Trailing the Cubs 5-2 after five innings, the Mets exploded for a club record 11-run inning in the sixth en route to a 13-7 win at Wrigley Field on this date in 2006. Most of the damage in the frame was done by grand slams off the bats of of Cliff Floyd, whose shot put New York ahead to stay, and Carlos Beltran, whose blast ultimately provided the margin of victory. In between, Endy Chavez delivered an RBI pinch-single. David Wright capped the Mets' scoring with the third home run of the inning, a mere two-run jack.
All totaled the Amazins hit five round-trippers that evening, with Floyd and Chris Woodward each having hit solo homers earlier in the game. It was an especially gratifying game for Floyd, who had struggled through the first half of the season, but over his last 10 games including this one he raised his OPS 86 points to an even .800, collecting 13 RBI along the way. For the Mets, the victory completed a three-game sweep of the Cubs and kept the Mets a solid 12 games up on the Braves and Phillies.
Other Game of Note
Before the home crowd at Shea Stadium on July 16, 1994, John Franco chalked up his 108th save as a Met, passing Jesse Orosco to become the club's all-time leader in that department. It didn't come easy, however. Brought in to protect a 5-2 lead against the Padres, Franco gave up two runs on four hits before striking out Eddie Williams for the final out, stranding the tying run at third and potential go-ahead run at first.
On this date in 1997, the Mets promoted Steve Phillips to the post of general manager, succeeding Joe McIlvaine. During his four-year tenure, McIlvaine made several smart acquisitions that cost the Mets next to nothing, including John Olerud, Rick Reed, Rey Ordonez, Bernard Gilkey, Lance Johnson, Jose Vicaino, and Mark Clark, but his draft record left something to be desired. In his first year as GM, Phillips reeled in the likes of Mike Piazza, Al Leiter, Turk Wendell, and Dennis Cook, but after reaching the World Series in 2000 he made a series of uninspired (to put it kindly) moves that led to the Mets' decline and his own dismissal.
Norm Sherry, who started 52 games behind the plate for the 1963 Mets, turns 82 today. A good defensive catcher who had some pop earlier in his career, Sherry's OPS that season, his last in the majors, was a paltry .389, but he threw out 18 or 35 would-be base stealers. He himself was a perfect one-for-one in the stolen base department, pulling up safe at second on the tail end of a triple steal on September 9.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
The Mets' ineptitute through their early years led to the oft-repeated quip that the U.S. would put a man on the moon before the team would ever win a pennant. That prophesy came to pass with the successful mission of Apollo 11, which lifted off from Cape Kennedy on this date in 1969. It was a close race, as the Mets clinched their first pennant. less than three months later.