This day in baseball history: The Pirates take charge of the NL East
Added 09-26-20 12:31:02am EST - “In 1970, the only tight baseball race occurred in the NL East. It involved three teams: the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs, and the defending champion New York Mets. The Pirates began the month of September with a 1.5 game lead…” - Powerlineblog.com
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In 1970, the only tight baseball race occurred in the NL East. It involved three teams: the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs, and the defending champion New York Mets.
The Pirates began the month of September with a 1.5 game lead over the Mets and a 2 game lead over the Cubs. As of September 24, they had extended that lead slightly to 2.5 games over both clubs.
On Friday, September 25, the Mets came to Forbes Field (where they had started the season on a raucous occasion more than five months earlier) for a three game series with the Bucs. A sweep by the Mets would put them in first place. Unless the Mets won at least two of the games, they would be all but eliminated from the race.
The starting pitchers on Friday night were Jerry Koosman for New York and Bob Moose for Pittsburgh. Koosman, who had battled injuries, was well off his 1969 form, but still one of the best pitchers in the National League. Moose was the very definition of an average pitcher, with an 11-10 record and an ERA of right around 4.00.
The Pirates scored in the first inning on a triple by Matty Alou and a double by Dave Cash — the first two batters Koosman faced. They added another run in the fourth inning on a triple by Manny Sanguillen and a grounder by Willie Stargell.
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