October 2, 1965: The 18-Inning Scoreless Tie

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Date: October 2, 1965
Mets starter: Rob Gardner
Mets: 0
Phillies: 0
Winning pitcher: None
Key player(s): Rob Gardner, Chris Short
Key play: Game called by curfew

The Mets and Phillies played a twi-night doubleheader on a Saturday at Shea Stadium. After dropping the opener, the Mets aimed for a split in the nightcap. The game ended in a 0-0 tie after 18 innings.

Rob Gardner and Philadelphia’s Chris Short each pitched fifteen (yes, 15) scoreless innings to begin the game. Gardner recorded seven strikeouts while allowing two walks and five hits to the Phils. Meanwhile, Short gave up nine hits and three walks and chalked up eighteen strikeouts of Mets hitters. A total of 109 plate appearances against Gardner and Short took place without a run being scored.

The Mets had two good opportunities to cross the plate against Short, but failed to do so. In the bottom of the third, Ron Hunt doubled with one out. Joe Christopher followed with another double, but Hunt only got as far as third base. Charley Smith went down on strikes and Jim Hickman was walked intentionally to load the bases. Short threw a called third strike past Danny Napoleon to end the inning. The Mets also got back-to-back singles from Greg Goossen and Cleon Jones with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Short then fanned pinch-hitter Roy McMillan for the third out to send the game into extra innings.

Like the Mets, the Phillies’ quality chances to score were minimal. Only twice did the Philadelphia team have a runner at third base with Gardner on the mound. With two outs in the top of the third inning, Cookie Rojas stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by catcher Goossen. Gardner followed up by striking out Dick Allen to end the inning. In the 15th, Tony Gonzalez got a one-out double and advanced to third on Bobby Wine’s fly out to center fielder Jones. Gardner then retired Pat Corrales on an inning-ending foul pop-up to catcher Chris Cannizzaro.

Relievers Darrell Sutherland (Mets) and Gary Wagner (Phillies) pitched a scoreless 16th inning. Sutherland issued a two-out walk to Gonzalez in the top of the 17th. With pinch-hitter John Herrnstein at bat, Gonzalez was caught stealing on a throw by Cannizzaro to shortstop Bobby Klaus for the third out of the inning. Klaus drew a walk to open the bottom half. Jones fouled out to first baseman Herrnstein and a fly ball by pinch-hitter John Stephenson was caught by center fielder Johnny Briggs. Wagner then struck out pinch-hitter Ed Kranepool to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Dennis Ribant hurled a perfect top of the 18th. Jack Baldschun came in to pitch for the Phils in the bottom half. Leading off the inning, Hunt was retired on a ground ball back to Baldschun. Christopher went down on strikes. Baldschun then recorded a strikeout of Smith (the 21st of the game by Phillies pitchers) to end the inning. The game was then halted due to a curfew without a winner being decided.

Notes

  • Gonzalez played all three outfield positions for the Phillies in the game.
  • The game was replayed as half of a season-closing doubleheader the next day. The Phils won both games by identical 3-1 scores. The second game of the twinbill ended in 13 innings. The teams played a total of 49 innings in two days to finish off the ‘65 season.