September 10, 1969: Ryan Three-Hits Expos for Sweep
|Date: September 10, 1969|
|Mets starter: Nolan Ryan|
|Winning pitcher: Nolan Ryan|
|Key player(s): Nolan Ryan, Cleon Jones, Ken Boswell|
|Key play: Mets’ six runs in 3rd|
The Mets faced the Expos in a twi-night doubleheader on a Wednesday evening at Shea Stadium. After winning the opener to enter first place in the National League East Division, the Mets aimed for a sweep in the nightcap. Nolan Ryan pitched a three-hit complete game in a 7-1 Mets victory over Montreal.
Following a scoreless first inning, Rusty Staub and Mack Jones drew back-to-back walks to open the top of the second. Coco Laboy flied out to left fielder Cleon Jones to advance the runners to second and third base. John Bateman reached on an error by shortstop Bud Harrelson that allowed Staub to score and Mack Jones to move to third. Bobby Wine hit a ground ball on which Harrelson threw to catcher Jerry Grote for an out at home on Mack Jones. Ryan struck out Howie Reed to end the inning. Reed then pitched a perfect bottom half.
Ryan retired the side in order in the top of the third. In the bottom of the inning, Grote hit a leadoff double and went to third base on a single by Harrelson. Ryan followed with a grounder on which Grote was caught and tagged out by shortstop Wine. Tommie Agee was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Harrelson scored on a wild pitch. Wayne Garrett singled to bring home Ryan and advanced to second on a throw. Cleon Jones hit a single to drive home Agee. On the play, Garrett scored the Mets’ fourth run via an error by first baseman Ron Fairly that allowed Cleon Jones to go to third. Reed was then replaced on the mound by Expos’ reliever Dan McGinn.
Art Shamsky greeted McGinn with an infield single on which Cleon Jones stayed at third base. Ken Boswell singled to score Cleon Jones and send Shamsky to second. On Donn Clendenon’s ensuing force play grounder to Wine, Shamsky scored via an error by second baseman Remy Hermoso to increase the Mets’ lead to 6-1. Grote grounded out to Hermoso to end the inning and Ryan hurled a scoreless top of the fourth. McGinn then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.
Ryan and Montreal’s Carl Morton each pitched a scoreless fifth inning. Leading off the top of the sixth, Hermoso got an infield single for the Expos’ first hit of the game. Fairly drew a walk and Staub flied out to right fielder Shamsky. Ryan fanned Mack Jones and Laboy for the inning’s final outs and Morton set down the Mets in order in the bottom half. Ryan retired the Expos 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh and Boswell hit a one-out triple against Montreal reliever Don Shaw in the bottom of the inning. A wild pitch plated Boswell with the Mets’ seventh run and Ed Kranepool grounded out to third baseman Laboy. Shaw then struck out Grote to end the inning.
Ryan held the Expos to a single by pinch-hitter Kevin Collins in the top of the eighth. Montreal’s Carroll Sembera pitched a scoreless bottom half. Staub went down on strikes to begin the top of the ninth inning. Mack Jones singled and went to second base on a balk. Ryan fanned Laboy for his eleventh strikeout of the night. Nolan then got Bateman to fly out to right fielder Rod Gaspar and end the game. The Mets had a doubleheader sweep to go one full game ahead in the N. L. East.