Twenty memorable doubleheaders for the Mets

In honor of today’s single-admission doubleheader with the Giants, I’ve gone back and listed 20 memorable moments in doubleheaders from Mets history.  Usually these lists are 10 items long but with a doubleheader you get twice the fun!  This is neither exhaustive nor definitive, so if you have a moment from a twinbill worth mentioning – please leave it in the comments section.  Now, let’s go to the list.

5/12/62 – The second DH in franchise history, the Mets won both games with a walkoff HR.  In G1, Hobie Landrith hit a two-run HR off Warren Spahn to give the Mets a 3-2 win.  In G2, Gil Hodges cracked a solo shot for an 8-7 win.

5/31/64 – This DH started off innocently enough, as Juan Marichal won G1, his fourth win against the club.  He would win 19 straight decisions against the Mets.  The real fun came in G2 as the teams played 23 innings before the Giants emerged with a 6-2 win.  Gaylord Perry pitched 10 innings in relief to pick up the victory.

6/21/64Jim Bunning threw a Perfect Game (G1) becoming the first player in the National League to accomplish the feat in 84 years.  He needed just 90 pitches in the outing and 79 of them were strikes.

6/20/65 – The Mets squared off against the Dodgers and faced Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.  They lost to Koufax, 2-1, but beat Drysdale, 3-2.

9/10/69 – The Mets swept a DH from the Montreal Expos and in the process they moved into first place for the very first time in franchise history.

9/12/69 – Another sweep, with both games coming by a 1-0 score.   That alone would be enough to make the list but they cherry on this sundae comes as the pitchers drive in the only runs.  Jerry Koosman had an RBI single to right for the game’s only run in the opener while Don Cardwell delivered an RBI single to center in the nightcap.

5/29/71 – Mets pitchers fan 26 Padres in DH to establish a record.  Tom Seaver had 10 in G1 and Nolan Ryan had 16 in G2 as the Mets recorded a sweep.

10/1/73 – The regular season was slated to end on September 30th and at the close of the day, the Mets had a one-game lead on the St. Louis Cardinals.  But the Mets had only played 160 games.  If this was 1972, when the Detroit Tigers won the AL East by a half game over the Boston Red Sox, as teams played an uneven number of games due to the strike that opened the year, the Mets would have been declared the winners.  But they had to make up the games this time.  The Mets won G1, 6-1, to clinch the NL East.  G2 was not played

8/5/75 – The Mets lost both games to the Expos by identical 7-0 scores and fired Yogi Berra after losing the DH.

8/24/75Ed Halicki no-hits the Mets in G2.  Rusty Staub led off the fifth inning and hits a ball off Halicki, which rolls to the second baseman, who bobbles before throwing late to first base.  The play is ruled an error and Halicki gets the no-no.

8/2/79 – The Mets traded for Jose Cardenal between games, sending cash to the Phillies to acquire the veteran outfielder.  Cardenal was in the Phillies dugout for G1 and the Mets in G2 but he did not get into either game.

7/31/83Jesse Orosco becomes the last pitcher to win both games of a DH for the Mets.  Both games went to 12 innings and in the nightcap, the Mets were no-hit for 8.1 innings by Jose DeLeon before Hubie Brooks singled in the ninth.  Mike Torrez pitched 11 shutout innings and came away with a no-decision.

6/6/86 – The Pirates win G1, 7-1, for their only win in 18 games against the Mets this season.  Barry Bonds hit his second career HR in this game, which comes against Ron Darling.

7/23/96Doug Henry loses both games of a DH.  In G2 he gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth as the Mets lost, 11-10.  In the first game after the Mets scored six runs in the top of the eighth inning, Henry allowed three runs in the bottom of the frame.

5/20/99Robin Ventura first player in MLB history to hit grand slam in both games of a DH as the Mets swept the Brewers.  In G1 he took Jim Abbott deep in the first inning in a game the Mets won, 11-10.  In G2 he connected off Horacio Estrada in the fourth inning in a 10-1 laugher.

7/8/00 – The Mets play a home and home DH with the Yankees and lose both games.  The winning pitchers were Dwight Gooden and Roger Clemens.

9/3/02 – The Marlins won in G1 in 12 innings, sending the Mets to a new NL record with 15 straight home losses.  Previous mark of 14 straight set by the 1911 Boston Braves.  The streak ended at 15, as the Mets won G2, 11-5.

4/27/03 – Go review the note from 5/29/71.  In this twinbill, the Mets established a new record by fanning 27 times in a DH, going up against Randy Johnson and Brandon Webb.

9/6/06 – The Mets sweep the Braves in a DH, winning by a combined 12-1 score.  Since then they are 1-7 in DH games against Atlanta.

9/24/11 – The second half of the season did not go well for the Mets, but on this day they swept the first place Phillies, sending Philadelphia to its seventh and eighth consecutive losses.

*****

The Mets go up against Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner in today’s games.  They are 1-3 lifetime against Lincecum and have yet to face Bumgarner.  But it can’t be any worse than going up against Drysdale and Koufax in the prime of their careers, right?

4 comments for “Twenty memorable doubleheaders for the Mets

  1. Bobby Townsend
    April 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Brian, I do have some recollection of what happened at the end of the 1973 season. That season, the NL East was a collection of six mediocre teams and the Mets entered the month of September in last place which saw Willie Mays announce his retirement shortly thereafter.
    On the final day of the season, the Mets surged into a 1 1/2 game lead on the Cardinals and a 2 game lead on the Pirates.
    The Mets still had 4 more games left to play which included back-to-back DHs at Wrigley Field, the Cards had one more game to play (which they won) and the Pirates had to beat the Phillies on the final day (which they did) and then have to play San Diego in a makeup game the next day and lost.
    The Mets split a DH on the Sunday extending the regular season one more day. The Mets were scheduled to play a makeup DH again in Wrigley. The Mets went on to win Game 1 while the Pirates loss had already happened. Therefore the Mets clinched the NL East with an 82-79 record and the second game was rendered meaningless, therefore was cancelled.
    But going into that Monday, the possibility of a three-way tie did exist had the Pirates beaten San Diego and the Mets lost both ends of that DH. All three teams would have finished at 81-81
    As for the Red Sox in 1972, the season began with a players strike that wiped out the first 10 days of the season. Those games were never made up therefore, not all teams played the same number of games.
    The Sox traveled to Detroit for the last three regular season games leading the Tigers by 1/2 game so essentially, that series was a best-of-three to determine the AL East Champ. The Tigers won the 1st two games of that series when Mickey Lolich and Woodie Fryman bested John Curtis and Luis Tiant to give the Tigers a 1 1/2 game lead with one to play. The Sox won the finale (which turned out to be meaningless) to cut the final margin to 1/2 game

    • Brian Joura
      April 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      That’s wild about 1972! Can you imagine such a thing happening today? Oh well, they would have lost to the A’s in the ALCS anyway – even if Dave Stewart wasn’t pitching. Thanks for all of the info in your post.

  2. Doug Parker
    April 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Great post, Brian!

    I can still barely process the concept of losing to Clemens and Gooden on the same day.

    And that Bunning stat line is just plain filthy– for some perspective, Humber threw 96 pitches in his recent perfect game, 67 of which were strikes…

    • Brian Joura
      April 24, 2012 at 9:13 am

      That was the only game Gooden ever pitched against the Mets. Clearly a case where once was (more than) enough.

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