June 25, 1968: Seaver Blanks Reds on Five Hits

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Date: June 25, 1968
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 4
Reds: 0
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Al Weis, Bud Harrelson
Key play: Jones’ home run, Harrelson’s triple

The Mets faced the Reds on a Tuesday night in Cincinnati. The teams played the second of three games in a series at Crosley Field. Tom Seaver pitched a five-hit shutout in a 4-0 Mets win.

Reds’ starter George Culver set down the side in order in the top of the first inning. Seaver gave up just a single to Alex Johnson in the bottom half and Culver hurled a perfect top of the second. Tommy Helms singled with two outs in the bottom of the inning. With Woody Woodward at bat, Helms was caught stealing on catcher J. C. Martin’s throw to second baseman Al Weis for the inning’s third out. Weis got a one-out single in the top of the third. Al stole second base and Seaver went down on strikes. Bud Harrelson grounded out to second baseman Helms to finish off the inning. Seaver then retired all three Cincinnati batters in the bottom half.

Culver surrendered just a walk to Martin in the top of the fourth. Johnson hit a single to lead off the bottom of the inning. Vada Pinson and Tony Perez were retired on infield ground balls and Johnny Bench popped out to third baseman Ed Charles to end the inning. Ed Kranepool singled with one out in the top of the fifth. Weis hit a single and Seaver’s ground out to first baseman Lee May advanced the runners to second and third base. Culver retired Harrelson on an inning-ending grounder to Helms and a walk to May opened the bottom half. Helms singled and Woodward followed with a bunt on which Seaver threw to Charles for an out at third on May. Culver’s sacrifice bunt sent the runners to second and third. Seaver then struck out Pete Rose to end the inning.

With one out in the top of the sixth, Cleon Jones hit a home run against Culver for a 1-0 Mets lead. Martin doubled and moved to third base on catcher Bench’s passed ball. Charles was struck out and Art Shamsky grounded out to May to finish off the inning. Seaver hurled a perfect bottom half and Weis drew a one-out walk in the top of the seventh. Al stole second and Seaver went down on strikes. Harrelson tripled to drive home Weis and scored on a single by Don Bosch. Jones got a single off Reds’ reliever Bill Kelso. Martin followed with a single that plated Bosch with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Cincinnati’s Bob Lee retired Charles on an inning-ending pop-up to Helms. Seaver then yielded only a single to Helms in the bottom half.

Lee held the Mets to a single by Weis in the top of the eighth. Seaver set down the side on three consecutive infield ground balls in the bottom of the inning. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Jones singled against Reds’ reliever Billy McCool. Cleon stole second base and Martin grounded out to McCool to end the inning. Pinson grounded out to Weis to begin the bottom half. Perez was retired on a grounder to shortstop Harrelson. Seaver then struck out Bench to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a shutout victory on Tom’s five-hitter.