June 30, 1968: Seaver Hurls Five-Hit Shutout

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Date: June 30, 1968
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 1
Astros: 0
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Greg Goossen
Key play: Goossen’s RBI force play grounder

The Mets faced the Astros on a Sunday afternoon in Houston. The teams played the finale of a four-game series. Tom Seaver pitched a five-hit shutout in a 1-0 Mets win.

Astros’ starter Mike Cuellar retired the side in order in the top of the first inning. Seaver hurled a perfect bottom half and Cuellar held the Mets to a single by Ed Charles in the top of the second. Denis Menke and Doug Rader got back-to-back singles with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Seaver then struck out John Bateman for the inning’s third out.

After a scoreless third, Cuellar set down all three Mets batters in the top of the fourth. Rusty Staub drew a walk to open the bottom half. Lee Thomas flied out to center fielder Tommie Agee and a single by Jim Wynn ensued. Menke went down on strikes and Rader grounded out to third baseman Charles to finish off the inning. With one out in the top of the fifth, Ron Swoboda drew a walk and advanced to third on a single by Jerry Grote. Greg Goossen followed with a force play ground ball to second baseman Menke to drive home Swoboda for a one-run Mets lead. Cuellar retired Al Weis on a grounder to third baseman Rader for the inning’s final out. Seaver then retired the Astros 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Phil Linz and Cleon Jones got consecutive singles with two outs in the top of the sixth. Charles hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Hector Torres that ended the inning and Seaver gave up just a single to Staub in the bottom half. Cuellar pitched a perfect top of the seventh and Menke singled for the Astros’ fifth hit to begin the bottom of the inning. Rader was retired on a pop-up to second baseman Linz. Bateman and pinch-hitter Bob Aspromonte hit into consecutive force plays to close out the inning and Houston reliever Jim Ray set down the Mets in order in the top of the eighth. Seaver then retired all three hitters in the bottom half.

Ray yielded just a single to Charles in the top of the ninth. Thomas was called out on strikes to lead off the bottom of the inning. Seaver fanned Wynn for his eighth strikeout of the game. Tom then got Menke to ground out to shortstop Weis and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a shutout victory to conclude the weekend series.