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Party Like Its 1969

September 10, 1969 is a famous date in Mets history, as it marks the point at which the Amazins moved into first place for good.

The Mets did something on Wednesday that they hadn't done since September 10, 1969, but it had nothing to do with first place, and really nothing to do with anything other than that its the kind of thing we like to note in this blog.

The 2009 Mets scored 7 runs on Wednesday, but managed only 3 RBI. It was hardly an offensive explosion, as the combo of double plays, wild pitches, and errors contributed mightily to the cause.

Only once before have the Mets scored that many runs, with that low an RBI total. That happened to be on September 10, 1969.

I should mention that the Mets played a doubleheader on that date, and the more famous game of the two was the first, in which Ken Boswell's extra-inning walk-off single put the Mets ahead of the Cubs in the standings (great highlight on the 1969 Mets highlight album).

Oft forgotten is the second game, which added a half-a-game cushion to the Mets margin. The Mets beat the Expos 7-1, managing that total with only 3 RBI.

Much like yesterday, the Mets sent an enigmatic, sometimes out of control hurler to the mound against a squad that many would consider offensively-challenged. Much like Oliver Perez mowed down the Padres, Nolan Ryan was fantastic, throwing a complete game three-hitter, with 11 strikeouts and four walks.

The inning of weirdness in this one was the third, in which the Mets managed six runs and six hits, but benefitted greatly from a run-scoring wild pitch and a pair of Montreal errors. They'd add their other tally in the 7th, again on a wild pitch. This helps explain why the Expos finished the season 44-99.

It's also a good omen, certainly a better one than watching Jody Gerut homer as the first batter in Citi Field, that we can already begin making mention of 1969 this early in the season.

True Metdres know...I suppose that it's problematic to mention that the morning after I won a Daniel Murphy bobblehead on E-Bay he made an error, and the day I received my Murphy bobblehead in the mail, he made an error.

I will stand by a comment I made to someone recently that by the start of 2010, we will refer to Murphy as a good left fielder. But for now, he looks like someone who has a chance to break the Mets record for errors in a season by an outfielder, 13, set by none other than Tommie Agee in 1970. Agee, it should be noted, won a Gold Glove that season.


What set the '69 Mets apart is that they thumped the lousy competition, going 24-6 against the expansion Padres and Expos. What's kept the Mets out of the last two postseasons is an inability to beat teams having lousy seasons in the final weeks. Maybe they'll struggle against those team in the early going in '09 and crush them in the closing weeks. Isn't it pretty to think so.

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