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The Mets' five previous NL East clinching games

The Mets clinched the NL East tonight. Here's how their other five division titles were wrapped up.

David Wright and Jose Reyes celebrating the division clincher in 2006.
David Wright and Jose Reyes celebrating the division clincher in 2006.
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The Mets clinched their sixth National League East division title tonight and their first in nine seasons. Here's a look back at the previous five clinchers.

1969: September 24—Mets 6, Cardinals 0 (Box)

The Mets were in the midst of winning 38 of 49 games to end the season, and on this night they romped over the Cards. They knocked Steve Carlton out of the game in the first inning at Shea. Donn Clendenon hit a three-run home run, and Ed Charles smacked a two-run homer to send Carlton to the showers. Clendenon added another solo dinger in the fifth for good measure. Joe Torre grounded into the game-ending double play, as Gary Gentry pitched a four-hit shutout to complete the first step of the Miracle Of '69.

1973: October 1—Mets 6, Cubs 4 (Box)

Before tonight ,this was the only previous time that the Mets clinched the division on the road. The Amazins had to play at Wrigley Field on the day after the season was supposed to end in order to finish off a stretch drive of 29-13 that brought them from last place on August 30 to NL East champions. New York opened up a 5-0 lead, but then had to hang on for the victory. Tug McGraw got the last nine outs of the game for his 25th save of the season, preserving Tom Seaver's 19th win of the year.

1986: September 17—Mets 4, Cubs 2 (Box)

Thirteen years later, the Cubs were the opponent on clinch day again, this time at Shea. The Mets lost four out of five games on the road, while Philadelphia won five consecutive games to delay the clinching until the team got back to Flushing. September call-up Dave Magadan was the star of the game. Magadan was making his first major league start in place of Keith Hernandez, who had a bad cold. He went 3-for-4 with three singles and two RBIs.

Dwight Gooden went the distance for the win, but he labored hard with five walks. Rafael Palmeiro hit a two-run homer for the Cubs in the eighth to cut the lead in half. Then in the ninth, Chicago put runners on first and third with one out, but Doc struck out pinch hitter Jerry Mumphrey and then induced Chico Walker to hit a routine grounder to second base to end the game. The fans stormed the field and tore it up badly. Large chunks of turf were missing after the happy mob cleared out, and the grounds crew had to work all night to get the field ready for an afternoon game the next day.

1988: September 22—Mets 3, Phillies 1 (Box)

Ron Darling was the complete-game winner this time in the clincher at Shea, as the Mets took care of business by winning their eighth straight game. Von Hayes gave the Phils an early 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, but the Mets responded with single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh to win the game. Mookie Wilson went 3-for-4 and scored a run, while Kevin McReynolds had two hits and drove in his 93rd run of the season. Lance Parrish struck out swinging to end the game, as the Mets won the NL East for the second time in three years.

2006: September 18—Mets 4, Marlins 0 (Box)

Following the precedent set by the 1986 team, the 2006 Mets got swept in a three-game series on the road (this time in Pittsburgh.), and waited to clinch until they got back to Shea. Just like the 1969 clinching game, the contest was a shutout. The starting pitcher on this occasion was Steve Trachsel, who pitched into the seventh inning, giving up only three hits. Matching Donn Clendenon in the 1969 clincher, Jose Valentin hit two home runs on the night. While Pedro Martinez prepared for the postgame champagne celebration by putting on goggles in the clubhouse, Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth inning, and the party was underway.