August 20, 1968: Seaver and Koonce Blank Giants

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Date: August 20, 1968
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 8
Giants: 0
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Cal Koonce, Ron Swoboda, Phil Linz
Key play: Linz’s double, Swoboda’s single and home run

The Mets faced the Giants on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a series in front of 33,684 fans on hand. Tom Seaver and Cal Koonce teamed up for a shutout in an 8-0 Mets win over San Francisco.

In the top of the first inning, Ron Hunt hit a one-out double against Seaver. Ty Cline flied out to center fielder Tommie Agee and an intentional walk to Willie McCovey ensued. Jim Ray Hart hit a single on which right fielder Ron Swoboda threw to catcher Jerry Grote for an out at home on Hunt to end the inning. Giants’ starter Ray Sadecki then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Jesus Alou got a one-out single in the top of the second. Hal Lanier flied out to left fielder Cleon Jones and a walk to Sadecki followed. Seaver fanned Bobby Bonds for the third out and Swoboda drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the inning. Grote reached on a fielder’s choice grounder and Phil Linz doubled to drive home Swoboda. Jerry Buchek was walked intentionally to load the bases and Larry Stahl hit a grounder on which first baseman McCovey threw to catcher Dick Dietz for an out on Grote at the plate. Sadecki then got Seaver on a called third strike and retired Agee on a ground ball to shortstop Lanier to close out the inning.

Seaver pitched a scoreless top of the third. With one out in the bottom half, Jones hit a single and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Cleon stole third and came home to score as Swoboda reached on a fielder’s choice grounder. Swoboda stole second and moved to third on an errant throw by Dietz. Sadecki then struck out Grote and got Linz on a grounder to Lanier for the final out of the inning.

Following a scoreless fourth, Seaver shut down the Giants despite walks to Sadecki and Hunt in the top of the fifth. To begin the bottom half, Agee drew a walk and advanced to second base on Bud Harrelson’s sacrifice bunt. Sadecki issued an intentional walk to Jones and gave up a single to Swoboda that brought home Agee. San Francisco reliever Ron Herbel struck out Grote and yielded a single to Linz that plated Jones for a 4-0 Mets lead. Herbel retired Buchek on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Alou and the Giants were set down in order by Seaver in the top of the sixth. The Mets then failed to score against Herbel in the bottom of the inning.

Koonce and San Francisco’s Bill Monbouquette each pitched a scoreless seventh. Cal retired all three Giants batters in the top of the eighth and Agee reached on an error by third baseman Hart with two outs in the bottom half. Tommie went to third base on Harrelson’s single and scored on an ensuing single by Jones. Swoboda homered to extend the Mets’ lead to eight runs. Grote then grounded back to Monbouquette to close out the inning.

Hart grounded out to shortstop Harrelson to begin the top of the ninth. Dietz followed with a single to left field. Alou then hit a ground ball back to Koonce for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a victory on a combined shutout.