with three strikeouts, and Tonkin earns his third save of the season.


Brooklyn Cyclones Retake Share of First Place

From the desk of:  THE CONEY ISLAND NINE



FRIDAY
Brooklyn   2
Vermont    1
10 innings

Will that be nine runs, or two?  Pick your poison.  After putting up a nine spot in back-to-back games against the Tri-City Valley Cats, the Brooklyn Cyclones travel up to Burlington, Vermont, where they engage the Lake Monsters in an old fashioned pitching duel.  Vermont third baseman Jordan Diaz drives home the game's first run in the fourth off Brooklyn starter Garrison Bryan.  It would turn out being the Lake Monsters lone run of the game.  The Cyclones promptly tie the score in the top of the fifth on hits from Joe Genord and Ariel Yera off Monster starter Yorlenis Noa, and a RBI single from Raul Beracierta off reliever Clark Cota.  The game remains knotted at one through nine innings, and into extra innings they go.

Jose Peroza is the obligatory runner placed at second base to start the tenth.  He advances to third on Ariel Yera's successful bunt single.  Jake Mangum then reaches on a botched fielder's choice to first allowing Peroza to score from third with the go-ahead run.  Brooklyn reliever Hunter Parsons is the beneficiary having pitched two scoreless innings in relief of starter Garrison Bryant, allowing just one hit with two strikeouts en route to his first victory of the season.  Nelson Leon pitches a clean bottom half of the tenth with two strikeouts to earn his first save of the season.

The lead story however is starting pitcher Garrison Bryant.  Despite the no-decision, he throws a gem.  Making is eighth start for Brooklyn, Garrison faces 23 batters and throws 80 pitches with 51 (64%) going for strikes.  He yields the one lone run on just one hit and one walk with three strikeouts through seven innings pitched.  Bryant is one of just five New York-Penn League starting pitchers with a WHiP below one.

  • Brooklyn Cyclones pitching ranks fourth with a 3.27 team ERA.  They also lead the league with 16 saves.

Brooklyn's third straight victory, coupled with Hudson Valley's defeat of Aberdeen creates a (mathematical) three-way tie for first place.  The Cyclones and Renegades close out Friday's action with identical 23-16 (.590) records, while Aberdeen now sports a 24-17 (.585) record.  The Staten Island Yankees lose both games of a double-header against Lowell to fall 4.5 games back of the McNamara Division leaders.



Friday, July 26, 2019

Brooklyn Cyclones Pound Valley Cats in Rubber Game

From the desk of:  THE SURF AVENUE SLUGGERS

Cyclones defeat Tri-City Valley Cats 2-1
I - TRI 4; BRK 1
II - BRK 9; TRI 2
III - BRK 9; TRI 4


Brooklyn offers Valley Cats starter Edgardo Sandoval no quarter.  He fails to make it out of the first inning in Thursday's rubber game at Coney, facing ten batters and yielding four earned runs on two hits and three walks.  In the second, Brooklyn greets reliever Daniel Cody with another five runs, three earned, on four hits, for a 9-0 Cyclones lead.  After which the Valley Cats manage just four scattered runs the rest of the way.  It marks the second straight game the Cyclones put up a nine spot against the Valley Cats.  Left fielder Antoine Duplantis goes 1 for 4 with three RBI; first baseman Joe Genord is 1 for 3 with a walk, double, a run batted in, and two runs scored.  Starter Matt Cleveland allows three runs, two earned, on three hits, no walks, with four strikeouts through 5.1 innings to earn his third victory against three losses and a 3.89 ERA.  A trio of relievers join to allow one run on one hit and three walks with three strikeouts over the final 3.2 innings.

Aberdeen loses to Lowell, while the Hudson Valley Renegades defeat Vermont.  Net result is Brooklyn and Hudson Valley are now tied for second just one game behind the Ironbirds.  Next up, the Cyclones open a series against the Lake Monsters at Vermont.

