May 4, 1969: Seaver Hurls Complete Game for Win

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Date: May 4, 1969
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 3
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Ed Kranepool, Ken Boswell
Key play: Kranepool’s home run, Boswell’s RBI single

The Mets faced the Cubs in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. Tom Seaver took the mound for the Mets in the opener of the twinbill at Wrigley Field. Seaver pitched a complete game in a 3-2 Mets win over Chicago.

Following a scoreless first inning, Cubs’ starter Bill Hands hurled a perfect top of the second. Randy Hundley hit a two-out single in the bottom half. Al Spangler followed with a triple to score Hundley for a 1-0 Chicago lead. Seaver struck out Don Young to end the inning and Hands shut down the Mets in the top of the third. With one out in the bottom half, Hands was hit by a pitch. Don Kessinger hit a double and Glenn Beckert grounded back to Seaver. Billy Williams was walked intentionally to load the bases and Ron Santo went down on strikes. Seaver then retired Ernie Banks on a pop-up to second baseman Ken Boswell for the inning’s final out.

With two outs in the top of the fourth, Ed Kranepool hit a home run to tie the game. J. C. Martin doubled and Kevin Collins was called out on strikes for the third out. Seaver pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and drew a walk with one out in the top of the fifth. Rod Gaspar hit a single and advanced to third base on Boswell’s single that drove home Seaver with the go-ahead run. Ron Swoboda followed with a sacrifice fly to score Gaspar and extend the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Hands then threw a called third strike past Cleon Jones to finish off the inning.

Pinch-hitter Manny Jimenez singled to open the bottom of the fifth. Kessinger hit a force play grounder to Boswell and moved to third base on a single by Beckert. Williams followed with a force play ground ball to third baseman Collins to drive home Kessinger for the second Chicago run. Santo drew a walk and Banks was struck out to end the inning. Cubs’ reliever Rich Nye yielded only a single to Kranepool in the top of the sixth. Seaver then set down the Cubs in order in the bottom half.

Seaver singled to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Tom advanced to second base on Gaspar’s ensuing sacrifice bunt. Boswell hit a grounder on which shortstop Kessinger threw to third baseman Santo for an out on Seaver. Swoboda grounded back to Nye for the final out of the inning and pinch-hitter Willie Smith hit a single to open the bottom half. A sacrifice bunt by Kessinger moved pinch-runner Adolfo Phillips to second and Beckert grounded out to Boswell. Seaver then got Williams on a fly ball to center fielder Gaspar for the third out of the inning.

Chicago reliever Ted Abernathy pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. Hundley and Spangler got back-to-back singles with two outs in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Gene Oliver popped out to Seaver to end the inning and Al Weis singled against the Cubs’ Phil Regan to begin the top of the ninth. Weis stole second base and Seaver went down on strikes. Gaspar was retired on a grounder to Kessinger. Regan then got Boswell to fly out to center fielder Jim Hickman and finish off the inning.

Hickman grounded out to first baseman Kranepool to open the bottom of the ninth. Kessinger hit a single and Beckert followed with a force play grounder to third baseman Ed Charles. Seaver then retired Williams on a ground ball to Kranepool for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory to start the doubleheader.