Jul 06

Today in Mets’ History: Remembering Rod Kanehl

On this date in 1962, Rod Kanehl became the first Met to hit a grand slam homer in a 10-3 rout of the Cardinals in the Polo Grounds. Kanehl connected off Bobby Shantz.

KANEHL: A Casey favorite.

Kanehl played eight seasons in the minors with the Yankees and Reds organizations before getting his shot at age 28 with the Mets in 1962.

Kanehl became of favorite of Casey Stengel for his hustle and versatility, playing everywhere but pitcher and catcher.  Reportedly, when Stengel died in 1975, Kanehl was the only former Met to attend the funeral.

Kanehl played in 340 games over three years and batted .241 with six homers and 47 RBI.

Kanehl died in Palm Springs, Calif., at 70, in 2004.

KANEHL’s CAREER

 

Jul 05

Today in Mets’ History: Cleon Jones signed.

On this day in Mets history, outfielder Cleon Jones from Plateau, Alabama, was signed by scout Julian Morgan in 1962.

JONES: Catches final out of 69 Series.

Jones made his major league debut in 1965, but won the starting centerfielder job out of spring training in 1966 and finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting.

Jones developed into a star in 1969, and was hitting .341 with 10 homers and 56 RBI and was named the starting left fielder in the All-Star Game.

According to several accounts, the turning point of the Miracle Mets’ season came several weeks later when manager Gil Hodges walked out to left field to pull Jones after failing to hustle.

Forty years later, Jones said Hodges was his favorite manager, and recalled the incident as a pivotal moment in that season. J0nes will always be remembered for catching Davey Johnson’s fly to left for the final out of the 1969 World Series.

JONES’ CAREER

Jones was inducted into the Mets’ Hall of Fame in 1991.

 

Jul 02

Today in Mets’ History: Boswell, Garrett pace win over Cards.

Yes, there was Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. Cleon Jones and Tommie Agee had good years. The 1969 Miracle Mets weren’t void of marquee players.

However, they were also a team comprised of role players. Donn Clendenon was a late season addition. Ron Swoboda, Ed Kranepool and Al Weis had their moments.

On this day in 1969, Ken Boswell and Wayne Garrett – two guys probably not recognizable if they chose to take the subway to Shea Stadium – contributed in a 6-4, 14-inning victory at St. Louis.

Boswell singled in a run in the 14th against Ron Willis and Garrett drew a bases-loaded walk.  They combined to go 6-for-13 with five RBI and three runs scored.

BOX SCORE

Koosman started and worked 7.2 innings and Tug McGraw pitched six innings in relief to pick up the win.

Jun 27

Mets Take Series With 8-5 Win Over Rangers

Dillon Gee pitched around some early inning trouble, and the offense put up enough runs to put the game out of reach as the Mets won the game, 8-5 and the series versus the Rangers

Game Notes

Dillon Gee was effective, if not spectacular in his six innings of work today. He allowed three runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out one while allowing one HR. Gee looked to be doomed in the first inning, giving up numerous hits. He settled down and looked very good in the later innings for the most part. He hasn’t shown that good control recently, and thus has been getting hit because he cannot locate.

Four of the bullpen boys came out today. Beato went an clean inning, Byrdak a clean two-thirds, Izzy a clean one-third and K-Rod came out in a game that was five runs ahead and managed to make it only a three run win. K-Rod has consistently looked…bad. It isn’t a matter of pitching himself in and out of trouble now. He is walking batters, giving up extra base hits and being forced into situations. His ineptitude to “close” also hurts some of his trade value.

The offense today existed thanks to major Ranger errors. The first run scored on a wild pitch, the second on an error and the fourth and fifth on a failed “intentional walk”. Its good to see the Mets winning with some timely hitting and aggressive baserunning, but at what point will the lack of any power create problems?

Jason Bay – 0 for 5 with an RBI and a strikeout. 51 K’s in 187 AB’s. Eek.

Daniel Murphy – 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI. Also, caught stealing. Great to see Daniel put up some hits.

Ronny Paulino – 2 for 4 with two runs. He may not be hitting the lefties for power right now, but he is hitting them. Much more then can be said about..

Scott Hairston – 1 for 5 with a strikeout. Hairston only hit wasn’t hit very hard. How much longer is he the acceptable fifth OF?

Turning Point

Mets second inning after Gee gave up two runs. It just gave Dillon confidence to know he wasn’t going to have to win the game, he just couldn’t give it away.

Game Ball

Jose Reyes – 4 for 5 with three runs, an RBI and an SB. Honestly, he slumps for three games and does this. If thats how long he will slump for, opponents will begin walking Jose.

On Deck

The Mets have off tomorrow, and then will face off against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday in Detroit. R.A. Dickey will toe the rubber against the Tigers Rick Porcello. Game Time is 7:05 P.M.

To read my thoughts on this game and the Mets in general, follow me on twitter @TheSeanKenny

Jun 24

Today in Mets’ History: Sweeping the Phillies.

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?