September 19, 1965: Four Runs in 1st Lead Mets Over Cubs

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Date: September 19, 1965
Mets starter: Dick Selma
Mets: 8
Cubs: 6
Winning pitcher: Darrell Sutherland
Key player(s): Cleon Jones, Bobby Klaus, Darrell Sutherland
Key play: Jones’ double and single, Klaus’s home run

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Sunday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played a two-hour and fifty-eight-minute game at Wrigley Field. The Mets scored four runs in the first inning and came away with an 8-6 win.

Bobby Klaus drew a walk against Cubs’ starter Bob Hendley to lead off the top of the first. Bud Harrelson singled for his first major league hit and Charley Smith hit a single to drive home Klaus. Jim Hickman popped out to shortstop Don Kessinger and a walk to Ron Swoboda loaded the bases. Danny Napoleon went down on strikes and Cleon Jones doubled to score Harrelson and Smith. On his own hit, Jones advanced to third via an error by right fielder Billy Williams that allowed Swoboda to come home for a four-run Mets lead. Hendley struck out Greg Goossen to end the inning. Mets’ starter Dick Selma then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

With one out in the top of the second, Klaus hit a home run to increase the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Harrelson was struck out and Smith popped out to first baseman Ernie Banks to finish off the inning. Selma shut down the Cubs in the bottom half and Hickman singled against Hendley to open the top of the third. Swoboda drew a walk and Napoleon hit a ground ball on which Chicago reliever Bob Humphreys threw to third baseman Ron Santo for an out on Hickman. Humphreys got Jones on a force play grounder to second baseman Glenn Beckert and retired Goossen on an inning-ending pop-up to Kessinger. Selma then yielded only a single to pinch-hitter Don Landrum in the bottom half.

Cubs’ reliever Cal Koonce hurled a scoreless top of the fourth. Williams drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning. Santo popped out to shortstop Harrelson and a single by Banks ensued. Selma retired George Altman and Chris Krug on consecutive infield ground balls to end the inning and Hickman drew a one-out walk in the top of the fifth. Swoboda hit a double and Napoleon went down on strikes. Jones singled to bring home Hickman for a 6-0 Mets lead. Koonce then retired Goossen on a fly ball to center fielder Landrum for the third out of the inning.

Kessinger got a single to open the bottom of the fifth. Landrum was struck out and pinch-hitter Doug Clemens singled to send Kessinger to third base. Beckert hit a single to score Kessinger and a pop-up by Williams was caught by second baseman Klaus. Santo walked to load the bases and Selma was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Darrell Sutherland. Banks greeted Sutherland with a single that drove home Clemens and Beckert. Altman singled to plate Santo and reduce the Mets’ lead to 6-4. Sutherland then struck out Krug to end the inning.

Sutherland singled against Chicago reliever Ernie Broglio to lead off the top of the sixth. Klaus hit a force play ground ball to Banks and a single by pinch-hitter Chuck Hiller followed. Catcher Krug’s passed ball moved the runners to second and third before an intentional walk to Smith loaded the bases. Hickman walked to force home Klaus for a 7-4 Mets lead. Cubs’ reliever Lindy McDaniel got Swoboda to hit a grounder to Kessinger for an inning-ending double play. Sutherland then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Napoleon hit a leadoff double in the top of the seventh. Jones grounded out to Kessinger and a called third strike was thrown past Goossen. Sutherland reached on Kessinger’s error that brought home Napoleon with the Mets’ eighth run of the game. Klaus grounded out to Santo to end the inning and Sutherland hurled a perfect bottom half. McDaniel retired the Mets in order in the top of the eighth. Darrell then set down all three batters on infield ground balls in the bottom of the inning.

Chicago reliever Ken Holtzman surrendered only a walk to Jones in the top of the ninth. Kessinger tripled to begin the bottom half. Landrum hit a triple to score Kessinger and cut the Mets’ lead to 8-5. A sacrifice fly by Ed Bailey plated Landrum with the Cubs’ sixth run. Beckert grounded out to shortstop Klaus (who had shifted from second) and a walk to Williams followed. Sutherland then got Santo to hit a force play grounder to third baseman Smith for the game’s final out. The Mets had held on for a victory.