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When Rock Bottom is a Good Thing

Forty years ago Thursday is a significant date in Mets history. It was the bottoming out point for the 1969 Mets.

An 8-2 loss to the Astros in Houston dropped them to 62-51. By the end of the day, after the Cubs had beaten the Padres, the 1969 Mets were 9 1/2 games out of first place, in third place in the NL East.

For whatever reason, the 1969 Astros were the Mets bugaboo. In 12 meetings, Houston won 10, and the Astros outscored the Mets, 78-36. But once the Mets were done with them, something magical took place.

It would be nice if the 1969 Mets could transfer their invincibility cloak forward 40 years hence, but I'm not expecting it. But then again, who would have expected something like this.

Over their last 49 regular season games, the 1969 Mets highlights included...

- Going 38-11
- Going 15-2 in 1-run games
- An ERA of 2.06 and an opponents batting average of .207
- Tom Seaver: 9-0, 1.24 ERA
- Jerry Koosman: 8-1, 2.35 ERA
- Tug McGraw: 4-1, 5 SV, 0.61 ERA
- Ron Swoboda: team-best: 26 RBI (despite hitting .222)
- Ken Boswell: .407 BA

Forty years later, those numbers are still pretty staggering, almost to the point of being hard to believe.


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