                                                                                


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Amazin' Date 7/25/1969: Mets Take Koosman Off the Hook Against Reds

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY
Cincinnati Reds @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

For seven innings Reds starter Jim Maloney and Jerry Koosman duel in game two at Shea Stadium.  Maloney allows just one earned run on five hits and four walks with one strikeout before exiting on the winning side of Friday night's affair.  Koosman on the other hand yields three earned runs on six hits and one walk with five strikeouts through seven, but with a little help from his friends escapes with a no decision.  A two run home run by J.C. Martin and an RBI from Wayne Garrett in the eighth put the Met ahead en route to a 4-3 final.  Ron Taylor gives up just one hit in two innings for the win, improving his record to 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA.  Art Shamsky goes 1 for 2 with a walk, double, and a run batted in.  Pete Rose goes 1 for 4 with an RBI, and Tony Perez clubs his 28th home run and drives in his 72nd run of the season.  The Mets even the series with Cincy and gain a full game on the Cubs whom lost to the Dodgers earlier this afternoon at Wrigley.

  • Mets Record: 54-40
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 5 GB


Brooklyn Cyclones Claw Back Valley Cats

From the desks of:  THE SURF AVENUE SLUGGERS



Tri-City Valley Cats
vs.
Brooklyn Cyclones

member when the Cyclones were in first place as recently as Sunday?  member?

The first place Aberdeen Ironbirds are now winners of five in a row and hold a two game league over both Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley Renegades.  Fourth place Staten Island is fading somewhat, falling five games out of first.  But they weren't fading recently against Aberdeen, were they, when the Cyclones most needed a little help from their Staten Island chums.  So much for being a good neighbor, ya bunch of rats.  That being said, the unavoidable truth is Brooklyn did themselves no favors earlier in the month when they were swept by Aberdeen at Coney.

What now?

How about blowing Tuesday's rain shortened official game?  After trading runs in the first, Tri-City strikes for three runs in the top of the fifth.  The Cyclones are limited to just one crack at a comeback, but go down quietly in the bottom of the frame.  After which Mother Nature grew impatient and did what she does best.

On Wednesday Brooklyn promptly jumps out to a five run lead in the first highlighted by third baseman Jose Peroza's two run home run.  Peroza was recently promoted from the GCL Mets where he posted six home runs, 20 RBI, with a 1.155 OPS in 16 games and 64 at-bats.  Left fielder Antoine Duplantis is 2 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Joe Genord drives in his 21st run of the season.  Luke Ritter and Wilmer Reyes also drive in a run apiece rounding out Brooklyn's 9-2 margin of victory.

Brooklyn starter Frank Valentino throws 75 pitches in 4.2 innings of work.  He surrenders two earned runs on two hits and two walks with no strikeouts.  Mitch Ragan yields no runs, no hits, and fans three batters through 2.1 innings pitched for the victory.  Daniel Goggin closes out the game with two scoreless innings one-hit ball with a trio of strikeouts.


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Amazin' Date 7/24/1969: Reds Upend Mets in 12th Inning

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

Game #93: Thursday, July 24, 1969 - BR
Cincinnati Reds @ New York Mets
Shea Stadium

The season's second half is officially underway with the Cincinnati Reds in town to play a four game weekend series at Shea Stadium.  Thursday's opener turned into a game of horse of sorts.  Starters Gary Gentry and Jim Merritt traded zeroes for the first five innings.  Then with one out in the sixth, big hitting center fielder Bobby Tolan connects off Gentry for his 18th home run of the season.  With one out in the bottom half of the frame, Donn Clendenon reciprocates with a home run off Merritt.  The Reds strike back two innings later.  Lee May's sac-fly to center scores Pete Rose from third for a 2-1 Reds lead.  However Cleon Jones answers back with a home run leading-off the bottom half of the eighth.  With two outs in the top of the ninth Reds manager Dave Bristol lets his starting pitcher bat.  Merritt rewards his manager's benevolence with a solo home run off Gentry giving himself a 3-2 lead.  But when Al Weis singles leading-off the bottom half of the frame Bristol calls in Wayne Granger from the bullpen.  Tommie Agee greets the Reds reliever with a come-backer but Granger's errant throw allows Weis to advance to third.  Art Shamsky follows with a ground ball to second but Weis is cut down at home; Agee advances to third.  Next in, Wayne Garrett's sac-fly to right scores Agee knotting the game at three.

