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Winners in the NBA Draft
[Posted Sun. p.m.]
Baseball Quiz: Thru Saturday, Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell is having quite a breakout season, including 50 extra-base hits in the team’s first 75 games (27 doubles, 3 triples and 20 home runs). 1) Name the last two National Leaguers to have 100 XBH in a season? 2) Name the last A.L. player to do so. Answers below.
--For the archives, the top ten in the 2019 Draft:
1. Pelicans – Zion Williamson
2. Grizzlies – Ja Morant
3. Knicks – RJ Barrett
4. Lakers – De’Andre Hunter (then Pelicans, then Hawks...once trades are formalized)
5. Cavaliers – Darius Garland
6. Suns – Jarrett Culver (then Timberwolves...once trade is formalized)
7. Bulls – Coby White
8. Hawks – Jaxson Hayes (then Pelicans...once trade is formalized)
9. Wizards – Rui Hachimura
10. Hawks – Cam Reddish
--So who were the big winners and losers?
Most would agree the Pelicans were a huge winner, swapping the No. 4 pick, which they brought back from the Lakers as part of the Anthony Davis trade, with the Hawks for picks No. 8, 17 and 35, where they took super-athletic center Jaxson Hayes out of Texas, Nickeil Alexander-Walker out of Virginia Tech and Marcos Lousada Silva of Brazil. Plus they got Zion.
In other words, four first-round picks for Davis (including future ones), plus the right to swap first-round picks in 2023, plus Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. Add in Zion and point guard Jrue Holiday and what a future for the team.
Ball should shine in New Orleans and will feed Zion at will, Hayes is a shot-blocking, rim-running athletic freak, albeit raw, Alexander-Walker can shoot. Ingram is solid, and Holiday is a great defender.
The Celtics, for all the dismay over how their attempt to secure Anthony Davis, even as a rental, failed, while missing out on Durant it seems, do now have three first-round picks next year.
The Hawks are a winner in trading up to get De’Andre Hunter at No. 4, a perfect fit for this rapidly improving team. And they still got Cam Reddish at No. 10. Who knows what Reddish is going to be, but if he fulfills his potential as some believe, that’s a tremendous draft to go with future stars Trae Young and John Collins, as well as Kevin Huerter.
Many believe Nassir Little, No. 25, to Portland, is a real sleeper.
I like the Warriors getting Villanova’s Eric Paschall at No. 41.
Dylan Windler at No. 26 to the Cavaliers is intriguing. He was fun to watch in his games at Belmont, a 6-foot-8 lefty who shot almost 43 percent from 3 last year and also grabbed 10 rebounds a game. Couple this pick with Darius Garland at No. 5 and Kevin Porter Jr. at No. 30, plus last year’s top-10 pick, Collin Sexton, and first-year coach John Beilein should feel right at home, putting his development skills to the test on the big stage.
Heck, the Cavs could be a real exciting team, especially if Kevin Porter Jr. gets his mind right, as the Warden advised Cool Hand Luke.
As for the locals....
Knicks fans are unanimous in their approval of selecting RJ Barrett at No. 3 and not getting too cute with the pick. And Barrett’s first night and day after could not have gone better in terms of his reception and his sincerely expressed desire to be a difference maker in Gotham.
Mike Vaccaro / New York Post
“Rare is the time when there is this manner of consensus around here, and rarer still such an instant spark between player and fan base. The Knicks fans in attendance (at the Barclays Center), and those tuned in, had already seen Zion Williamson – object of their affections for so long – get picked No. 1 by New Orleans, but they have had a month now to accept that as fundamental reality.
“And a month to realize that Barrett, if he isn’t as flashy as Zion, if he doesn’t have the electric force field surrounding him that Zion does, is an awfully good player. And an awfully good anchor to a fresh foundation. And owns that one trait Knicks fans, at this point in time, may well value over anything else.
“ ‘I’m glad that the city wants me here as much as I want to be here,’ Barrett said.
“Note-perfect, that was. For everyone. To everyone.
“ ‘The young man really wanted to be here,’ (GM Scott) Perry said. ‘That excited us.’
“It is an important selling point. If it seems antithetical for New York as a whole, and specifically as a basketball city, to have to sell itself – to practically reinvent itself – as a place where high-end athletes want to come, that is also a reality the Knicks have had to adopt, and accept.
