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Mets Top Cubs, Officially On a Roll

Apr. 26, 1963 - The Amazin’ Mets, scaling heights never before achieved by the baby team, yesterday reached the .400 plateau. They reached this dizzying height via a nervous 3-2 win over the Cubs, with Roger Craig (pictured) and Frank Thomas acting as heroic guides. Craig went the distance for his first victory, and Thomas knocked in all three runs with a homer and a single off of left-hander Dick Ellsworth. Thus have the Mets won six of their last seven, after breaking from the gate with eight straight defeats. They are playing the best ball in the majors — and the last time they did that was in May of their maiden season, when they took 9 of 12 — and then lost 17 straight. Just the memory of that horror precluded any champagne party on the flight to Pittsburgh last night. As they are stationed at this lofty level, the Mets should erect a rockpile marker for Lou Brock, the Cub who pulled them through a dangerous spot in the ninth. Brock, who had scored both Chicago runs, singled with one out in the ninth, and the opportunity for disaster was established. Craig had worked hard, Galen Cisco and Ken MacKenzie were ready in the bullpen, and the best defensive team the Mets could muster — Duke Snider in right, Rod Kanehl in left, and the Charlie Neal-Al Moran-Ken Hunt-Gil Hodges infield — was on the field. But the tying run was on base and, in these balk-happy days, the danger of a balk was also in everyone’s mind. Two had been called on Craig already — No. 68 and 69 in the National League season. Ken Hubbs bounced to Neal wide of third. But Brock, running with the pitch and thereby making any routine double play impossible, kept right on going for third as Neal threw Hubbs out at first. Moran, however, alertly covered third well before Brock’s arrival. Hodges calmly fired the ball across the infield, Moran made the tag, and the game was over.


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