April 19, 1969: Seaver Outduels Gibson

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Date: April 19, 1969
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 2
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Ed Kranepool
Key play: Jones’ and Kranepool’s singles in 3rd

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Saturday night in St. Louis. It was a matchup of pitching aces as Tom Seaver went up against Bob Gibson. Seaver won the battle with the previous season’s National League Cy Young Award recipient as the Mets came out with a 2-1 victory over the Redbirds.

After two scoreless innings, Seaver drew a walk to lead off the top of the third. Bud Harrelson’s sacrifice bunt advanced Seaver to second base and Ken Boswell drew a walk. Amos Otis went down on strikes and Cleon Jones hit a single to drive home Seaver. Ed Kranepool singled to score Boswell for a 2-0 Mets lead. Gibson retired Ron Swoboda on a fly ball to center fielder Curt Flood to end the inning. Seaver then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Seaver and Gibson each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the seventh. Jones hit a single with one out in the top of the eighth. Gibson retired Kranepool on a pop-up to shortstop Dal Maxvill and threw a called third strike past Swoboda to close out the inning. Flood singled to begin the bottom half. Vada Pinson flied out to left fielder Jones and a single by Joe Torre followed. Tim McCarver was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Swoboda. Mike Shannon hit a single to bring home Flood with the Cardinals’ first run. Seaver then threw a called third strike past Steve Huntz to finish off the inning.

Gibson yielded only a double to Kevin Collins in the top of the ninth. Maxvill grounded out to third baseman Collins to open the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Joe Hague fouled out to Collins. Lou Brock then grounded back to Seaver for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory as Tom outlasted the mighty Gibson.