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Just Say No-No

The Mets have never had a walk-off win on July 21st, but that date has had an unusual share of metmorable events, both for good and for bad.

On July 21, 1965, Al Jackson took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before it was broken up with one out by future Hall of Famer Willie Stargell.

On July 21, 1972, Willie Mays homered in his return to San Francisco as a Met.

On July 21, 1975, Joe Torre hit into four double plays in a 4-2 loss to the Astros. ("Tom Seaver said he'd hide me in his trunk to get me out of here," Torre said to reporters afterwards.)

Of greater recency, it's the anniversary of a 12-0 pasting of Jake Peavy (2005) and John Maine's first career shutout (2006).

July 21 also marks the date of one of the most unusual wins in Mets history, a 3-0 road victory over the Padres in 1970.

What was odd about this victory was that it came in a game in which the Mets were being no-hit for the first eight innings.

In fact, the Padres pitcher, Clay Kirby, left with a no-hitter intact, trailing, 1-0 through eight innings.

The Mets scored in the first inning via a pair of walks, a double steal, and a groundout by Art Shamsky.

The Padres would be 30 games out of first place after this game, so it would have been the highlight of their season for a pitcher to have thrown nine no-hit innings. But when Kirby's spot was due up in the home eighth, with two outs and nobody on, manager Preston Gomez sent up a pinch-hitter. Current Blue Jays skipper Cito Gaston struck out to end the inning.

The frustration of those who followed the Padres was apparently at a level comparable to those currently following the Mets. The New York Times tells how one fan actually stormed on to the field by the Padres dugout to express his displeasure.

The no-hit bid ended with the first batter of the ninth inning, when Bud Harrelson singled off reliever Jack Baldschun. The Mets added two more runs to pad their lead. The Padres lost, 3-0.

Perhaps forgotten in the tale of this game is that it was one of Jim McAndrew's best efforts as a Met- a three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts and no walks.

The truly no-hit Mets fan knows...The Mets have at least three wins in games in which they were no-hit for 8+ innings.

They beat Jim Maloney, 1-0 after being no-hit by him for 10 innings in 1965.

They beat Larry Dierker, 1-0 in 1966, after Dierker pitched a perfect game for eight innings

And they beat Clay Kirby and the Padres in the game referenced above.


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