Both Gentry and Merritt walk off with no decisions.  Gentry yields three runs, two earned, on seven hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.  Merritt allows three earned runs on nine hits and one walk with five strikeouts.

Into the twelfth they go.  With Tug McGraw pitching in relief of Gentry slugger Tony Perez connects on his 23rd home run of the season.  The Mets this time have no answer against Pedro Ramos pitching the tenth in relief of Granger.  The Reds prevail by a 4-3 margin over the Mets.

  • Mets Record: 53-40
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 6 GB

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Amazin' Date 7/23/1969: Mets Send Three Representatives to All-Star Game

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

The 1969 New York Mets are represented by three players in Major League Baseball's 40th mid-summer classic being held at R.F. K. Stadium at Washington DC, home of the Senators.  Pitchers Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman are joined by left fielder Cleon Jones who is selected by the fans.

Seaver owns a 14-5 record with a 2.59 ERA through 22 starts to date.  He's yielded just 130 hits through 158 innings pitched with 131 strikeouts.  Seaver has achieved double-digit strikeouts three times, and on June 8 at San Diego fanned a season high 14 batters.  And of course there is the Imperfect Game of June 24 against Chicago at Shea Stadium, where Tom Terrific came within one out of perfection, undone by little known Jimmy Qualls with two outs in the ninth.  This marks Seaver's third straight All-Star appearance.

Southpaw Jerry Koosman is making his second straight All-Star appearance.  He struggles in April and is ultimately placed on the disabled list before the month is through.  Making his second start since returning to action on May 28 and his sixth start overall, Koosman strikes out 15 batters in ten innings against the San Diego Padres at Shea Stadium.  On June 7, Koosman strikes out another 11 Padres batters at San Diego.  Two starts later he authors the first of back-to-back shutout performances; the first at Philadelphia, and the second against the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea.  He enters the break riding a streak of three straight complete game shutout victories with 20 strikeouts.  To date Koosman owns an 8-5 record and a stellar 1.88 ERA with 115 strikeouts through 124.1 innings pitched.  Not since June 7 has Koosman's ERA touched two.

Now in his sixth major league season, Cleon Jones makes his first All-Star appearance.  The soon to be 26-year old left fielder is in the midst of a career year.  Cleon sizzles out of the gate posting an 11-game hitting streak in April.  He continues batting upwards of .400 through the season's first 30 games, and to date has 32 multi-hit games under his belt.  Cleon enters the break batting .341 with ten home runs, 56 RBI, and a .506 slugging average.


AMAZIN' AT THE BREAK
  • Mets Record: 53-39 (.576)
  • N.L. East: 2nd place; 5 GB

New York's .576 winning percentage is second in the National League behind only the Cubs, whom they trail by five games in, this, the first ever N.L. East division race.  The Atlanta Braves of the N.L. West division presently hold a precarious one game lead over the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tommie Agee was out of action a full week (Apr. 18-26), and was used very sparingly through May 6 when the Mets arrive from a four game series at Wrigley Field.  He nevertheless leads the Mets with 16 home runs and is second to Cleon Jones with 46 runs batted in.  His is hitting an even .300 through 20 games in July with five home runs and 15 RBI.

Ron Taylor continues answering manager Gil Hodges' calls to the pen.  He owns a 4-3 record with nine saves and a 2.28 ERA through 38 relief appearances while yielding just 34 hits with 30 strikeouts through 47.1 innings pitched.




  • Cleon Jones: 2 for 4, two runs scored (hits against Mel Stottlemyre, Dave McNally).
  • Jerry Koosman: 1.2 innings; one hit; one strikeout (faces Rico Petrocelli; John Roseboro; Brooks Robinson; Mike Andrews; Carl Yastrzemski; and Paul Blair).
  • Tom Seaver: DNP





Monday, July 22, 2019

N.Y. Mets: Pete Alonso Resumes Amazin' Assault on Club Records

From the desk of:  LEAD-BUTTING MR. MET



BEWARE POLAR BEAR WITH BAT

Pete Alonso so far this season has obliterated thee all-time Mets club records.

