April 20, 1967: Tom Seaver's First Win

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Date: April 20, 1967
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 6
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Tommy Davis, Ken Boyer, Bud Harrelson
Key play: Davis’s home run, Boyer’s RBI single, Harrelson’s single

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Thursday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played a two-hour and twenty-six-minute game. Tom Seaver recorded his first win in the major leagues as the Mets defeated Chicago, 6-1.

Seaver and the Cubs’ Curt Simmons each pitched two scoreless innings to start the game. With one out in the top of the third, Don Kessinger singled to center field. Kessinger advanced to second base on Glenn Beckert’s ground out to second baseman Jerry Buchek and came around to score on a triple by Billy Williams. Seaver retired Ron Santo on a pop-up to Buchek that ended the inning. Simmons then gave up only a walk to Seaver in the bottom half.

Seaver shut down the Cubs in the top of the fourth. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Tommy Davis homered to tie the game. Buchek grounded out to third baseman Santo to finish off the inning and Seaver hurled a perfect top of the fifth. In the bottom half, Simmons limited the Mets to a one-out single by Jerry Grote. Seaver then retired all three Chicago batters in the top of the sixth.

Cleon Jones singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Cleon moved to second base on Don Bosch’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Ken Boyer for a 2-1 Mets lead. Davis hit a double and Buchek was walked intentionally to load the bases. Ron Swoboda hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Boyer with the third New York run of the game. Simmons then got Grote to hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Kessinger for the inning’s final out.

With two outs in the top of the seventh, Byron Browne and Adolfo Phillips hit consecutive singles to left field. Pinch-hitter Clarence Jones popped out to shortstop Bud Harrelson to end the inning and Chicago reliever Cal Koonce hurled a perfect bottom half. Kessinger singled to open the top of the eighth. Seaver retired Beckert on a line drive to left fielder Tommie Reynolds. Mets’ reliever Don Shaw then got Williams to hit a ground ball to Buchek for an inning-ending double play.

Bosch drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth inning. Boyer singled to send Bosch to third base and moved to second on Reynolds’ ground out to Santo. Buchek was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ed Kranepool followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Bosch and increase the Mets’ lead to 4-1. Grote was given an intentional walk that loaded the bases once again. Harrelson hit a single to score Boyer and pinch-runner Sandy Alomar with the Mets’ fifth and sixth runs. Cubs’ reliever John Upham then issued a walk to Shaw and struck out Cleon Jones to finish off the inning.

Santo grounded out to catcher Grote to begin the top of the ninth. Ernie Banks was retired on a ground ball to third baseman Boyer. Shaw then got Randy Hundley to fly out to center fielder Bosch and end the game. The Mets had a victory as Seaver chalked up his first major league win.

Notes

  • The save for Shaw was his first in the major leagues.
  • Alomar’s run scored was his only one as a Met.