October 5, 1969: Game Two of NLCS

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Date: October 5, 1969
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 11
Braves: 6
Winning pitcher: Ron Taylor
Key player(s): Art Shamsky, Cleon Jones
Key play: Home runs by Agee, Boswell and Jones

The Mets and Braves faced each other in the second game of the National League Championship Series on a Sunday afternoon at Atlanta Stadium. The Braves aimed to even the best of-five series while the Mets looked for a two-game advantage over the West Division champions. The Mets scored in each of the first five innings and raced to an 11-6 win over Atlanta.

The Mets loaded the bases with none out against Braves’ starter Ron Reed in the top of the first inning. Reed responded by throwing a called third strike past Art Shamsky and fanning Ken Boswell. A single by Ed Kranepool scored Tommie Agee with the first run of the game. Reed got Jerry Grote on a called third strike for the third out. Mets’ starter Jerry Koosman walked Felix Millan to open the bottom half. Tony Gonzalez took a called third strike. Koosman then got Hank Aaron to hit a ground ball to shortstop Bud Harrelson for an inning-ending double play.

Koosman drew a walk with one out in the top of the second. Agee followed with a home run to extend the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Wayne Garrett was retired on a grounder back to Reed and a double by Cleon Jones followed. Shamsky singled to drive home Jones and advanced to third base on an error by center fielder Gonzalez. Atlanta reliever Paul Doyle came in to pitch and struck out Boswell to end the inning. Koosman pitched a perfect bottom half and Grote reached on an error by first baseman Orlando Cepeda with one out in the top of the third. Harrelson doubled to drive home Grote with the Mets’ fifth run. Doyle threw a called third strike past Koosman and issued an intentional walk to Agee. Garrett singled to score Harrelson for a 6-0 Mets lead. Braves’ reliever Milt Pappas fanned Jones for the third out. Koosman then shut down the Braves in the bottom of the inning.

Shamsky began the top of the fourth with a single to right field. Boswell homered to increase the Mets’ lead to eight runs. Pappas retired the next three New York batters and Rico Carty got a one-out double in the bottom of the inning. Cepeda singled to score Carty with the Braves’ first run of the game. Koosman struck out Clete Boyer and got Bob Didier to hit an inning-ending force play grounder to Harrelson. Garrett doubled with two outs in the top of the fifth. An ensuing single by Jones plated Wayne for the Mets’ ninth run. Pappas then struck out Shamsky to end the inning.

Millan got a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth. Gonzalez drew a walk and Aaron hit a three-run homer. Koosman issued a walk to Carty, who advanced to third base on a double by Cepeda. Boyer singled to score Carty and Cepeda, cutting the New York lead to 9-6. Mets’ reliever Ron Taylor retired Didier on a line drive to second baseman Boswell to close out the inning. Atlanta’s Jim Britton and Cecil Upshaw combined to pitch a scoreless top of the sixth. Millan singled with two outs in the bottom half. Taylor then fanned Gonzalez for the third out.

Agee drew a one-out walk in the top of the seventh inning. Tommie stole second base and advanced to third on Garrett’s fly out to Gonzalez. Jones followed with a home run for the Mets’ tenth and eleventh runs of the game. Shamsky singled and Boswell grounded out to second baseman Millan to end the inning. Mets’ reliever Tug McGraw shut down the Braves in the bottom half. Upshaw retired the Mets in order in the top of the eighth. McGraw hurled a perfect bottom of the inning. Atlanta reliever Gary Neibauer then held the Mets without a run in the top of the ninth.

Millan walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Gonzalez hit a single and Aaron was called out on strikes. Carty hit a ground ball to second baseman Al Weis for a double play that ended the game. The Mets had a victory and a 2-0 lead in the Series.