On May 6, 1983 Darryl Strawberry makes his major league debut.  He proceeds to both hit a Mets rookie record 26 home runs over his next 121 regular season games and drive in a record 74 runs en route to winning N.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

Rewind seven years and back in 1976 Dave Kingman sets the club record for most round trippers before the All-Star break amassing 30 home runs just 88 games into the season.

Then along comes Pete Alonso.  Sure he dominated all of triple-A last season in home runs and RBI.  But no one can say with a straight face they saw this coming.  For in less than 100 games as a major league player the man has shattered Mets records which have stood for over three and four decades respectively.

On June 23, 2019 Pete Alonso breaks Strawberry's Mets rookie record with home run #27 in just the 77th game of his career.  On July 17, 2019 at Minnesota, Alonso hits his 31st home run of the season breaking Kingman's record for most home runs before the All-Star break (accomplishing the feat in 94 games played).  And on July 20, 2019 at San Francisco, Alonso drives in three runs giving him 75 for the season, and thus breaking Darryl Strawberry's Mets record for RBI in a season by a rookie.  Alonso accomplishes the feat in just 97 games played, an impressive 25 games less than it took Strawberry.  Most remarkable of all is that ten days still remain before the month of July expires.

As of close of business Sunday, Pete Alonso is slashing .267/.359/.615/.974, with 56 extra base hits, 33 home runs, and 75 RBI, through 97 games and 356 at-bats.  He hit his 33rd home run this past Saturday while appearing as a pinch-hitter against the Giants at San Francisco.  He also sports a 3.6 WAR and 28 RAA (runs better than avg.)  The next Mets game will be their 100th of the season, leaving 62 games for Alonso to potentially wreak havoc on National League pitching like Godzilla going through Tokyo.

Mets All-Time Single Season Leaders:
  • Home Runs: 41 (Todd Hundley '96; Beltran '06).
  • RBI: 124 (Mike Piazza '99; David Wright '08).
  • Slugging: .614 (Mike Piazza '00).
  • OPS: 1.024 (Mike Piazza '98).
  • Total Bases: 334 (David Wright '08)


The Polar Bear may not achieve all the magic numbers.  But the time certainly has come for us to leave behind the discussion of most prolific hitting rookie born of the Mets system, and begin contemplating what may turn into the most prolific all around Mets season ever.  Alonso is just eight home runs, 49 runs batted in, and 115 total bases from tying the club's aforementioned milestones.  He is presently on pace to hit 55 home runs, drive in 125 runs, and tally 366 total bases according to Baseball-Reference 162 game average.

Grrrr...!


Sunday, July 21, 2019

N.Y. Mets: A Buffalo Sized Problem Behind Home Plate

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


California Snoozing

Catcher Wilson Ramos is putting his full repertoire of deficiencies on full display this weekend at San Francisco.  Had he been playing in the sweltering heat presently roasting New York City, I'd perhaps be fractionally more empathetic towards his plight.  After all he carries a big frame on deteriorating knees.  But while playing in the oddly cool July weather of San Francisco Bay I'll entertain no excuse.

Two plays in particular highlight what is to date four month's worth of deteriorating skills, remarkable indifference, or just plain old ineptitude - pick your poison.  There is the tenth inning of Friday's game in which he fails to properly align himself for an inbound relay throw from left fielder Dom Smith and Todd Frazier from third.  Dom Smith's initial error not withstanding, being out of position to receive an otherwise accurate throw from Frazier turns out being the final act of the game.  During Saturday's affair he offers what has become a habitually lazy backhand stab at pitches out of the strike zone.  This latest infraction occurred on a fastball low and away.  I watched that play three times (via magic of the rewind button) and came away convinced Ramos was trying to get out of the way!  Just remember jest is embedded with little grains of truth.

With nine passed balls through 89 games played, he is now one away from tying his career high of ten set during the 2016 season.  His five fielding errors are likewise just three away from his career high of eight set during the 2013 season.  His -6 DRS (according to Fangraphs) is presently a career low.  Moreover his rate of caught stealing registers at an embarrassing 14% which is barely half of the National League (27%) average.  In fact, there so far have been 62 stolen bases on his watch - easily the highest number of his career.  The Mets are 98 games into the season with 64 left to play.  With the dog days of summer dead ahead, dare I ponder what lies ahead.

