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Sound Familiar?

Thursday marks the anniversary of a game that might be confused for one that took place in 2009.

This one occurred in 1963 in Forbes Field against the Pirates, a team that gave the Mets plenty of trouble in their early days.

An Al Moran single gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the second inning and Grover Powell, who pitched so well in his first big league start a week earlier, gave the visitors five very good scoreless innings.

Powell's day ended prematurely when he was hit in the cheek by a line drive, which forced him to leave the game due to blurred vision. His replacement in the sixth, Galen Cisco, pitched credibly for three innings.

In the home ninth, with the Mets still up, 1-0, Pirates shortstop Dick Schofield Sr. (father of the future Met) led off with a walk. The next batter, Manny Mota, bounced a game-ending single to centerfield.

How can that be, you ask? A single with a man on first and nobody out. There should be two on, none out, but the Mets should still be ahead, 1-0, right?

Not quite.

The newspapers of the time provide great description of the events that occurred within this play. I use them to provide the details because I don't know anyone who could remember this game, and I don't know any Met fan of the time who would want any sort of memory from this.

The culprits in defeat were multiple.

* Centerfielder Duke Carmel failed to field Mota's hit cleanly. The ball bounced away and rolled to right field.

* Rightfielder Joe Christopher retrieved the ball and pegged it back towards home plate. The throw however was apparently nowhere within the vicinity of home plate. That allowed Schofield to scamper home with the tying run.

* Catcher Jesse Gonder watched Christopher's ugly throw, rather than chase it down.

* Pitcher Galen Cisco, trying to retrieve Christopher's wild throw, fell down. By the time he got the ball, Mota was on his way to the plate. Cisco's throw to Gonder was in time, but Gonder failed to block the plate, and Mota slid in with the winning run.

Leonard Koppett's story in the New York Times the next day is wonderfully detailed and includes the note that winning pitcher Bob Friend, now a Josh Johnson-esque 8-0 against the Mets, had not allowed an earned run to them in 47 (!) innings. I like his lead, so we'll end with that.

"Even to those who may be inured by exposure to the ability of the New York Mets to fritter away a ball game at the last moment, tonight's 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates is hard to describe and harder to believe."

The truly Inured Mets fan knows... Dick Schofield Sr. is actually the great-uncle of Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth.

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