April 15, 1972: Mets Win Delayed Opener
|Date: April 15, 1972|
|Mets starter: Tom Seaver|
|Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver|
|Key player(s): Ed Kranepool, Jim Fregosi|
|Key play: Fregosi's double, Kranepool's home run|
The Mets began the regular season with a Saturday afternoon game against the Pirates at Shea Stadium. The encounter with the reigning world champions served as the opener after a Major League Baseball Player's strike had cancelled the first week of the season. Tom Seaver and Tug McGraw combined for a five-hit shutout as the Mets defeated Pittsburgh, 4-0.
Seaver started the game with four strikeouts over the first two innings. The Mets then took a 2-0 lead against Pirates' starter Dock Ellis. Leadoff singles by Rusty Staub and Cleon Jones were followed by Jim Fregosi's double that scored Staub. Ed Kranepool added a sacrifice fly to bring home Jones with the Mets' second run.
In the third, Seaver retired three straight Pirates after Rennie Stennett's leadoff single. Tom continued to keep Pittsburgh scoreless, facing the minimum nine batters in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The Mets increased their lead when Fregosi walked and Kranepool homered in the bottom of the sixth.
McGraw relieved Seaver in the top of the seventh inning. Tug retired the Pirates in order and did so again in the eighth and ninth to finish the game. The Mets had won on Opening Day for the third straight year after a season-delaying labor dispute.