September 1, 1974: McGraw Shuts Out Braves

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Date: September 1, 1974
Mets starter: Tug McGraw
Mets: 3
Braves: 0
Winning pitcher: Tug McGraw
Key player(s): Tug McGraw
Key play: Braves’ double plays in 1st and 2nd, Ayala’s sacrifice fly in 4th

The Mets and Braves played the finale of a three-game series at Shea Stadium. Primarily a reliever, Tug McGraw got a rare starting assignment for the game. McGraw turned in a brilliant performance with a five-hit shutout as the Mets defeated Atlanta, 3-0, completing a sweep of the series.

Tug did some clutch pitching over the first four innings. He got Hank Aaron and Craig Robinson to hit into double plays to end the first and second, respectively. In the fourth, McGraw retired Davey Johnson and Robinson with the bases loaded to prevent any Braves’ scoring.

The Mets scored three times against Atlanta starter Carl Morton. A sacrifice fly by Benny Ayala plated John Milner in the fourth for a 1-0 New York lead. In the fifth, Ted Martinez scored on a single by Bud Harrelson and McGraw crossed the plate on Felix Millan’s force play grounder for two more runs.

Tug continued to mow down the Braves. He retired fifteen consecutive batters before Darrell Evans singled with one out in the ninth. McGraw then got Aaron to pop out and Dusty Baker on a fly ball to center field to end the game. The shutout was the only one of Tug’s 19-year career and his last win as a member of the Mets.