Saturday, May 31, 1969, Shea Stadium, NY, and the Mets are hosting the San Francisco Giants for a weekend set. The Mets enter the game 20-23, in 4th place, already 9 games behind the high-flying Chicago Cubs in the newly christened NL East – 1969 just may be the Northsiders year!
Gary Gentry (3-4) takes the hill against Gaylord Perry (7-4) with 32,178 on hand. Seaver won the opener the night before, with the Mets hoping to make hay on this 8-game homestand before a west coast road trip.
In fact, this homestand was the beginning of the turnaround for the 1969 Mets – despite a 2 run HR from Willie McCovey (283rd career) in the 4th (in the midst of his MVP season), they’d win this game 4-2, led by Ed Charles, who knocked in all 4 runs, including a 3 run HR. Gentry scattered 5 hits through 7 and Tug McGraw pitched the last 2 innings with 4Ks for his first (!) save of the season.
After dropping the first game, the Mets would go on to have a 7-1 homestand, and carry the momentum out to the west coast, winning 11 in a row to move to 29-23. Although only picking up 2 games on the red-hot Cubs (now being 7 back), the tide had turned and they’d hang with the Cubs all summer, setting up their September showdown.
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