May 31, 1965: Mets Defeat Cubs in DH Opener

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Date: May 31, 1965
Mets starter: Jack Fisher
Mets: 5
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Jack Fisher
Key player(s): Jack Fisher, Ed Kranepool, Jim Hickman
Key play: Kranepool’s double, Hickman’s homer and single

The Mets faced the Cubs in a doubleheader on a Monday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played a three-hour and one-minute opener of the Memorial Day twinbill at Wrigley Field. The Mets scored four runs in the first inning and came away with a 5-2 win.

Bobby Klaus drew a walk against Cubs’ starter Cal Koonce to lead off the top of the first. Johnny Lewis walked and Joe Christopher lined to first baseman Ernie Banks for an unassisted double play. Ed Kranepool hit a double to drive home Klaus with the first run of the game. Chuck Hiller was walked intentionally and Jim Hickman slugged a three-run homer for a 4-0 Mets lead. Koonce retired Roy McMillan on a fly ball to left fielder Harvey Kuenn for the third out. Mets’ starter Jack Fisher then gave up only a double to Billy Williams in the bottom half.

Fisher and Koonce each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fourth. Christopher drew a one-out walk against Koonce in the top of the fifth. Kranepool singled to send Christopher to third base and Hiller was called out on strikes. Hickman singled to score Christopher and increase the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Chicago reliever Bob Humphreys retired McMillan on an inning-ending pop-up to Banks. Fisher then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Humphreys hurled a scoreless top of the sixth. Fisher retired all three batters on infield ground balls in the bottom half and Cubs’ reliever Lindy McDaniel yielded just a single to Kranepool in the top of the seventh. Williams singled to open the bottom half. Ron Santo went down on strikes and Banks drew a walk. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third base before Doug Clemens fouled out to third baseman Klaus. Pinch-hitter George Altman reached on an error by second baseman Hiller that allowed both Williams and Banks to come home. Fisher then got pinch-hitter Jimmy Stewart to ground out to Hiller and finish off the inning.

McDaniel pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Glenn Beckert got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Don Landrum drew a walk and Kuenn hit a force play grounder to Klaus. Fisher retired Williams on a fly ball to center fielder Hickman and fanned Santo for the inning’s third out. The Mets had the bases loaded with one out against Chicago reliever Ted Abernathy in the top of the ninth. Abernathy then struck out both Hickman and McMillan to end the inning.

Banks flied out to right fielder Lewis to begin the bottom of the ninth. Clemens went down on strikes. Fisher then retired Vic Roznovsky on a line drive to left fielder Christopher for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory to start the holiday doubleheader.