“Years of relentless losing will do that. But so does the fact the last player in whom the Knicks, and their fans, had invested so much time, so much hope, so much of their basketball souls, abandoned them. Kristaps Porzingis’ departure during the winter was a blow in many ways, but the thing that stung more than anything was this:
“He didn’t want to be here.
“He really didn’t want to be here....
“So it has been a symphony of sweet music listening to the kids – first Zion, then Ja Morant, lately and decisively Barrett – talk about how much playing in New York would mean to them. We want to hear that. We need to hear that....
“We need to know that we remain The City Game....
“And that was before Barrett gave (the fans) this to chew on:
“ ‘I’m ready for this,’ he said. ‘I’m ready to embrace the city, embrace the team.’
“On this night, there was no shortage of volunteers to embrace him back....
“ ‘Yo!’ he said, to no one and to everyone, ‘I’m a Knick!’
“Yes. It was a good night. A terrific moment. And a very nice place to start.”
As for the Brooklyn Nets, reports in New York Saturday have them with as good a shot at Kevin Durant as anyone, with former Oklahoma City teammate Kendrick Perkins telling ESPN that Brooklyn is in the driver’s seat. The two remain close friends so he probably has a clue at least.
Assuming Durant opts out of the final year on his deal with Golden State at $31.5 million, the Nets or anyone else can offer him a four-year, $164 million contract, or he could re-sign with the Warriors for five years, $221 million.
But I still don’t understand why a team would waste a year while Durant rehabs, knowing he will be 32 when he returns.
--Kind of a surprise Hofstra’s Justin Wright-Foreman went No. 53 to the Utah Jazz. Good for him. Great for the school and recruiting. “See, kid. You can make it to the big time while playing here....and you’re going to be in the starting lineup from day one.”
[How to convince a kid recruited by Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina that he really should come to Hofstra...another free feature of “Bar Chat.”]
--Lastly, Wake Forest fans, some of us knew Jaylen Hoard made a huge mistake in not coming back for his sophomore season. I’m convinced he would have been greatly improved and become a sure-fire lottery pick next year.
But he opted to come out, and he wasn’t drafted.
However, he may have received a good opportunity in signing a two-way contract with the Trail Blazers. Hoard has potential. Now he needs to step up and improve his game in the G-League. If he does, he’ll find his way to the big time.
But if he had waited a year, he would have received a nice guaranteed contract!
--Friday night in St. Louis, Albert Pujols returned for the first time after leaving the Cardinals at the end of the 2011 season, and 11 years of stardom. It was an acrimonious departure, Pujols signing a massive free-agent contract to play with the Angels.
So how would the St. Louis fans react? Well, befitting their reputation for being the best fans in baseball, they gave Pujols a one minute and 20 second standing ovation that would have lasted longer had Albert not settled into the batter’s box.
Pujols had an infield single in his final at-bat, Los Angeles losing 5-1, but on Saturday, he homered in a 4-2 Angels’ loss, receiving another standing ovation in the process.
Prince Albert owned the decade he was in a Cardinals uniform, 2001-2011. 10 straight 100-RBI seasons, 10 straight .300+ batting averages, 9 top fives in the MVP balloting.
Pujols said in a pregame press conference before Friday’s contest:
“I came here as a little boy, and I left as a really strong and big man – like a grown man, you know? And a lot of credit I give to players like Jim Edmonds, Placido Polanco, Fernando Vina, Edgar Renteria, Mike Matheny.”
And on the field that night he hugged his buddy, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
--Funny how in sports, especially baseball, things always sort themselves out. Like with the Yankees, the return of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton this week meant some reshuffling of the roster, Clint Frazier being sent back to AAA. But the question was, would the Yanks keep Cameron Maybin on the roster when Judge returned Friday. The team did, and then Maybin suffered a calf strain in the game that night. Onto the IL he goes.
In Friday’s game, the Yankees extended their winning streak to seven as Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres both homered for a third consecutive game, the first time a pair of Yankees teammates had done this. Sanchez’ blast went 481 feet.
Also for New York, it was the 24th straight game in which they had hit at least one homer, one shy of the franchise record set in 1941. They are 29-3 this season when they hit at least one home run.
So Saturday, the Yanks got home runs from Austin Romine and Gino Urshela, winning it 7-5 to extend their streak to eight, but today, Justin Verlander (10-3, 2.67) held the Yanks to 3 earned in 7 innings, Houston pounding J.A. Happ (7-4, but with a hideous 5.23 ERA), 9-4, though DJ LeMahieu homered for New York, making it 26 straight games in that regard.
