Posted by D Whit at 10:00 AM
After chasing them all the summer, the Chicago Cubs came to Shea for a brief two game series against New York-the Mets were now just 2.5 games behind Chicago. Over 43,000 came out to cheer on the Mets march to a miracle as Jerry Koosman faced off against Bill Hands.
It was a pitcher’s duel early but in the bottom of the 3rd SS Buddy Harrelson singled with one out and after Koosman fouled out, CF Tommie Agee stepped up to the plate-and delivered. His two run blast put New York up 2-0. The two hurlers returned to dueling, silencing the bats until the Cubs half of the 6th Cub SS Don Kessinger singled to left, then 2B Glen Beckert singled Kessinger to 3rd, giving Chicago runners on the corners with none out.
Then the dangerous Billy Williams came up and promptly singled home Kessinger, making it a run game. Ron Santo followed and drove one deep to LF that resulted in a sac fly RBI for the Cubs third baseman, tying it up at 2. “Kooz” wasn’t out of the woods yet though. Ernie Banks hit the ball hard, but it was hauled in by Agee in center. With two outs, it was Jim Hickman at the plate when Koosman uncorked a wild pitch-moving Williams to third. Hickman walked, putting runners on the corners for Randy Hundley-once again the ball was hit hard but Hundley’s fly was caught by Ron Swoboda in RF, ending the Cub’s threat to take the lead.
The Mets answered right back off Hand as Agee led off the bottom half of the frame with a two bagger to left and then 3B Wayne Garrett drove him home with what turned out to be the winning run. The Cubs threatened, putting two men on in the 8th but Koosman pitched out the jam and wrapped up in the 9th with his 13th win of the season.
Just a month ago New York sat 8.5 games behind Chicago, and now just one and half games separated the Mets (81-57) and the Cubs (84-57) in the NL East.