New York Mets History

Mets Playoff History: Sweeping the Braves in the 1969 NLCS

NEW YORK - AUGUST 22: Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman speak at a press conference commemorating the New York Mets 40th anniversary of the 1969 World Championship team on August 22, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 22: Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman speak at a press conference commemorating the New York Mets 40th anniversary of the 1969 World Championship team on August 22, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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The 1969 New York Mets won the World Series, but first, they had to sweep the Atlanta Braves.

When MLB added the Championship Series to their playoffs, they opened up the possibility for more teams to win a championship. The New York Mets got their first taste of this, and the postseason in general, back in 1969 when they won it all.

Before they could get that opportunity, the newest baseball team in New York faced off against the Atlanta Braves in a best of five series. Though it wasn’t easy, the Mets came away with a clean sweep.

Game one took place in Atlanta in front of over 50,000 fans. Tom Seaver got the start against fellow Hall of Famer Phil Niekro.

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New York got off to an early lead in the second inning with a single by Jerry Grote and a passed ball to the next batter. The two teams battled back and forth throughout the game, with the Braves taking a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. A Hank Aaron solo blast looked like it might put them ahead for good.

Not ready to lose yet, the Mets put together a five-run eighth inning. A Cleon Jones single scored Wayne Garrett to tie the game. An Ed Kranepool fielder’s choice game the Mets a lead.

They would take this bout by a score of 9-5.

In the second game, Jerry Koosman started for New York. In the Braves’ corner, Ron Reed took the hill.

This feature included a whole bunch of runs for the Metropolitans. They scored at least one run in each of the first five innings. Reed would exit before the second frame was through.

Koosman didn’t have his best stuff and left before recording the final out of the fifth inning. This cost him the win, which would end up going to Ron Taylor. Tug McGraw did wrap up the game with three shutout innings, aiding in the 11-6 victory.

Now one game away from the World Series, the Mets started Gary Gentry against Pat Jarvis. Gentry left in the third inning after leadoff hits from Tony Gonzalez and Hank Aaron. From the bullpen, Nolan Ryan arrived to save the day.

With ducks on the pond, Ryan struck out Rico Carty. He issued an intentional walk to Orlando Cepeda before fanning Clete Boyer to earn the second out. Bob Didier hit a fly ball to left field for the final out of the inning, allowing the Mets to escape down only 2-0.

The tables had turned with the arrival of Ryan. Tommie Agee hit a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead in half. Through the next few innings, the orange and blue continued to add runs to the scoreboard. Their 7-4 lead would hold up and so would the Ryan Express. He finished off the final seven innings and helped the Mets earn their first trip to the World Series.

In the history of these two teams, the latter often got the best. The Braves owned the 1990s and even put the Mets under their thumb regularly in the 2000s.

Richie Ashburn: The First Mets All-Star. Next

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The 1969 NLCS had a much different result. The Braves fell flat versus a team destined for glory.

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