July 9, 1969: Seaver's Near-Perfect Game
|Date: July 9, 1969|
|Mets starter: Tom Seaver|
|Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver|
|Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Tommie Agee|
|Key play: Pfeil’s double, Jones’ homer, Qualls’ single|
A crowd of 50,709 came out to Shea Stadium for a Wednesday night game between the top two teams in the National League East. The Mets trailed the Cubs by four games as they sent Tom Seaver to the mound to face the solid Chicago lineup. Seaver did not allow a Cubs’ batter to reach base until the ninth inning as the Mets won easily, 4-0.
Seaver retired the Cubs in order in each of the first two innings, recording five strikeouts. Tommie Agee led off the Mets’ half of the first inning with a triple and Bobby Pfeil followed with a double to score Agee. The Mets plated two more runs in the second on two Chicago errors, Seaver’s RBI single and Agee’s double that brought home Al Weis. It was a 3-0 lead for New York as Cubs’ starter Ken Holtzman was removed from the game.
From the third to the sixth, Seaver retired the Chicago hitters in order with one strikeout in each inning. He got the side in order again in the seventh on two fly balls and a grounder. Cleon Jones then homered off Cubs’ reliever Ted Abernanthy in the bottom of the inning to increase the Mets’ lead to four runs.
In the eighth, Seaver got another 1-2-3 inning, striking out his tenth and eleventh batters of the game. He entered the ninth with a chance for a perfect game. After retiring the first hitter, Jimmy Qualls lined a single into left-center field to end Tom’s bid for baseball history. Seaver then got the next two Chicago hitters to complete a very impressive one-hit shutout.