June 4, 1968: Koosman Blanks Cubs
|Date: June 4, 1968|
|Mets starter: Jerry Koosman|
|Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman|
|Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, J. C. Martin, Jerry Grote, Cleon Jones|
|Key play: Martin’s and Grote’s doubles, Jones’ home run|
The Mets faced the Cubs on a Tuesday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Jerry Koosman pitched a complete game shutout in a 5-0 Mets win.
Ken Boswell doubled against Cubs’ starter Ferguson Jenkins with one out in the top of the first inning. Art Shamsky went down on strikes and J. C. Martin hit a double to drive home Boswell. A double by Jerry Grote scored Martin for a two-run Mets lead. Jenkins threw a called third strike past Ron Swoboda for the third out. Koosman then set down the side in order in the bottom half.
Koosman and Jenkins each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fourth. With two outs in the top of the fifth, Cleon Jones hit a home run to increase the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Boswell drew a walk and Shamsky was struck out to end the inning. Jenkins got a one-out single in the bottom half. Don Kessinger flied out to right fielder Swoboda and a double by Glenn Beckert followed. Koosman then struck out Billy Williams to finish off the inning.
Jenkins gave up just a single to Swoboda in the top of the sixth. Koosman hurled a perfect bottom half and Jenkins set down the Mets in order in the top of the seventh. Adolfo Phillips hit a single with one out in the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Jim Hickman followed with a ground ball to shortstop Al Weis for an inning-ending double play. To begin the top of the eighth, Boswell singled against Chicago reliever Ramon Hernandez. Ken moved to second base on Shamsky’s sacrifice bunt and came around to score on Martin’s single to left field. Grote reached on an error by second baseman Beckert. Swoboda grounded out to third baseman Ron Santo to advance the runners to second and third. Kevin Collins reached on Hernandez’s error that allowed Martin to score the Mets’ fifth run of the game. On the play, Grote was out at home via a throw by Beckert to catcher Randy Hundley to end the inning. Koosman then shut down the Cubs in the bottom half.
Hernandez pitched a perfect top of the ninth. Ernie Banks grounded out to third baseman Collins to lead off the bottom of the inning. Lou Johnson and Hundley drew back-to-back walks and Phillips flied out to left fielder Jones. Koosman then got pinch-hitter John Boccabella to hit a force play grounder to Weis for the game’s final out. The Mets had a shutout victory to start the series.