September 25, 1966: Mets Clinch Ninth Place
|Date: September 25, 1966|
|Mets starter: Jack Fisher|
|Winning pitcher: Dick Selma|
|Key player(s): Cleon Jones, Jim Hickman, Bud Harrelson|
|Key play: Mets' 4 runs in 6th|
The Mets played their final road game of the year against the Reds on a Sunday afternoon. After falling behind, the Mets erupted for seven runs in two innings en route to an 8-4 win at Cincinnati's Crosley Field. The victory guaranteed the Mets their first spot higher than last place in the National League standings.
Jack Fisher and the Reds' Jim O'Toole each began the game with three innings of one-hit shutout ball. In the fourth, Fisher got nailed by Art Shamsky's two-run double and a run-scoring single by Don Pavletich for a 3-0 Cincinnati lead. Jack was removed for a pinch-hitter in the top half of the fifth inning.
After Dick Selma pitched a perfect bottom of the fifth, Bud Harrelson and Ed Bressoud led off the top of the sixth with singles. Cleon Jones followed with another single to score Harrelson. Bressoud came home on Jim Hickman's double and O'Toole was removed from the game. Against reliever Don Nottebart, Jones scored on Greg Goosen's ground out and Hickman crossed the plate on a single by Ron Swoboda. The Mets had taken a 4-3 lead.
Nottebart walked Chuck Hiller to begin the top of the seventh. Harrelson added a one-out single and Bressoud's ground out advanced the runners to second and third. Jones singled to score Hiller and Harrelson and later came home on Goosen's single off the Reds' Darrell Osteen to make it a 7-3 game. Selma then retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning.
Deron Johnson's double scored Tommy Helms for a Cincinnati run in the bottom of the eighth. In the top of the ninth, the Mets loaded the bases against reliever Dom Zanni. Swoboda was hit by a pitch to force home Harrelson with the Mets' eighth run of the game. Zanni then retired Danny Napoleon on an inning-ending grounder.
Selma set down the Reds in order in the bottom of the ninth. Dick had nailed down the win with five innings of three-hit relief. The victory also solidified the fact that the Mets would finish the season no lower than ninth in the 10-team National League.