July 23, 1965: Stephenson's Single Gives Stengel Last Win

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Date: July 23, 1965
Mets starter: Jack Fisher
Mets: 3
Phillies: 2
Winning pitcher: Jack Fisher
Key player(s): Jack Fisher, Jim Hickman, John Stephenson
Key play: Hickman’s homer in 4th, Stephenson’s single in 10th

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a four-game weekend series. John Stephenson hit a run-scoring single in the 10th inning for a 3-2 Mets victory that turned out to be Casey Stengel’s final win as a manager.

Mets’ starter Jack Fisher retired the Phils in order in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Billy Cowan led off with a double against Philadelphia starter Chris Short. Roy McMillan hit a foul fly to right fielder Johnny Callison on which Cowan advanced to third base. Charley Smith’s sacrifice bunt scored Cowan for a 1-0 Mets lead. Short walked Ron Swoboda and threw a called third strike past Jim Hickman for the third out. Fisher pitched a perfect top of the second. Short then shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning.

After a scoreless third, Fisher walked Johnny Briggs to begin the top of the fourth. Briggs moved to second base on Tony Taylor’s sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a double by Callison. Dick Allen singled to bring home Callison and put the Phillies ahead, 2-1. Tony Gonzalez hit into a force play and Dick Stuart flied out to right fielder Hickman to end the inning. Jim homered with two outs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game for the Mets. Short then fanned Ed Kranepool for the third out.

From the fifth inning to the ninth, Fisher and Short each pitched scoreless ball. Jack retired the Phils 1-2-3 in the fifth and sixth and withstood a bases-loaded situation in the seventh. He followed up with a perfect eighth and a scoreless top of the ninth. Short, meanwhile, yielded a sixth-inning double to Smith and retired all other Mets batters. Fisher then set down all three Philadelphia hitters in the top of the 10th inning.

To open the bottom of the 10th, Phillies’ reliever Jack Baldschun retired pinch-hitter Johnny Lewis on a foul pop-up to third baseman Allen. Kranepool followed with a single to center field. Pinch-hitter Chuck Hiller hit a single to move Ed to third base. Stephenson delivered a pinch-hit single that scored Kranepool and ended the game. The Mets had an extra-inning win for (unknown at the time) Stengel’s last victory of his managerial career.

Notes

  • Stengel suffered an injury the next day that forced him into sudden retirement.
  • Phillies players collided on three different fly balls in the eighth and ninth innings. On the first collision, Briggs and Taylor were injured and had to leave the game.