May 26, 1967: Cardwell and Buchek Stifle Braves

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Date: May 26, 1967
Mets starter: Don Cardwell
Mets: 1
Braves: 0
Winning pitcher: Don Cardwell
Key player(s): Don Cardwell, Jerry Buchek, John Sullivan
Key play: Buchek’s home run in 2nd, Sullivan's throw in 9th

The Mets and Braves played each other on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams began a four-game series on Memorial Day weekend. Don Cardwell pitched a three-hit shutout and Jerry Buchek hit a home run to give the Mets a 1-0 victory over Atlanta.

The game began with the Braves’ Woody Woodward reaching second base on an error by second baseman Buchek. A sacrifice bunt by Felipe Alou advanced Woodward to third base and Hank Aaron drew a walk. Joe Torre hit a ground ball to shortstop Bud Harrelson for an inning-ending double play. Atlanta starter Ken Johnson retired the Mets in order in the bottom of the first. Cardwell then shut down the Braves despite Mack Jones’ single in the top of the second inning.

Buchek came to bat with two outs in the bottom of the second. Jerry hit a solo home run to put the Mets on top. Johnson got Johnny Lewis to fly out to right fielder Aaron for the third out. Cardwell and Johnson each set down the side in order in the third and fourth innings. Don pitched another perfect inning in the top of the fifth. Johnson then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Cardwell retired the Braves 1-2-3 again in the top of the sixth inning. Johnson pitched a scoreless bottom half despite a walk to Don himself. Aaron singled to lead off the top of the seventh and went to third on an ensuing single by Torre. Cardwell struck out Rico Carty and walked Jones. Don then fanned Clete Boyer and threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Mike de la Hoz to end the inning. Johnson responded with a perfect bottom of the seventh.

In the top of the eighth, Cardwell got Woodward and Alou for his seventh and eighth strikeouts of the game to close out another perfect inning. Atlanta reliever Phil Niekro set down the Mets without a run in the bottom half. Aaron reached on an error by third baseman Ed Charles to lead off the top of the ninth. Torre’s ground out to first baseman Ron Swoboda moved Aaron to second. With Carty at bat, catcher John Sullivan caught Aaron with a successful pickoff throw to Buchek. Cardwell then retired Carty on a grounder to Harrelson that ended the game. The Mets had a series-opening win on Cardwell’s shutout pitching and Buchek’s homer.