1964 was the Mets' First Year in Shea Stadium!

1964 was the Mets' First Year in Shea Stadium!
1964 Record: 53-109

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Game 40: May 26, 1964 (Mets at Chicago)

Mets Outlast Cubs in 13, 9-7

Chicago, IL-- The Mets went from joyous to sad twice in the late innings, but the third time was a charm, as they beat the Chicago Cubs, 9-7 in 13 innings at Wrigley Field Tuesday afternoon.

The Mets blew a 6-4 lead in the ninth and a 7-6 lead in the 12th before Jim Hickman finally finished off the Cubs with a two-run homer in the 13th off lefty Fred Norman.

In fact, the Mets blew a 6-1 lead, which they had built up after their half of the seventh.

The Cubs scored three times in the seventh to draw closer, and rallied in the ninth off Carl Willey. Pinch-hitter Ellis Burton slammed a two-run homer over the left field wall to knot the game.

Undaunted, the Mets scored in the 12th when Cubs third baseman Ron Santo made a rare error, allowing Roy McMillan, who had walked earlier in the inning, to cross the plate.

But the Cubs replied with a run of their own in the 12th, courtesy a bases-loaded walk to Merritt Ranew. The Cubs had the sacks filled with only one out after Ranew scored, setting up a dramatic win for the home team. But reliever Bill Wakefield struck out Billy Cowan and Vic Roznovsky to end the threat.

The Mets (11-29) have their first three-game winning streak of the season and have won six of their last eight games.

"Feels good," Hickman said afterward. "You never know what can happen in extra innings, as we saw today. Felt good to help the team win."

Hickman: 3-for-7, three RBI in the Cubs' third straight win

Mets manager Casey Stengel waxed poetic---sort of.

"I'm too gol-dang old to sweat through a game like this," he said of the see-saw affair. "Too many more of these and you'll see me six feet under!"

Hickman went 3-for-7 with three RBI. Wakefield got the win.

The Mets scored four times in the fifth inning, in which the first six hitters reached base.


Mets record: 11-29, .275 (Last 10: 7-3; streak: W-3); Actual: 12-28

Home: 2-11; Away: 9-18

Runs scored: 116

Runs against: 200

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Game 39: May 24, 1964 (Mets at Houston)

Stallard Brilliant as Mets Take 3 of 4 From Colts, 2-0

Houston, TX-- In a series dominated by starting pitching, the Mets' Tracy Stallard followed suit Sunday night in Houston. And in doing so, he pitched his mates to a rare series win.

Stallard fired a complete-game, five-hit shutout at the Colt .45s as the Mets (10-29) won for the fifth time in seven games.

The Mets scored single runs in the second and third innings, giving Stallard all the offense he would need.

Only one Colt .45 reached second base all evening. Stallard walked two and struck out three.

"Tracy was great," said Mets catcher Jesse Gonder, who called the game and also drove in the second Mets run. "Lots of off-speed stuff to attack their aggressiveness."

Stallard stifled the Colt .45s as the Mets continued to roll

Stallard had to be good, as the Mets' bats were again mostly silent, as they were for most of the series, despite winning three of the four games here.

Houston starter Bob Bruce went eight innings, scattering seven hits and striking out nine.

The Mets are now nearing the end of their 15-game road trip; they only have three games left in it, at Chicago. Despite a 1-4 start to the trip, the Mets have recovered and are 6-6 since leaving New York almost two weeks ago.


Mets record: 10-29, .256 (Last 10: 6-4; streak: W-2); Actual: 11-28

Home: 2-11; Away: 8-18

Runs scored: 107

Runs against: 193

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Games 37 and 38: May 23, 1964 (Mets at Houston)

Owens Vexes Mets, 1-0 In Game 1, But Ninth Inning Rally Gains DH Split

Houston, TX-- Jim Owens pitched with a lot of traffic on the base paths in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader, but the Houston Colt .45s right-hander didn't let any of that traffic come home as he shutout the Mets, 1-0.

The Mets looked to be blanked in Game 2, too, but a three-run ninth inning salvaged a split, 3-1.

In the opener, Owens only had one 1-2-3 inning as the Mets couldn't get that one clutch hit, and the Pennsylvanian pitched a complete game, eight-hit shutout.