In the meantime Brodie's free agent acquisition is proving himself to be a non-conducive element towards any potential team success.  Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Jason Vargas have all intimated their preference for Tomas Nido behind the plate.  Said another way, the Mets have battery issues.  He turns 32-years old in 20 more days, and is priced reasonably well for next season at $10 million (with a club option in 2021).  Yet as the trade deadline approaches reports indicate there's nary a team in sight expressing interest in his services.

I wonder why.


Look What the Ducks Did to the Lancaster Barnstormers, Again

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Ducks Lead Series 3-0
I - LID 9; LAN 5
II - LID 2; LAN 1
III - LID 5; LAN 4

GAME FOUR
Lancaster Barnstormers
vs.
Long Island Ducks
FROM
THE POND

Showing no signs of letting up the Ducks close out their third straight victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers - and in doing so nudge the High Point Rockers from their brief stay atop the Liberty Division.  Now back in first, the Flock seeks to complete a sweep of Lancaster at Bethpage Ballpark on Sunday

Long Island wins game one of Friday's doubleheader by a slim 2-1 margin.  All scoring takes place in the fourth.  Facing Ducks starter Darin Downs, Lancaster manufactures a run on a double by Joey Terdoslavich who later comes around to score on a fielder's choice.  Recent Long Island newcomer T.J. Rivera leads off the bottom of the frame with a hit.  One out later, Rivera scores on Lew Ford's triple to right.  Lew Ford soon scores on third baseman Terdoslavich throwing error for a 2-1 lead and final margin of victory.  Downs yields just one run on four hits and no walks with six strikeouts through six innings pitched for his second victory of the season.  Michael Tonkin pitches a scoreless seventh for his first save as a member of the Ducks.

With game two tied at five entering the final frame, Long Island reliever Zack Weiss completes his second inning of scoreless work.  In the home seventh, Lancaster reliever Alejandro Chacin walks the bases loaded.  With two outs, in steps Daniel Fields who greets Chacin with a knock over the right/center field wall for a game ending walk-off grand slam home run.

*            *            *

On Saturday the Ducks win their third straight.  A three run home run from Hector Sanchez in the third, and RBI from Vladimir Frias and David Washington stake the Ducks to a 5-0 lead after four innings.  Starter Joe Iorio allows no runs on just three hits and three walks with two strikeouts through six innings pitched.  Long Island almost unravels when Lancaster rallies for four runs in the eighth off reliever Cody Mincey.  Manager Wally Backman then calls upon relievers Rob Rogers and Michael Tonkin to douse the fire.  The Flock hold on for a 5-4 victory, and stand poised to sweep the Barnstormers with one more victory on Sunday.



Saturday, July 20, 2019

First Place Brooklyn Cyclones Keep Connecticut Tigers at Bay

From the desk of:  THE CONEY ISLAND NINE

THE DODD

Brooklyn Cyclones
vs.
Connecticut Tigers
FROM
Thomas Dodd Memorial Stadium
NORWICH

Brooklyn's road trip continues through Connecticut, where the Cyclones begin a three game weekend series against the Tigers on Saturday. 

The home team opens the scoring straightaway on right fielder Kona Quiggle's RBI hit in the first.  However, Cyclones pitching would yield no more.  Starter Matt Cleveland collaborates with three relievers on a one unearned run seven hit performance with just three walks and seven strikeouts.  The Cyclones score four times in the fifth with runs batted in from Chandler Avant (recently shifted from Columbia Fireflies) and Wilmer Reyes.  Reyes would later cap off the scoring with a two run home run in the eighth en route to the 6-1 game one victory at the Dodd.

LEAPFROGGING THE RENEGADES

Wednesday's rain out at Dutchess County ballpark forces the formerly first place Renegades and Cyclones to play a Thursday double-header.  The teams split the day with the Cyclones taking game one by a 3-2 final.  Jose Mena hits a one out home run in the seventh to put Brooklyn ahead, and P.J. Conlon closes out Hudson Valley in the bottom half of the frame for his first save of the season. 

