April 13, 1967: Tom Seaver's Debut
|Date: April 13, 1967|
|Mets starter: Tom Seaver|
|Winning pitcher: Chuck Estrada|
|Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Jerry Buchek, Chuck Hiller|
|Key play: Buchek’s home run, Hiller’s double|
The Mets faced the Pirates on a Thursday afternoon at Shea Stadium. In the second game of the regular season, Tom Seaver took the mound for the Mets in his major league debut. Although he was not the winning pitcher, Seaver recorded eight strikeouts in five and one-third innings pitched in an eventual 3-2 Mets victory over Pittsburgh.
Tom yielded a double to Matty Alou to begin the top of the first inning. Maury Wills grounded out to third baseman Ken Boyer and a ground out by Roberto Clemente to first baseman Ron Swoboda advanced Alou to third base. Seaver issued a walk to Willie Stargell and got Donn Clendenon for his first major league strikeout to end the inning. Bucs’ starter Woodie Fryman then pitched a perfect bottom half.
Seaver fanned Bill Mazeroski and Gene Alley to open the top of the second. Jesse Gonder hit a single and Fryman grounded back to Seaver for the third out. Tommie Reynolds singled with one out in the bottom of the inning. Jerry Buchek followed with a home run to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Jerry Grote drew a walk and Bud Harrelson flied out to right fielder Clemente. Seaver walked in his first plate appearance in the major leagues. Fryman then threw a called third strike past Don Bosch to close out the inning.
Alou drew a walk to lead off the top of the third. Wills hit a single and Clemente singled to drive home Alou with the Pirates’ first run. Stargell and Clendenon went down on strikes and Seaver retired Mazeroski on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Bosch. With one out in the bottom half, Boyer singled to center field. Ken stole second base and Swoboda popped out to first baseman Clendenon. Reynolds followed with a single on which Boyer tried to score. Left fielder Stargell’s throw to catcher Gonder got Ken at the plate for the final out of the inning.
Seaver struck out Alley to begin the top of the fourth. Gonder drew a walk and Fryman was called out on strikes. Alou was hit by a pitch and Wills singled to score Gonder with the tying run. Clemente reached on an error by second baseman Jerry Buchek that loaded the bases. Seaver retired Stargell on a ground ball to Swoboda to finish off the inning. Harrelson singled with two outs in the bottom half. Seaver followed with a single for his first major league hit to send Harrelson to third base. Fryman then got Bosch to fly out to Clemente and end the inning.
Seaver struck out Alley to end a scoreless top of the fifth. Fryman issued back-to-back walks to Boyer and Swoboda with one out in the bottom half. Pittsburgh reliever Vernon Law retired pinch-hitter Al Luplow on a line drive to center fielder Alou. An ensuing foul pop-up by Buchek was caught by Gonder to close out the inning. Law hit a one-out double against Seaver in the top of the sixth. Alou was hit by a pitch for the second time and Tom was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Chuck Estrada. Wills greeted Estrada with a single to load the bases. Chuck responded by getting Clemente to hit a grounder to Boyer for an inning-ending double play. Law then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.
Estrada and Law each pitched a perfect seventh inning. Alley singled to open the top of the eighth. Estrada set down the next three Pirates batters and Buchek began the bottom half with a single to left field. Buchek advanced to second base on Grote’s sacrifice bunt and to third on pinch-hitter Larry Stahl’s ground out to second baseman Mazeroski. Chuck Hiller followed with a pinch-hit double to drive home Buchek and put the Mets ahead by a run. Law then got Bosch to ground out to Clendenon and end the inning.
Mets’ reliever Ron Taylor retired Wills on a line drive to Bosch to start the top of the ninth. Clemente was called out on strikes. Taylor then got Stargell on a ground ball to Boyer for the final out of the game. The Mets had triumphed in Seaver’s inaugural game for their first win of the year.
- The win for Estrada was his only one as a Met. It was also the last win of his major league career.