--The Mets started off a four-game set at Wrigley Field with a desultory 7-4 loss to the Cubs, Thursday, marking the introduction of a new pitching coach, Dave Eiland having been fired prior to the game. I then received a note from Ken P. saying Phil Regan was replacing him and I thought it was a joke. I thought Phil Regan was dead.
You see, I remember the former All-Star reliever had been in the Mets system as a pitching coach, but hadn’t heard anything about him in a while and wouldn’t you know, he is still alive and kicking at age 82...and there he was in the dugout.
Could this move help turn around the Mets’ staff, many of whom worked with “The Vulture,” as he was known in the day, as they were moving up the ladder? Time will tell, but the Mets had a nifty 5-4 win Friday as at least for one inning, closer Edwin Diaz rediscovered his form, and then they blasted the Cubs 10-2 Saturday, the first time they won back-to-back games at Wrigley in ages.
In the process, slugger Pete Alonso hit his 26th home run, tying the Mets’ rookie record held by Darryl Strawberry, and we aren’t even halfway through the season, while he set a new N.L. rookie record for most home runs before the All-Star break.
And not for nothing but Jeff McNeil had his fifth consecutive multi-hit game, second straight with three ribbies out of the leadoff spot, and the dude is hitting .341.
So that’s where we were heading into Sunday’s finale, Jacob deGrom vs. Cole Hamels.
DeGrom did his job, 2 earned in six innings, the Mets up 3-2. But this is where manager Mickey Callaway showed his true self. The guy should finally be fired after he allowed the team’s best reliever, Seth Lugo, who was clearly struggling, to pitch a second inning, with Cubs star Javy Baez drilling a 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth for the 5-3 win.
What really should have pissed off every single Mets fan who watched the post-game press conference, as I did, was Callaway flat-out lying about his use of closer Edwin Diaz, and trying to tell us Lugo appeared to be fine.
Get Callaway out of town....tonight!!!!
And a developing story as I go to post, Callaway, and pitcher Jason Vargas, threatened a Newsday reporter. F- you, Mickey!
[Pete Alonso hit home run No. 27 in the game...the new Mets rookie leader with half the season remaining.]
--The Mets now go to Philadelphia for four, the slumping Phillies having lost seven in a row after getting swept by the lowly Marlins (30-46).
The Phils were 33-22, but have since gone into a 22-game tailspin (6-16), finding themselves 39-38, now 6 ½ back of first-place Atlanta.
Bryce Harper is batting .248, with an .825 OPS and just 13 home runs and 52 RBIs. Not anywhere near being worthy of his monster contract.
--Oakland A’s starter Frankie Montas has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the banned performance-enhancing substance Ostarine, MLB said Friday.
Montas, 26, was having a breakout season with a 9-2 record and 2.70 ERA, 97 strikeouts in 90 innings. He will not be eligible until the end of September and will not be eligible to pitch in the postseason, a huge blow for a team that was 41-37 thru Saturday and very much in the wild-card picture.
--The Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu was on the mound against the Rockies Saturday night, each Ryu start these days seemingly special. But he ended up with a no decision in L.A.’s 5-4 win in 11 innings; Ryu going six, giving up just one earned, as his ERA ballooned from 1.26 to 1.27.
--Speaking of great pitching performances, last chat I mentioned that Washington’s Max Scherzer had broken his nose in batting practice and was likely to miss a start.
Only he didn’t...he was on the mound the next day, black, blue, disfigured, throwing seven scoreless innings in a 2-0 win over the Phillies in the second game of a doubleheader sweep, Scherzer improving to 6-5, 2.62, 11 straight quality starts, the Nats finally also winning the games in which he is toeing the rubber, four straight after starting out 2-10 in games in which Scherzer was pitching.
Barry Svrluga / Washington Post
“Of the 4 ½ seasons in which Scherzer has graced us with his presence – 4 ½ seasons that include two no-hitters and a 20-strikeout game – Wednesday night may have been the most Max moment of them all, peak Scherzer. His face was broken and grotesque because of that fouled-off bunt attempt a day earlier. He could have gone right onto the set of ‘Game of Thrones’ without reporting to makeup. How could he pitch? Are you kidding? How could he not pitch?
“Whatever happens in this Nationals season – a season that took a step toward resurrection with (the sweep) – we will have this gem, Scherzer at his competitive finest....
