September 29, 1972: Seaver Shuts Out Pirates for 20th Win

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Date: September 29, 1972
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 1
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Tommie Agee
Key play: Agee’s single in 9th

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Friday night in Pittsburgh. A crowd of 24,193 was on hand at Three Rivers Stadium to see Roberto Clemente’s quest for his 3,000th career hit. Clemente failed to get the one hit he needed to achieve the milestone as Tom Seaver shut out the Bucs on two hits for a 1-0 Mets victory and his 20th win of the season.

Seaver and the Pirates’ Nelson Briles each pitched shutout ball for eight innings. Tom allowed singles to Al Oliver and Richie Hebner and issued two walks while striking out eleven batters. Briles limited the Mets to three singles and three walks and had five strikeouts. Neither team had a runner get to third base until Pittsburgh’s Gene Clines walked and advanced on two ground outs in the eighth.

Wayne Garrett began the top of the ninth with a double off Briles. Garrett moved to third on Ken Boswell’s sacrifice bunt and Tommie Agee came up to bat. Agee hit a single to left field, scoring Garrett for the first run of the game. After Agee was caught stealing, Briles walked Rusty Staub and retired Cleon Jones on a foul ball caught by right fielder Clemente.

Leading off the bottom of the ninth, Clemente flied out to right fielder Staub in his last chance of the night to reach the 3,000-hit mark. Seaver then got Willie Stargell for his 12th strikeout (fourth of Stargell) of the game. Tom fanned Oliver for his 13th strikeout to close it out. The Mets had a win over the National League East Champion Pirates as Seaver became a 20-game winner for the third time in four years.


  • Clemente got his 3,000th hit with a double off Jon Matlack the next day.
  • Agee’s RBI was his last one as a Met.