July 25, 1965: Mets Win in Westrum's Debut
|Date: July 25, 1965|
|Mets starter: Galen Cisco|
|Winning pitcher: Galen Cisco|
|Key player(s): Billy Cowan, Galen Cisco, Gary Kroll|
|Key play: Cowan’s two-run triple|
The Mets faced the Phillies in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. A Shea Stadium crowd of 36,921 was on hand for the debut of new manager Wes Westrum. In the opener of the twinbill, the Mets made Westrum a winner in his first game as team skipper with an 8-1 victory over Philadelphia.
Following a scoreless first inning, the Phils took a 1-0 lead on Wes Covington’s home run leading off the top of the second. Mets’ starter Galen Cisco retired the next three batters with a ground out and two fly balls to right fielder Jim Hickman. In the bottom of the inning, a two-out single by Chris Cannizzaro scored Hickman to tie the game. Cisco hit a grounder on which second baseman Ruben Amaro made an error. Bobby Klaus came home from third on the miscue to put the Mets ahead. Phillies’ starter Bo Belinsky threw a wild pitch before surrendering a triple to Billy Cowan that plated Cannizzaro and Cisco. Roy McMillan singled off reliever Ed Roebuck to score Cowan for the Mets’ fifth run. Charley Smith then hit into a force play for the third out.
Cisco allowed only a two-out double to Amaro in a scoreless top of the third inning. In the bottom half, the Mets loaded the bases with none out against Philadelphia reliever Art Mahaffey. Klaus hit a single to left field to score Ron Swoboda and extend the Mets’ lead to 6-1. Mahaffey struck out the next two batters and got Cowan to hit into an inning-ending force play. Cisco then shut down the Phillies without a hit in the top of the fourth.
McMillan doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. Smith followed with a single to bring home Roy. A single by Swoboda moved Smith to third and Hickman popped out to Amaro. Smith scored on Ed Kranepool’s sacrifice fly for the Mets’ eighth run. Mahaffey fanned Klaus for the final out of the inning. In the fifth and sixth, Cisco yielded two singles while pitching scoreless ball. Phils’ reliever Jack Baldschun answered with three strikeouts in a pair of perfect bottom halves.
In the top of the seventh inning, Mets’ reliever Gary Kroll struck out the side after a leadoff single by Dick Stuart. Against the Phillies’ Gary Wagner, Hickman led off the bottom half with a single and Klaus doubled with one out. On Cannizzaro’s ensuing ground ball, third baseman Dick Allen threw home to catch Hickman in a rundown. Jim was tagged out by Allen as Klaus advanced to third. Following an attempt to catch Cannizzaro at second, Klaus was out at home on Amaro’s throw to Wagner. The unusual double play ended the inning.
Kroll recorded two strikeouts in pitching a 1-2-3 top of the eighth. Wagner retired the Mets in order in the bottom half. In the top of the ninth, Kroll retired the first two Philadelphia batters and gave up an infield single to Stuart. Gary the retired Clay Dalrymple on a fly ball to left fielder Swoboda to end the game. The Mets began the twinbill with a win in their first game under Westrum.
Westrum took over as Mets manager after Casey Stengel had suffered an overnight hip fracture. Stengel’s injury forced him into retirement and Wes continued to manage the team.