“He tried to downplay it: ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain today was a zero,’ and ‘Trust me, this looks a lot worse than it actually feels.’ And that’s good because it looks terrible.
“Don’t think, though, that the clubhouse doesn’t notice. It does. For a team that’s fighting to stay afloat, that matters.”
The guy is freakin’ awesome...end of story.
--Friday, the Nationals defeated the Braves 4-3, as Dallas Keuchel made his debut for Atlanta, yielding 3 earned in five innings, but no walks. Nothing wrong with this after such a long layoff.
The other late free-agent signing, Craig Kimbrel, should be in a Cubs uniform shortly as he’s made a few rehab starts and at last word was ready.
--Retired Red Sox star David Ortiz was moved out of intensive care and reported to be in good condition, according to his wife in a statement on Saturday, nearly two weeks after he was shot in the Dominican Republic and moved to a Boston hospital. There have been conflicting reports on what organs were damaged.
And since I last posted, Dominican authorities have concluded that Ortiz was not the target of the attack and the shooter meant to kill somebody else – a friend of Ortiz, identified as Sixto David Fernandez, who was sitting at a table with Big Papi at the Dial Bar, along with a third friend.
The would-be assassins were allegedly sent to shoot Fernandez by Victor Hugo Gomez, a drug trafficker and fugitive in the United States.
Supposedly, Gomez was out to eliminate his cousin, Fernandez, whom Gomez suspected of turning him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011.
--We are down to the final two in the College World Series, Vanderbilt and Michigan, with the best of three beginning Monday on ESPN.
Vandy looked dead in the water Friday night against Louisville, with Cardinals starter Luke Smith having baffled the Commodore hitters, when Smith, after striking out Julian Infante to end the top of the eighth inning, shouted a profanity at Infante, both teams gathered around the dugout steps, and the emotional outburst backfired on Smith and Louisville as Vanderbilt rallied from a 2-1 deficit the win it 3-2 in the ninth.
--The first tournament after a major is always a tough one. You need only look at the ‘MC’, missed cut list to get an idea of how for some the motivation level is down. Like Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Tony Finau were among those missing the cut this weekend at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn. For Spieth his winless streak is now 100 weeks, his last ‘W’ at the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
And Brooks Koepka displayed a lack of motivation, as much as he’d deny it, shooting 71-66-72-71, even par, T-57.
But it was a big event for 37-year-old Chez Reavie, who is a fixture in many DraftKings lineups (because he makes a fair amount of cuts and is normally good value in a six-man lineup), Reavie picking up his second win on Tour, first since 2008!
Great job as usual by the fans in the Hartford area for their tremendous support, the weekend weather helping bigly.
--Michelle Wie shot 84-82 at the Women’s PGA Championship this week in Chaska, Minn., and she expressed real concern her arthritic wrists may force her out of the game. Wie had taken two months off ahead of the event at Hazeltine National Golf Club, and the 29-year-old was forced to admit after her opening 84, “I’m not entirely sure how much more I have left in me,” choking back tears. “So even on the bad days, I’m just like trying to take time to enjoy it. But it’s tough, I just love being out there.”
Wie has just five wins in 281 starts on the LPGA Tour, though at least she won the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, but for a girl who emerged at 13 and captured our fancy, nearly winning the Women’s PGA Championship at the age of 15, this is probably going to be a sad ending. At best, she may need to shut it down for a far lengthier time than two months.
Aussie Hannah Green won it, her first title. Good on you, mate.
The troubles continue. A 30th horse fatality since the meeting at the California track opened on Dec. 26. It was also the fourth horse under the care of Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who was told to take his business elsewhere after American Currency suffered a life-ending leg injury while running over the training track, according to the chief veterinarian for the California Horse Racing Board. It was the first fatality this meeting on this particular surface, which sits between the turf course and infield and is not used for racing.
“Individuals who do not embrace the new rules and safety measures that put horse and rider safety above all else will have no place at any Stronach Group racetrack,” the company also owning Golden Gate Fields, in Albany, Calif., where another two of Hollendorfer’s horses died during the fall-winter meet there.
Hollendorfer told the Daily Racing Form on Saturday, “I’m trying to work out a plan now. The only thing I have to say is every time anyone loses a horse the whole backstretch loses.
“...I’m training over 100 horses right now. Santa Anita didn’t want me to stay on the grounds. My opinion was that was a premature thing to do.”
