July 9, 1967: Comeback in 9th Jolts Braves

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Date: July 9, 1967
Mets starter: Jack Fisher
Mets: 5
Braves: 4
Winning pitcher: Hal Reniff
Key player(s): Bud Harrelson, Jerry Buchek, Ron Swoboda
Key play: Buchek’s home run, Swoboda’s walk

The Mets faced the Braves on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets scored twice with two outs in the ninth inning for a 5-4 win over Atlanta.

With two outs in the top of the first, Hank Aaron singled and advanced to third base on an ensuing single by Rico Carty. Joe Torre singled to drive home Aaron for a 1-0 Braves lead. Mets’ starter Jack Fisher retired Clete Boyer on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Bob Johnson and a single by Bud Harrelson opened the bottom half. Atlanta’s Ken Johnson set down the next three Mets batters and Fisher hurled a scoreless top of the second. Ken Johnson then held the Mets to a single by Bob Johnson in the bottom of the inning.

Fisher pitched a perfect top of the third. Harrelson hit a one-out double in the bottom half. Larry Stahl flied out to left fielder Carty and a single by Tommy Davis scored Harrelson with the tying run. Ed Kranepool drew a walk and Ron Swoboda flied out to center fielder Mack Jones to finish off the inning. In the top of the fourth, Torre and Boyer got back-to-back singles with one out. Denis Menke flied out to right fielder Swoboda. Fisher then got Woody Woodward on a foul pop-up to third baseman Ed Charles for the inning’s final out.

Leading off the bottom of the fourth, Charles hit a home run to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Bob Johnson and Jerry Grote were struck out and Fisher was retired on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Aaron. Ken Johnson singled to open the top of the fifth. Felipe Alou followed with a homer to put the Braves back on top by a run. Jones grounded out to first baseman Kranepool and a fly ball by Aaron was caught by left fielder Davis. Fisher then struck out Carty to end the inning.

Harrelson got a bunt single to begin the bottom of the fifth. Bud stole second base and Stahl popped out to third baseman Boyer. Davis fouled out to catcher Torre and a single by Kranepool brought home Harrelson to tie the game at 3-3. Swoboda was retired on a foul pop-up to Torre that ended the inning and Fisher shut down the Braves in the top of the sixth. Ken Johnson then retired all three New York batters in the bottom half.

Fisher yielded only a single to Alou in a scoreless top of the seventh. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Harrelson singled against Atlanta reliever Dick Kelley for his fourth hit of the game. Pinch-hitter Tommie Reynolds grounded out to second baseman Woodward and an intentional walk to Davis ensued. Kelley got Kranepool to fly out to Carty and end the inning. To begin the top of the eighth, Aaron homered against Fisher to regain a one-run lead for the Braves. Hal Reniff came in to pitch for the Mets and retired Carty on a ground ball to shortstop Harrelson. Torre hit a single and Boyer grounded to Harrelson for an inning-ending double play. Kelley then set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Reniff retired the side in order in the top of the ninth. To start the bottom of the inning, Kelley struck out Grote and got pinch-hitter Cleon Jones to ground out to Woodward. With the Mets an out away from defeat, Jerry Buchek came up to pinch-hit for Harrelson. Buchek slugged a home run that tied the game at 4-4. Kelley issued a walk to Reynolds and was replaced on the mound by Atlanta reliever Claude Raymond. Davis singled to send Reynolds to third and Kranepool was walked intentionally to load the bases. Raymond then walked Swoboda to force home Reynolds and bring the game to an end. The Mets had an amazing come-from-behind victory.