The lone run in the game came in the bottom of the ninth off Mets reliever Bill Wakefield---when a single by Bob Lillis scored Eddie Kasko, who had doubled.

Owens was also helped by two double plays turned by his infield.

In Game 2, the Mets were on the verge of being shutout again, trailing 1-0 going into the top of the ninth. This time the Colt .45s pitcher was Ken Johnson, who was working on a seven-hit complete game. Had the Colts won, they would have swept a doubleheader while only scoring two runs all day.

But the Mets' offense finally woke up, exploding for three runs, helped along by two Houston errors. The big blow was a two-run, one-out double by Frank Thomas.

Bill Wakefield pitched a quiet ninth to gain the save for winning pitcher Bobby Locke.

The win in Game 2 was the Mets' fourth in six games, improving their record to 9-29.

"I've been around baseball since the beginning of time," Mets manager Casey Stengel said, "but I ain't never seen a team sweep a doubleheader while only scoring two runs."

Thankfully, the Perfesser still hasn't seen it.

Thomas's clutch double in the ninth inning of Game 2 salvaged a DH split

The Mets' ninth inning in Game 2 started with a single by pinch-hitter Jesse Gonder. Amado Samuel followed with another single, and when left fielder Al Spangler bobbled it, Gonder moved to third and Samuel took second.

Rod Kanehl was up next, and his groundball was muffed by shortstop Lillis, scoring Gonder with the tying run. Ron Hunt was hit by a pitch from reliever Hal Woodeshick, loading the bases with nobody out.

Woodeshick coaxed a short fly ball from George Altman that failed to score a run. But then Thomas delivered, driving a ball into the right-center field gap to plate Samuel and Hunt.

The series concludes with a single game on Sunday.


Mets record: 9-29, .237 (Last 10: 5-5; streak: W-1); Actual: 11-27

Home: 2-11; Away: 7-18

Runs scored: 105

Runs against: 193

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Game 36: May 22, 1964 (Mets at Houston)

Charlie Smith Leads Mets to First Two-Game Win Streak, 5-3

Houston, TX-- The Mets' caravan has taken them to Houston, and finally they are enjoying a winning streak.

Charlie Smith's two-run homer in the fifth inning put the Mets up to stay, and they used more clutch hitting and clutch pitching to subdue the Houston Colt .45s, 5-3 Friday night at Colts Stadium.

It was the first time all year that the Mets (8-28) have strung together more than one win in a row.

Lefty Al Jackson was sharp, going 8.2 innings before needing help from Larry Bearnarth to nail down the victory.

Jackson scattered eight hits and walked only three, striking out two.

After Smith's blast, the Mets scored two more in the sixth and one in the eighth to keep the .45s at bay.

"Good win," Smith said. "We're starting to feel more confident now. Hopefully our bad start is behind us."

Mets manager Casey Stengel was asked what a winning streak feels like.

"Start printing World Series tickets!" the Perfesser said, and no one knew if he was joking or not.

Smith's third home run of the season got the Mets' offense started

The ninth inning got a little scary, though.

Leading 5-1, Jackson got the first two Colt .45s out, then quickly ran into trouble, surrendering back-to-back doubles by John Bateman and Eddie Kasko---the seventh and eighth men in the Houston batting order---to produce a run. Pinch-hitter Bob Aspromonte singled home Kasko, and just like that, it was 5-3.

Enter Bearnarth, but he gave up a single to Bob Lillis, bringing the winning run to the plate in the form of veteran Nellie Fox. But Bearnarth induced a fly ball to George Altman in left and the Mets' first winning streak was in the books.

The series continues with a doubleheader Saturday afternoon.


Mets record: 8-28, .222 (Last 10: 5-5; streak: W-2); Actual: 11-25

Home: 2-11; Away: 6-17

Runs scored: 102

Runs against: 191

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Game 35: May 21, 1964 (Mets at Los Angeles)

Surprise! Mets Beat Koufax, Dodgers, 7-2

Chavez Ravine, CA-- You could have made a mint on this one in Las Vegas.

The 6-28 Mets against the great Sandy Koufax?

Imagine the surprise of so many people this morning when they woke up to the news: the Mets used clutch hitting and clutch pitching and beat Koufax and the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-2, to take the rubber game of the three-game series.

The Mets (7-28) are 5-6 in their last 11 games, and they're gaining a little confidence.

