"You remind me of Tug McGraw," Hodges tells Santo. "When he was young and immature and nervous, he used to jump up and down. But he doesn't do it anymore."
The Mets take two of three again, including a 9-5 win the next day, which is assured for reliever Cal Koonce by a late double play. Koonce makes bold strokes with his capitals, getting all he can out of that hard-consonant alliteration. He had irony and scansion down pretty well, too; after the game Koonce pens these lines in his infield's honor:
The Cubs have Kessinger to Beckert to Banks.
Their ability carries no shame.
But for general purposes
I would just as soon have
From [Al] Weis to [Ken]
Boswell to [Ed] Krane[pool].
In fact, Donn Clendenon had entered the game, replacing Kranepool in the fourth inning. But even relief pitchers are entitled to poetic license.
?August 13. Only 24 hours earlier the Mets were 9� games behind the Cubs. But Jerry Koosman and Don Cardwell win, to finish back-to-back doubleheader sweeps of the Padres. The stretch drive has begun.
Here, I hoped.
?September 12. Koosman and Cardwell win both ends of another doubleheader. But this time, with Art Shamsky out in observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Mets sweep the Pirates by twin 1-0 scores—and the pitchers single home each run.
Here, I knew.
?September 24. The demipennant is clinched 6-0 over the Cards at Shea. Gary Gentry throws the shutout, and the next morning's New York Daily News carries this headline: THE MOON: ASTRONAUTS TOOK 9 YEARS, METS 8.
?October 6. The pennant is won 7-4, as the Mets take their third straight from the Braves. The Mets don't normally make shrewd moves. They once drafted someone named Steve Chilcott when they could have chosen Reggie Jackson. But homers from Wayne Garrett, whom Atlanta had pawned to New York for $25,000 over the winter, and Boswell finish off the Braves.