August 29, 1968: Koonce and Taylor Shut Out Reds

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Date: August 29, 1968
Mets starter: Cal Koonce
Mets: 2
Reds: 0
Winning pitcher: Cal Koonce
Key player(s): Cal Koonce, Ron Taylor, Art Shamsky, Larry Stahl
Key play: Shamsky’s and Stahl’s doubles

The Mets faced the Reds on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Cal Koonce and Ron Taylor combined for a two-hit shutout in a 2-0 Mets win over Cincinnati.

Koonce retired the side in order in the top of the first inning. Reds’ starter George Culver gave up just a single to Bud Harrelson in the bottom half and Fred Whitfield singled with two outs in the top of the second. Tommy Helms popped out to shortstop Harrelson to end the inning and Ed Kranepool hit a single to lead off the bottom half. Kranepool advanced to second base on a wild pitch and J. C. Martin grounded out to Culver. Ron Swoboda drew a walk and catcher Johnny Bench’s passed ball moved the runners to second and third. Culver then struck out both Jerry Buchek and Koonce to finish off the inning.

Koonce hurled a perfect top of the third. Ken Boswell singled with one out in the bottom half. A wild pitch advanced Boswell to second base and Larry Stahl flied out to center fielder Vada Pinson. Art Shamsky hit a double to drive home Boswell for a 1-0 Mets lead. Kranepool grounded out to second baseman Helms to end the inning and Koonce set down all three Cincinnati batters in the top of the fourth. Culver then yielded only a single to Ron Swoboda in the bottom half.

Koonce retired the Reds 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Harrelson hit a single to lead off the bottom of the inning. Bud stole second base and Boswell popped out to shortstop Woody Woodward. Stahl followed with a double that brought home Harrelson with the Mets’ second run of the game. Shamsky was given an intentional walk and Kranepool popped out to Helms. Culver then got Martin on a fly ball to left fielder Mack Jones for the inning’s third out.

Koonce set down the side in order once again in the top of the sixth. Cincinnati reliever Ted Abernathy hurled a scoreless bottom half and a single by Pinson began the top of the seventh. Pinson stole second base and Koonce struck out Jones. Mets’ reliever Taylor retired Tony Perez on a fly ball to center fielder Stahl and struck out Bench to end the inning. Harrelson got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Abernathy then set down the next three batters on infield ground balls to close out the inning.

Taylor pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Abernathy shut down the Mets in the bottom half and pinch-hitter Chico Ruiz flied out to center fielder Tommie Agee to open the top of the ninth. Pete Rose grounded out to Harrelson. Taylor then got Pinson to fly out to Agee and end the game. The Mets had a shutout victory.