September 14, 1962: Coleman's Homer in 9th Defeats Reds
|Date: September 14, 1962|
|Mets starter: Al Jackson|
|Winning pitcher: Roger Craig|
|Key player(s): Choo Choo Coleman, Frank Thomas, Vada Pinson|
|Key play: Coleman’s home run in 9th|
The Mets faced the Reds on a Friday night at the Polo Grounds. The team was playing for the first time in four days and had seven losses and a rain-shortened tie over its previous eight games. On a ninth-inning home run by Choo Choo Coleman, the Mets finally came out on the winning end with a 10-9 triumph over Cincinnati.
Mets’ starter Al Jackson walked Eddie Kasko to begin the top of the first inning. Kasko moved to second base on a ground out and scored on a single by Leo Cardenas. Jackson struck out the next two batters and Elio Chacon homered off the Reds’ Joe Nuxhall to tie the game in the bottom half. Rod Kanehl struck out and back-to-back doubles by Charlie Neal and Frank Thomas gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. Nuxhall completed the inning with no further scoring and Jackson shut down the Reds in the top of the second.
The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the second inning. Thomas delivered a single to left field, scoring Jackson and Chacon. Jim Hickman followed with a double off reliever John Tsitouris to bring home Neal. On second baseman Don Blasingame’s error, Thomas also scored on the play. A double by Joe Christopher plated Hickman to extend the Mets’ lead to 7-1. Tsitouris then got Coleman on a grounder to shortstop Cardenas for the third out.
Jackson and Tsitouris each pitched a scoreless third inning. In the top of the fourth, Wally Post doubled with one out and scored on a single by Rogelio Alvarez. Vada Pinson drew a walk and Jackson struck out Johnny Edwards. Al retired pinch-hitter Gene Freese on a ground ball to shortstop Chacon to end the inning. Cincinnati’s Dave Sisler then retired the Mets in order in the bottom half.
Kasko walked and Blasingame singled to open the top of the fifth inning. Jackson fanned Cardenas and surrendered a single to Frank Robinson that scored Kasko. Blasingame came home on Post’s single and Robinson crossed the plate on Coleman’s passed ball. After Alvarez walked, Pinson singled to score Post for the Reds’ sixth run. Mets’ reliever Craig Anderson then finished the inning with the Mets still ahead by one.
For Cincinnati, Jim Brosnan pitched a scoreless bottom of the fifth inning. Anderson and Brosnan each allowed a two-out hit, but no runs, in the sixth. Alvarez singled to lead off the top of the seventh and Pinson followed with an inside-the-park home run to put the Reds ahead, 8-7. Anderson retired the next three batters on infield grounders and Brosnan held the Mets scoreless in the bottom of the inning. Craig then shut down Cincinnati in the top of the eighth.
Pinch-hitting for Anderson, Sammy Taylor got a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Brosnan walked pinch-hitter Gene Woodling and retired Felix Mantilla on a ground ball to third baseman Kasko. Neal singled to score pinch-runner Bob L. Miller with the tying run. Thomas’s ensuing singled brought home pinch-runner Sammy Drake to reclaim the lead for the Mets. Brosnan then struck out Hickman to end the inning.
Mets’ reliever Galen Cisco walked Marty Keough to start the top of the ninth. Jesse Gonder struck out and Pinson hit a triple to score Keough, tying the game at 9-9. In relief of Cisco, Roger Craig retired Edwards on an infield grounder and walked pinch-hitter Joe Gaines. Craig then got Kasko on a fly ball to center fielder Hickman for the third out.
Facing the Reds’ Johnny Klippstein, Coleman came to bat with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Choo Choo hit a home run to end the game. The Mets had their first victory in twelve days.