The Wind Cries Mary (sorry, axtually released in 1967), but we'll stay on point and remind you that the Mets kept the echo of 1968 alive in baseball's most expansive year ever with 14 1-0 games and a full half-season's worth of contests in which both teams combined to score six runs or less.
As our chart at left indicates, the Mets reached a crescendo of run suppression in August and September of '69, following up a 13-6 mark in August with a well-nigh unconscious 15-2 record down the home stretch.
Let's face it, winning 24 of 34 games (.706 WPCT) in which both teams score a total of 3 runs or less is a pretty astonishing feat. The only other teams to win at least two-thirds of such games with such a quantity of games during the season were deadball-era teams (the 1913 Senators were a mind-boggling 26-4 in such contests) and the 1968 St. Louis Cardinals (26-13).
Three weeks earlier, the Mets had won a 1-0 game in which rookie Gary Gentry battled the Giants' Juan Marichal to a draw, leaving after 10 innings in a scoreless tie. Later in the game, the Mets employed a four-man outfield against Willie McCovey: in a bizarre and miraculous variation on his ill-fated line drive in Game Seven of the 1962 World Series, McCovey drilled a ball that no three-man outfield could have possibly caught.
With four outfielders, however, Cleon Jones was able to be in position to make a leaping catch to keep the ball in the park. The Mets would eventually win the game, 1-0, in the sixteenth inning.
Koosman was the man who was in the most of these 1-0 games, turning up in a total of five of 'em.
You may have noticed the (parentheses) for some of the games, which depict doubleheaders. More than anything else, the biggest difference between 1969 and 2011 is the number of doubleheaders played during the course of the season. The Mets played 22 doubleheaders in 1969. That total of 44 games represents more than a fourth of the season. They went 30-14 over this span of games.
Another serious difference has to do with how relievers were used. Tug McGraw was a combination long-man/closer, averaging nearly two innings an appearance and not so occasionally pitching much longer (and we're not counting his four early-season starts).
This was a 3-0 win, however, and is a bit off-point...the early-season 1-0 game that gets the most ink is the one on June 4th, as the Mets were in the midst of what would become an eleven-game winning streak.
Obscure lefty Jack DiLauro, obtained from the Tigers over the 1968-69 off-season, made his first big league start in this game--and proceeded to shut the Dodgers out for nine innings with stuff that wouldn't have blown over a feather. It took the Mets six more innings to finally push across a run, but DiLauro had come out of nowhere to fuel the improbable rise of a franchise still living on the fumes of these distant memories.
These may be too distant to bring Gil Hodges a slot in the Hall of Fame (the new version of the Veterans Committee will convene next week, with the fate of several notables hanging in the balance), but the Mets could use a little something to lift their spirits. No one ever did so much with so little: here's on ya, Gil.