"We know we can play with these teams," outfielder Jim Hickman said. "We just have to start winning more games and we'll feel even better about ourselves. But it's getting better."

Koufax surrendered four unearned runs, but that doesn't change the fact that the Mets got key hits and were able to make the Dodgers pay for their three errors.

Tied 1-1 in the seventh, an error by third baseman Junior Gilliam opened the floodgates for the Mets, who scored three runs after two were out. The big blow was a two-run triple by Joe Christopher. Hickman had three RBI, including a solo home run in the ninth.

In the fourth, Ron Hunt came around to score after reaching base thanks to an error by Maury Wills.

"Mistakes can kill you in this game," Dodgers manager Walt Alston said. "And they (the Mets) proved it tonight."

The Mets' Hickman says the team is gaining confidence

Koufax struck out eight in seven innings of work, but the Mets continually came up with big base hits to tack on more runs.

After the Dodgers pulled to within 4-2 in their half of the seventh, the Mets struck for two runs in the eighth and Hickman's home run in the ninth to keep the Dodgers at bay.

It was only the second series win for the Mets in 1964.

The Mets' .200 winning percentage is their highest since starting the season 1-4.

"There's a long way to go," Hickman said. "Too early to pack it in. I think the guys are feeling better about themselves now."

Mets record: 7-28, .200 (Last 10: 4-6; streak: W-1); Actual: 10-25

Home: 2-11; Away: 5-17

Runs scored: 97

Runs against: 188

Game 34: May 20, 1964 (Mets at Los Angeles)

Dodgers Score Early, Hang On to Beat Mets, 4-3

Chavez Ravine, CA-- It took the Mets seven innings to wake up. Their alarm should have been set sooner.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had a 4-0 lead after two innings, then held on to beat the Mets, 4-3 Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The Mets didn't get their first base hit until the fifth inning, and were scoreless until scoring twice in the seventh and one in the ninth. But their rally fell short.

Frank Howard clubbed a two-run homer in the first inning off Mets starter Ron Locke and light-hitting Dick Tracewski added a solo shot in the second. The Mets had runners on first and second in the ninth, had scored a run to get within 4-3, but Ron Perranoski got pinch-hitter Rod Kanehl to fly out to left field to end the game.

Howard got the Dodgers rolling with a two-run homer in the first inning

The Mets (6-28) still haven't won two games in a row this season.

"Someone should have reminded our guys that the game started at 7:30," Mets manager Casey Stengel said. "We weren't even in the game until it was too late."

Joe Christopher had two hits for the Mets, who will try to win their second series of the year tomorrow. They took two of three from the Braves last week.


Mets record: 6-28, .176 (Last 10: 4-6; streak: L-1); Actual: 10-24

Home: 2-11; Away: 4-17

Runs scored: 90

Runs against: 186

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Game 33: May 19, 1964 (Mets at Los Angeles)

Mets Tame Dodgers, 4-2

Chavez Ravine, CA-- Tracy Stallard has been, by far, the Mets' best starting pitcher this season. Monday night he showed why.

Stallard went eight innings, giving up just one run on six hits, and his effort led the Mets to a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium.

Stallard (2-4) lowered his ERA to 2.81.

The Mets led, 4-0 after seven innings before the Dodgers scored single runs in the eighth and ninth.

Ron Hunt had two hits and two RBI to lead the Mets attack.

Stallard was brilliant in notching his second win of the year

The Mets have now gone 4-5 since their horrific 2-22 start.

The win gave them a 2-4 record on their current 15-game road trip.

Stallard surrendered a two-out triple to Junior Gilliam in the third, then walked Tommy Davis, but he induced a come-backer by Ron Fairly to get out of trouble. Until the eighth, only three Dodgers made it to second base or beyond.

"That was some gosh darn good pitching," said Mets manager Casey Stengel. "Thank the Lord we were able to get that Stallard a win for his efforts."

Willard Hunter pitched a shaky ninth, but got his first save of the year despite a walk, a hit, and two wild pitches.

Charlie Smith had three singles and scored a run for the Mets.


Mets record: 6-27, .182 (Last 10: 4-6; streak: W-1); Actual: 10-23

Home: 2-11; Away: 4-16

Runs scored: 87

Runs against: 182