The 69 Miracle Mets caught Chicago well after the All-Star break then sprinted past the Cubs, but there were earlier signs of this being a special summer.
A 20-5 run screamed the Mets would be a serious contender. That included a doubleheader sweep of Philadelphia at Shea Stadium on this date that moved them within 4.5 games of first place.
Tom Seaver pitched a complete game to win the opener, 2-1, backed by a RBI triple from Bud Harrelson and Cleon Jones’ single in the third inning.
Seaver struck out nine and walked only one to raise his record to 11-3.
In the nightcap, the Mets scored four runs in the fourth inning to back Jim McAndrew, who gave up two hits in eight innings in the 5-0 victory.
FIRST GAME BOX
SECOND GAME BOX
There were a lot of special moments in 1969 ranging from the black cat to Seaver’s near perfect game to the late-season pitching run. However, what signs were there that made you believe this would be a year like no other in Mets history?
David Wright was cleared today to resume baseball activities and will head tomorrow to Port St. Lucie to begin his rehab.
The Mets are talking about two weeks, but we’ve heard that song before. There’s a lot of torque to a baseball swing and we don’t know how his back will respond to that stress.
It is premature to discuss where Wright will hit in the order when he returns, just as it is too soon to assume he’ll be back in two weeks and step right in.
This should come under the category of: No surprises here.
Chris Capuano pitched a strong six innings, but left today’s 4-1 victory over the Athletics with pain in his right abdomen.
There was no word from the Mets after the game whether Capuano would miss his next start.
NOTEBOOK: Pitching prospect Matt Harvey and third baseman Jefry Marte will participate in the Future’s Game as part of the All-Star festivities in Phoenix. … Mets starters have a 2.62 ERA over the last 27 games. … Second baseman Ruben Tejada is in a 2-for-29 slump. … Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee will pitch against Texas this weekend. None have faced the Rangers.
Maybe it was a make-up call from the Baseball Gods after last week’s balk-off loss, but the Mets caught a break last night when Justin Turner made no effort to avoid being hit by a pitch, and, in fact, appeared to lead into the ball. He admitted he took one for the team.
By rule, he should have been out.
Although his record doesn’t show it, R.A. Dickey has pitched better lately. Opponents tagged him for a .308 average in April, but are hitting just .183 in June. He lost another victory last night when Francisco Rodriguez coughed up his second straight save opportunity. Rodriguez has given up 11 earned runs in his last 11 appearances, calling his performance “pathetic.”
The word also applies to Jason Bay, who went 0-for-5 with three more strikeouts, and today has been moved out of the cleanup spot.
Here’s today’s lineup against Oakland:
Jose Reyes, SS
Justin Turner, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Daniel Murphy, 3B
Angel Pagan, CF
Jason Bay, LF
Lucas Duda, 1B
Josh Thole, C
Chris Capuano, LP
Flashback to last week and that crushing loss in Atlanta when Francisco Rodriguez coughed up the lead in the ninth and D.J. Carrasco balked in the winning run?
DICKEY: Tries to break Mets' slide tonight.
Well, of course you do. Evidently, so do the Mets, who have lost three of four since. It was suggested at the time how important it was for the Mets to rebound and but the loss behind them.
Obviously, they haven’t.
R.A. Dickey goes tonight for the Mets. Last season’s surprise is floundering at 3-7. Sure, he’s lost a few he could have won, but he’s been inconsistent with command of his knuckleball, a hard pitch to control to begin with.
Dickey gave up six runs in his previous start, last Thursday at Atlanta, a game in which the Mets rallied to take the lead, but blew it in the late innings.
Cooling off is Jose Reyes, who is on a 2-for-19 slide during this stretch of interleague play. Not surprising, the only game in which he got a hit the Mets won.
However, Jason Bay might be warming up, going 10-for-24 over the past six games, including a homer and triple last night.
If you’d like to talk during tonight’s game, log in to the chat room on your left.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Ike Davis is expected back in two weeks.
That was mid-May.
DAVIS: News not good.
The news isn’t good for Davis, whom GM Sandy Alderson said could require season-ending surgery after a MRI today revealed cartilage damage along with the bone bruise.
Davis had been wearing a protective boot, and the hope is the blood flow in his leg will improve enough to allow him to start running in three weeks. If he can’t, then he’ll undergo surgery.
Davis told ESPN: “Obviously surgery is an athlete’s nightmare, but I’ve had one surgery on my wrist and it worked out really well and it came back better than I was before.
“If it’s going to get me on the field again, obviously that’s something we have to do. But, obviously, we’re going to get a second opinion and see if everything coincides with everything everyone says, and hopefully in three weeks I’m starting to run again.’’