In game two Brooklyn takes a 6-5 lead into the final frame but are unable to close out the game.  Cyclone reliever Hunter Parsons yields a lead-off walk, two hits and surrenders the tying run.  He then unleashes a wild pitch and intentionally walks the bases loaded before surrendering the game winning hit off the bat of Renegade pinch-hitter Mason Mallard. 

In Friday's rubber game the Cyclones get a run batted in from center fielder Jake Mangum, and two more from shortstop Wilmer Reyes.  Starter Daniel Goggin is roughed up for two runs on two hits and three walks with four strikeouts through 2.2 innings of work.  The bullpen however joins for 6.1 innings of scoreless of five hit ball with just one walk and nine strikeouts.  Matt Mullenbach pitches the final two innings in earning his third save of the season.

*         *         *

The McNamara Division race remains tight as a tourniquet.  By virtue of one less loss as of close of business Saturday the Cyclones maintain a precarious hold on first place over the Hudson Valley Renegades whom trail by just one-half game.  The Aberdeen Ironbirds are one game out.  And a mere 3.5 games is all that separate the last place Staten Island Yankees from Brooklyn.



Amazin' Date 7/20/1969: Bobby Pheil Bunt Saves the Day

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

Sunday, July 20, 1969
New York Mets @ Montreal Expos
Parc Jarry

GAME ONE #91

The Mets strike first with a pair of runs in the second, but in the fourth the Expos strike back with three.  And therein lies your final score in game one of Sunday's twin bill at Parc Jarry.  Both starting pitchers go the distance.  J.C. Martin draws a one-out walk against Montreal's Gary Waslewski, whom then yields a double to Al Weis.  With two outs Tommie Agee's hit to left delivers home both runners for a 2-0 lead that would last through the third.  Meanwhile Waslewski would surrender no more.  Montreal puts him on the winning side of the ledger in the fourth as left fielder Mack Jones, first baseman Bob Bailey, and shortstop Bobby Wine all connect for solo home runs off Mets starter Gary Gentry.  Otherwise Gentry yields just two other hits and four walks with four strikeouts in a losing eight inning effort.  His record now stands at 9-8 with a 3.36 ERA.  Gary Waslewski allows two runs on five hits and eight walks with six strikeouts over nine full innings for only his second victory of the season.  The Mets go 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

GAME TWO #92

With one out in the top of the ninth and the game knotted at two, Jerry Grote is pinch hit for by Cleon Jones whom draws a bases loaded walk to put the Mets ahead.  But Coco Laboy's home run off Ron Taylor in the bottom half of the frame sends the game into extra innings.  With two outs in the top of the tenth inning, Ron Swoboda doubles to left field off Expos relief ace Roy Face and advances all the way to third on an error by center fielder Adolfo Phillips.  Pinch hitting for pitcher Ron Taylor, Bobby Pheil then lays a bunt down the third base line scoring Swoboda with the go-ahead run.  Jack DiLauro earns the victory with a scoreless frame in relief of Taylor.  Starter Don Cardwell pitches very well, again, but walks off to another no-decision after yielding two runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks with five strikeouts through 7.1 innings.  Swoboda is 3 for 4 with a walk, double, RBI, and two runs scored.  Cleon Jones and Wayne Garrett also drive in a run apiece en route to New York's 4-3 victory.  With a split of Sunday's double-header the Mets likewise salvage a four-game split at Montreal.

