July 15, 1969: Weis Homers in Win Over Cubs
|Date: July 15, 1969|
|Mets starter: Gary Gentry|
|Winning pitcher: Gary Gentry|
|Key player(s): Al Weis|
|Key play: Weis's three-run homer|
The Mets faced the Cubs on a Tuesday afternoon in Chicago. The top two teams in the National League Eastern Division squared off in the second game of a crucial three-game set. Al Weis hit his first home run of the season to lead the Mets to a 5-4 win.
After two scoreless innings to start the game, Weis opened the top of the third with a single off Cubs' starter Dick Selma. A sacrifice bunt by Gary Gentry advanced Weis to second base. Tommie Agee followed with a triple to score Weis for a 1-0 Mets lead. Selma retired Ken Boswell and Cleon Jones on infield ground balls for the second and third outs. Jimmy Qualls began the bottom half with a single off Mets' starter Gentry and went to second on Selma's sacrifice bunt. After stealing third, Qualls scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Don Kessinger. Gentry then got Glenn Beckert to fly out to center fielder Agee and end the inning.
Art Shamsky hit a single to lead off the top of the fourth. Wayne Garrett struck out and Ed Kranepool singled to move Shamsky to third base. Selma fanned J. C. Martin to bring Weis to the plate with two outs. Al connected for a three-run homer to put the Mets ahead, 4-1. Gentry took a called third strike to close out the inning. Gary then recorded two strikeouts of his own in shutting down Chicago in the bottom half.
Agee grounded out to second baseman Beckert to start the top of the fifth inning. Boswell followed with a homer for the Mets' fifth run of the game. Selma walked Jones and Cubs' reliever Rich Nye struck out Shamsky. Garrett hit a fly ball to center fielder Qualls for the third out. Gentry then pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning.
Nye set down the Mets in order in the top of the sixth. In the bottom half, Ron Santo hit a single with two outs. An ensuing single by Ernie Banks was misplayed by Agee and allowed Santo to score. Willie Smith popped out to shortstop Weis to end the inning. Nye retired the Mets 1-2-3 again in the top of the seventh. Gentry then pitched a perfect bottom half.
The Mets were held scoreless by Chicago reliever Hank Aguirre in the top of the eighth inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Gentry yielded back-to-back solo homers to Billy Williams and Santo. Mets' reliever Ron Taylor got Banks on an inning-ending pop-up to first baseman Kranepool. Aguirre then shut down the Mets again in the top of the ninth.
Taylor struck out Smith to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Ron followed up with a strikeout of Randy Hundley. Qualls then hit a grounder to Kranepool on which Taylor took the throw at first base to end the game. The Mets had a critical victory over their main division rival.