Santa Anita’s meeting ends Sunday and its sister track, Golden Gate Fields, is currently not running.
Hollendorfer has won 7,617 races in 33,519 starts in a career that goes back to 1979. His horses have won almost $200 million in purses. He was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2011.
--Martin Truex Jr. won his fourth of the NASCAR Cup Series season at Sonoma Raceway today over Kyle Busch, his 23rd career win. My DraftKings lineup appeared to be on the verge of a solid win, but, alas, it wasn’t to be. Recovery time from such losses is normally three hours.
--The women’s World Cup isn’t generating a ton of buzz in France, with lots of empty seats. But the fans supporting the U.S. Women’s team are out in force, the girls facing Spain in the knockout round on Tuesday, after winning Group F with a 2-0 win over Sweden on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Soccer Federation and the 28 players on the U.S. women’s soccer team player pool suing it for pay discrimination have tentatively agreed to pursue mediation after the World Cup ends.
If the mediation goes forward, it could end a yearslong conflict between the two.
U.S. Soccer has said that any pay differences are because of the teams’ separate collective-bargaining agreements and are “based on differences in the aggregate revenue generated by the different teams and/or any other factor other than sex.”
One example of the disparity is FIFA will award $4 million to the 2019 Women’s World Cup champion from a prize pool of $30 million. France, winner of the 2018 Men’s World Cup, received $38 million of the $400 million in total prize money.
--After a serious coyote attack in northern New Jersey the other day, this past Wednesday, a local Morris Plains woman was gardening with her 5-year-old daughter when a fox bit her on the leg. As I go to post the animal hadn’t been caught, but clearly it was rabid, as neighbors had reported seeing a sick animal in the area prior to the attack.
Foxes are proliferating in my area and almost as scary as coyotes, given how almost all of them are assumed to be rabid if they are just prancing about in public.
--My brother passed on a disturbing piece from USA TODAY. A sea lion came out of nowhere and bit a 13-year-old girl above her right knee as she played in the surf on Pismo Beach, California. The unprovoked attack was captured on video.
“I was just kinda jumping around, dancing, just having fun and they were taking funny pictures of me and we were all laughing, and then a sea lion attacked me,” Megan P. told KSBY in San Luis Obispo.
“I felt it on my leg and I looked down and I freaked out. I didn’t know what it was. All I knew is something was attacking me.”
Beach-goers rushed to her aid and wrapped the wound. At the hospital she was given antibiotics to combat a potential bacterial infection, sea lions harboring all kinds of bad stuff, like prairie dogs I can’t help but muse. But the hospital staff told the girl’s mother they had never treated a sea lion bite.
Researchers said the most likely explanation for the attack is “domoic acid poisoning, which targets the mammal’s central nervous system and brain,” a spokesman for California Fish and Wildlife said.
Over the previous week, the Marine Mammal Center said dozens of sick sea lions have been coming ashore suffering from the poison, which is found in algae.
The offending sea lion, which after biting the girl went up on the beach and bit the lifeguard stand, was captured and is being treated.
If you see a sea lion at your front door, don’t invite it in for some sardines and rubber ball tricks. Call your local authorities.
--We note the passing of Jim Pike, a co-founder and the lead singer of the Lettermen, the trio whose lush vocal harmonies made them one of the most popular groups of the 1960s. He was 82.
Pike and Bob Engemann, a college friend from Brigham Young Universeity, formed the Lettermen in Los Angeles in 1961 with a fellow singer, Tony Butala. Butala had briefly sung with a group known as the Lettermen and got its leader’s permission to use the name.
The trio had its first hit that year with “The Way You Look Tonight,” which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard pop chart and brought two Grammy Award nominations for best new artist and best vocal group (losing out on both).
The Lettermen then toured constantly, playing mostly colleges and around the world, at a time when clean-cut male vocal groups such as the Kingston Trio, the Four Freshmen and the Brothers Four were hugely popular. My father was a big Brothers Four fan, for example. Yup, my brother and I had to listen to all their albums.
Well, then came the British Invasion and the Lettermen and others of its ilk began to lose out, but they did have a No. 7 hit in 1968 with the medley “Goin’ Out Of My Head / Can’t’ Take My Eyes Off You,” which always cracks me up because of the applause in the middle as they transition from one tune to the other. [I just picture a very proper, well-dressed crowd, clapping politely. Not a lot of tailgating before a Lettermen concert in those days.]
