May 29, 1971: Ryan Strikes Out 16

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Date: May 29, 1971
Mets starter: Nolan Ryan
Mets: 2
Padres: 1
Winning pitcher: Nolan Ryan
Key player(s): Nolan Ryan, Art Shamsky
Key play: Shamsky’s homer and double

After defeating the Padres in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader, the Mets looked for a sweep in the nightcap. Nolan Ryan took the mound for the orange and blue in the second half of the twinbill at San Diego Stadium. Ryan pitched a complete game with 16 strikeouts in a 2-1 Mets win.

Padres’ starter Tom Phoebus shut down the Mets in the top of the first inning. Ryan issued a walk to Enzo Hernandez to begin the bottom half. Nolan struck out Don Mason and retired Cito Gaston on a ground ball to shortstop Tim Foli. On the second out, Hernandez advanced from second to third base via an error by first baseman Ed Kranepool. Ryan threw a wild pitch that brought home Hernandez for a 1-0 San Diego lead. Nate Colbert drew a walk and Ollie Brown went down on strikes to end the inning. Phoebus held the Mets to singles by Kranepool and Bob Aspromonte in a scoreless top of the second. Ryan then recorded two strikeouts in a perfect bottom half.

The Mets failed to score after loading the bases in the top of the third. Ryan struck out Phoebus to start the bottom of the inning. Hernandez hit a single and Mason hit a line drive to second baseman Ken Boswell for an inning-ending double play. Duffy Dyer hit a double to left field with two outs in the top of the fourth. Phoebus walked Ryan and retired Tommie Agee on a fly ball to left fielder Ivan Murrell for the third out. To open the bottom half, Ryan struck out Gaston and gave up a single to Colbert. Brown followed with an apparent single, but right fielder Art Shamsky threw to Foli for a force out on Colbert at second base. Murrell then went down on strikes to close out the inning.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Shamsky hit a home run to tie the game at 1-1. Cleon Jones grounded out to third baseman Ed Spiezio and a walk to Kranepool ensued. Phoebus got Boswell on a grounder back to the mound to end the inning. Ryan fanned Phoebus to finish off a perfect bottom half. Dyer hit his second double with one out in the top of the sixth. Ryan flied out to right fielder Brown to advance Duffy to third base. Agee flied out to center fielder Gaston for the third out and Ryan walked Hernandez and Mason to begin the bottom of the inning. Nolan then struck out the next three San Diego batters to increase his game total to eleven.

Foli drew a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh. Shamsky followed with a double to bring home Tim and put the Mets in front by a run. On the hit, Art moved to third on an error by second baseman Mason. Against Padres’ reliever Al Severinsen, Jones hit a ground ball on which Mason threw to catcher Fred Kendall for an out at home on Shamsky. Cleon was caught stealing on a throw by Kendall to shortstop Hernandez and a fly ball by Kranepool was caught by Brown for the third out. Ryan started the bottom half by fanning Murrell and followed up by retiring Spiezio on a foul pop-up to catcher Dyer. Nolan then fanned Kendall to end the inning.

Dyer hit a triple with two outs in the top of the eighth. Ryan drew a walk and Severinsen got Agee on an inning-ending fly ball to Brown. Nolan struck out pinch-hitter Angel Bravo to open the bottom half. Hernandez fouled out to Kranepool and a single by Mason followed. Ryan fanned Gaston for the final out of the inning. Padres’ reliever Dick Kelley then set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth.

Colbert lined out to left fielder Jones to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Brown singled to center field and Ryan set down Murrell with his sixteenth strikeout of the game. Spiezio hit a pop-up to Foli for the game’s final out. The Mets had a sweep of the doubleheader on Nolan’s mastery.