May 21, 1969: Seaver Tosses Three-Hit Shutout

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Date: May 21, 1969
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 5
Braves: 0
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Bud Harrelson
Key play: Jones’ single in 1st, Harrelson’s triple in 8th

The Mets faced the Braves on a Wednesday night in Atlanta. The teams played the opener of a series reduced from three to two games due to rain. Tom Seaver pitched a three-hit shutout in a 5-0 Mets win.

Tommie Agee doubled against Braves’ starter Phil Niekro to lead off the top of the first inning. Wayne Garrett grounded out to second baseman Felix Millan and a double by Ken Boswell ensued. Cleon Jones singled to drive home Agee and Boswell for a 2-0 Mets lead. Art Shamsky hit a single and Ed Kranepool grounded out to first baseman Orlando Cepeda. Niekro retired J. C. Martin on a ground ball to Cepeda for the third out. Seaver then surrendered only a walk to Hank Aaron in the bottom half.

Agee got a two-out single in the top of the second. Garrett singled to send Agee to third base and Boswell popped out to Millan to end the inning. Seaver hurled a perfect bottom half and Niekro set down the Mets in order in the top of the third. Mike Lum singled to open the bottom of the inning. Niekro’s sacrifice bunt advanced Lum to second and Millan grounded out to Seaver. Tom then got Sonny Jackson on a grounder to shortstop Bud Harrelson for the inning’s final out.

Niekro retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth. Seaver yielded only a single to Aaron in the bottom half and Boswell singled with two outs in the top of the fifth. Ken stole second base and Jones went down on strikes to close out the inning. Seaver pitched a perfect bottom half and Martin got a bunt single with two outs in the top of the sixth. A passed ball by catcher Bob Tillman moved Martin to second and Niekro fanned Harrelson to finish off the inning. Seaver then retired all three Atlanta batters in the bottom half.

After a scoreless seventh, Jones hit a one-out single against Niekro in the top of the eighth. Cleon stole second base and went to third as Shamsky was struck out. Kranepool walked and stole second before a walk to Martin loaded the bases. Harrelson followed with a triple that brought home Jones, Kranepool and Martin for a five-run Mets lead. Braves’ reliever Claude Raymond struck out Seaver to end the inning and pinch-hitter Walt Hriniak walked with two outs in the bottom half. Millan singled for the Braves’ third hit of the game. Seaver then got Jackson to line out to right fielder Agee and finish off the inning.

Atlanta reliever Ken Johnson set down the side in order in the top of the ninth. Aaron grounded out to third baseman Garrett to open the bottom half. Cepeda was retired on a ground ball to second baseman Boswell. Seaver then got Bob Aspromonte to fly out to Agee and end the game. The Mets had a victory on Tom’s shutout.