The Lettermen were also a big staple of variety shows in those days. But the relentless touring wore out Jim Pike’s voice and he left the group in 1973, replaced by his youngest brother, Donny. Gary Pike had replaced Bob Engemann in 1967.
Now I’m confused. Just who was I seeing on “The Andy Williams Show”?
--The Wall Street Journal’s Neil Shah notes that pop star Ed Sheeran “is close to breaking the record for the highest-grossing concert tour ever – despite bucking nearly every money-making trend in the business.
“The English singer-songwriter charges less for shows than other stars...
“Mr. Sheeran makes his money simply by performing more shows – 94 last year compared with about 50 each for Taylor Swift and Jay-Z/Beyonce, according to Pollstar. The approach has his current tour, which ends Aug. 26, on track to overtake U2’s crown for the highest all-time gross, according to a WSJ analysis of Pollstar data and estimates from Mr. Sheeran’s team. He has already broken U2’s record for attendance.”
--Tuesday is Anthony Bourdain’s birthday. He would have been 63, having committed suicide last June 8, shocking so many of us.
Two of his best friends, chef Eric Ripert and restaurateur and chef Jose Andres, have called for a Bourdain Day on his birthday, while New Jersey, where Bourdain grew up, is creating an Anthony Bourdain Food Trail from places he visited in a 2015 episode of “Parts Unknown” that focused on the state, as well as from a New Jersey episode of his Travel Channel series “No Reservations” in 2005.
Top 3 songs for the week 6/23/79: #1 “Hot Stuff” (Donna Summer...dreadful...) #2 “We Are Family” (Sister Sledge...not a fan, though the Pittsburgh Pirates used the song for inspiration that season, winning the World Series...) #3 “Ring My Bell” (Anita Ward...hideous...)...and...#4 “Just When I Needed You Most” (Randy Vanwarmer...ugh...) #5 “Bad Girls” (Donna Summer...yuck...) #6 “The Logical Song” (Supertramp...passed for ‘listenable’ this week...) #7 “Chuck E.’s In Love” (Rickie Lee Jones...she disappeared soon after this dreck...) #8 “She Believes In Me” (Kenny Rogers...second phase of his career in full swing...which is not necessarily good for the rest of us...) #9 “Boogie Wonderland” (Earth, Wind & Fire with The Emotions...befitting this crappy era, not their best...) #10 “You Take My Breath Away” (Rex Smith....what an absolutely godawful week...can’t take it anymore...heading back to the 60s...)
Baseball Quiz Answers: 1) Last two with 100 extra-base hits in the N.L. ...Barry Bonds, 107 (32-2-73), 2001. Todd Helton*, 105 (54-2-49), 2001, and 103 (59-2-42), 2000. 2) Last in the A.L. with 100 XBH was Albert Belle, 103 (52-1-50), 1995.
*So I looked up Todd Helton’s Coors Field splits for 2000-2001 and they aren’t as cartoonish as you might expect. He was super both home and away. Certainly not Charlie Blackmon, circa 2019... .452 BA at home, .242 away thru Saturday.
1969 Mets, cont’d....
After their successful 12-game West Coast road trip, the Mets were back home for a weekend four-game series against the Cardinals.
June 20: 54,083 showed up at Shea Stadium this Friday night, the Mets sending them home happy, 4-3 winners, as Nolan Ryan (6 innings, 1 earned) and Tug McGraw (3 innings for the save) bested Bob Gibson (8 innings, 3 earned...now 9-4, 2.20).
June 21: The Mets lose to the Cards 5-3, as Nelson Briles goes all the way for St. Louis, homering off New York starter Jack DiLauro in the process.
June 22: It must have been a gorgeous day at Shea (I looked it up, wasn’t Father’s Day) because 55,862 showed up for a doubleheader and the Mets swept it! They won the first 5-1, knocking out Steve Carlton after just three innings, while Gary Gentry went 8 1/3, Cal Koonce picking up the save.
June 22: And then in the nightcap, Jerry Koosman pitched a complete game shutout, besting Mike Torrez 1-0, with Tommie Agee having the game-winning hit in the seventh.
So the Metropolitans are 36-28, just five games back of the Cubbies.
Philadelphia is in next for four, including a twi-night doubleheader Tuesday.
*I’ll have a little bit on Dick / Richie Allen next time in keeping with this series.
Next Bar Chat, Thursday.