  • Mets Record: 53-39
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 5 GB



Friday, July 19, 2019

Amazin' Date 7/19/1969: Expos Upend Seaver in Game Two

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

Game #90: Saturday, July 19, 1969 - BR
New York Mets @ Montreal Expos
Parc Jarry

Tom Seaver losses back to back decisions for the first time this season.  Expos third baseman Coco Laboy opens the scoring with a lead-off home run in the second.  Then with two outs and runners on the corners Remy Hermoso singles home Montreal's second run.  Center fielder Mack Jones doubles leading-off the third and first baseman Bob Bailey singles to right giving the Expos a 3-0 lead.  It is then manager Gil Hodges decides Seaver just doesn't have it.  Jim McAndrew enters in relief and with one out yields a run scoring single to catcher Ron Brand.  Easily his worst outing of the season, Seaver is charged with four runs on seven hits and one walk with three strikeouts through two official innings pitched.  Coco Laboy drives in his second run of the game in the fifth off McAndrew for a 5-0 Montreal lead.  The Expos seemingly try giving the game away in the seventh.  The Mets capitalize best they can on Montreal fielding errors in left field and at shortstop along with run scoring hits off the bats of Wayne Garrett, Ed Kranepool, and Ron Swoboda.  Starter Bill Stoneham regroups to earn a complete game victory.  He yields four runs, none earned, on six hits and one walk with ten strikeouts through nine full innings pitched.

  • Mets Record: 52-38
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 4 GB


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Amazin' Grilling with Jeff Cohen's Baseball And BBQ on another Metsian Poodcast

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

SUMMERTIME

A METSIAN PODCAST
with SAM, RICH, and MIKE

WITH GUEST

94 minutes



STUFF
Twins Series ~ Trade Deadline ~ Brodie Scuttlebutt
Zack Wheeler ~ Edwin Diaz
Pete Alonso ~ Robinson Cano ~ Amed Rosario
Todd Frazier ~ Dom Smith ~ Juan Lagares ~ Brandon Nimmo
The Core ~ Mike Vail ~ and so much more!



Amazin' Date 7/18/1969: Koosman Goes Distance in Victory Over Expos

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

Game #89: Friday, July 18, 1969 - BR
New York Mets @ Montreal Expos
Parc Jarry

With the Mets making their second visit to Parc Jarry, game one pits Jerry Koosman against Montreal's Jerry Roberston.  Art Shamsky opens the scoring in the fourth with his eighth home run of the season.  Expos center fielder Adolfo Phillips returns the favor in the bottom half of the frame when he connects off Koosman with a runner on.  Undeterred, the Mets score twice more in the fifth; Art Shamsky draws a bases loaded walk, and Wayne Garrett's base hit scores Ken Boswell.  However Cleon Jones is thrown out at home in his attempt to score.  Jerry Grote caps off the scoring in the eighth with his second home run of the season.  Jerry Koosman goes the distance, yielding two runs on seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.  He improves to 8-5 on the season with a stellar 1.88 ERA.

With Friday's series opening victory over the Montreal Expos, the Mets win their fourth in a row, and their twelfth game in their last 15 games.  Unfortunately they failed to gain ground on the Cubs whom defeated the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium.
  • Mets Record: 52-37 (.584)
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 4 GB


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Amazin' Date 7/16/19: Slugging Mets Take Series at Wrigley

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

AMAZIN'
THE MIRACLE METS
50th ANNIVERSARY

Game #88: Wednesday, July 16, 1969 - BR
New York Mets @ Chicago Cubs
Wrigley Field

The Mets win rubber game at Wrigley; close within four games of the first place Cubs.

Said simply, both starting pitchers Don Cardwell and Fergie Jenkins are terrible.  The Cubs rough up Cardwell for four runs on six hits in only 1.2 innings pitched.  The Mets meanwhile tag Jenkins for five runs on six hits.  Tommie Agee finally knocks Jenkins out if the box with a home run leading off the second.  The Mets ultimately prevail by a 9-5 final.  Al Weis hits his second home run in as many days, and Art Shamsky hits his seventh home run of the season.  J.C Martin, Ed Kranepool, Ken Boswell, and Wayne Garrett, also drive in runs for the Mets.  Cal Koonce earns his fourth victory with a marvelous five inning effort, yielding no runs on four hits with a strikeout.  Ron Taylor closes out the game with two scoreless innings in relief of Koonce to earn his ninth save of the season.

Chicago still leads the season series by a slim 7-6 margin.  The Mets and Cubs do not meet again until September.  In the meantime, the dog days of summer are upon us.
  • Mets Record: 51-37 (.579)
  • N.L. East: 2nd; 4 GB