Posted by D Whit at 2:00 PM
New York looks to extend the Miracle of ’69 by sweeping the NL West champion Braves at home in Flushing. Over 54,000 fans filled Shea Stadium to cheer on the Mets in their first home playoff game.
Cheers turned to sighs early though as the hot-hitting Hank Aaron took Gary Gentry deep for a 2-run blast in the 2nd-his 3rd longball of the series. After Gentry ran into trouble in the 3rd, manager Gil Hodges called upon Nolan Ryan to snuff the Brave rally. Trailing 2-0, Tommie Agee put New York on the board with solo shot in the bottom half of the inning.
Art Shamsky led off the 4th with a single and the next batter, the light-hitting Ken Boswell, smacked a rare HR to put the Mets up 3-2. The Braves answered in the top of the 5th with Orlando Cepeda’s 2-run HR off Ryan, to re-take the lead 4-3.
Home run derby at Shea continued in the home half of the 5th when Wayne Garrett went yard against Brave starter Pat Jarvis, putting the Mets up by one, 5-4. Boswell chipped in with an RBI single later in the inning to give New York a 6-4 advantage. Ryan set Atlanta down in order in the 6th.
Jerry Grote smacked a double to right to lead off the bottom of the 6th and three batters later Agee drove him in. That was all Ryan needed as held the Braves scoreless to secure a 7-4 victory and sweep of the Atlanta Braves in the first ever NLCS.
A sad sack expansion franchise for much of the decade, the 1969 New York Mets, a 100-1 shot entering the season, were World Series bound to face the winner of the Baltimore vs. Minnesota ALCS.