August 25, 1968: Seaver Five-Hits Reds

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Date: August 25, 1968
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 7
Reds: 1
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Ed Kranepool, Art Shamsky, Al Weis
Key play: Kranepool’s home run, Shamsky’s homer and single, Weis’s singles, Seaver’s double

The Mets faced the Reds on a Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Tom Seaver pitched a five-hitter and hit a two-run double in a 7-1 Mets win.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Ed Kranepool homered to put the Mets ahead by a run. Reds’ starter George Culver retired Ed Charles on a ground ball to shortstop Leo Cardenas for the third out and Seaver hurled a perfect bottom half. Ron Swoboda got a one-out single in the top of the second. With Art Shamsky at bat, Swoboda was caught by catcher Johnny Bench’s pickoff throw to first baseman Fred Whitfield for an out. Shamsky followed with a home run for a 2-0 Mets lead. Al Weis drew a walk and Seaver was struck out to end the inning. Tom then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Culver shut down the Mets in the top of the third. Tommy Helms hit a single to lead off the bottom of the inning. Cardenas singled and Culver bunted back to Seaver for a double play. Pete Rose flied out to left fielder Shamsky for the inning’s final out and Culver retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth. Seaver pitched a perfect bottom half and Culver set down all three Mets hitters in the top of the fifth. Bench singled with one out in the bottom of the inning. Helms followed with a force play grounder to first baseman Kranepool. Tom then retired Cardenas on a pop-up to second baseman Ken Boswell to close out the inning.

Culver yielded just a single to Larry Stahl in the top of the sixth. Seaver set down all three Cincinnati batters in the bottom half and J. C. Martin singled with one out in the top of the seventh inning. Swoboda hit a single and Shamsky singled to drive home Martin. A single by Weis brought home Swoboda with the Mets’ fourth run and Culver was replaced on the mound by Reds’ reliever Bob Lee. Seaver welcomed Lee with a double that plated Shamsky and Weis, increasing the New York lead to 6-0. Cincinnati’s Jay Ritchie retired Boswell on a fly ball to right fielder Rose. Stahl drew a walk as Seaver moved to third base on a wild pitch. Ritchie got Kranepool to foul out to Bench and finish off the inning. Seaver then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Swoboda singled against Ritchie with two outs in the top of the eighth. Shamsky drew a walk and Weis hit a single that scored Swoboda with the Mets’ seventh run of the game. On Weis’s hit, pinch-runner Tommie Agee was out on Bench’s relay throw to third baseman Tony Perez to end the inning. To begin the bottom half, Bench doubled and advanced to third on Helms’ ground out to Boswell. A wild pitch brought home Bench for the Reds’ first run. Seaver got Cardenas to fly out to left fielder Stahl and retired pinch-hitter Jim Beauchamp on grounder back to the mound for the third out of the inning. Cincinnati reliever Bill McCool then hurled a scoreless top of the ninth.

Rose doubled for the Reds’ fifth hit to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Mack Jones grounded out to Kranepool and a strikeout of Lee May ensued. Seaver then threw a called third strike past Perez to end the game. The Mets had a solid series-closing victory.

Notes

  • Seaver’s double came on the final pitch of Lee’s five-season major league career.