September 3, 1976: Seaver Strikes Out 200th in Shutout

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Date: September 3, 1976
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 1
Phillies: 0
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Roy Staiger
Key play: Staiger’s single in 4th, Seaver’s strikeout of Hutton in 7th

The Mets played the Phillies on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams faced each other in the opener of a three-game series. Tom Seaver reached the 200-strikeout mark for the ninth year in a row and pitched a four-hit shutout in a 1-0 Mets win over Philadelphia.

Dave Cash opened the top of the first inning with a single to right field. Seaver struck out Larry Bowa and gave up a single to Garry Maddox. Greg Luzinski grounded out to second baseman Felix Millan and an intentional walk to Jay Johnstone loaded the bases. Seaver struck out Mike Schmidt to end the inning. Phils’ starter Steve Carlton then retired the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Seaver and Carlton each pitched one-hit scoreless ball in the second and third innings. In the top of the fourth, Schmidt drew a one-out walk and Tim McCarver hit into a force play. With Bobby Tolan at bat, McCarver was caught stealing on a throw by catcher John Stearns to shortstop Bud Harrelson for the third out. Dave Kingman got a one-out single and advanced to second base on Joe Torre’s single in the bottom of the inning. Roy Staiger hit a single to left field that brought home Kingman. Carlton then struck out Stearns and got Harrelson on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Johnstone.

After scoreless fifth and sixth innings, Johnstone singled to lead off the top of the seventh. Schmidt went down on strikes and McCarver drew a walk. Tolan hit a fly ball to right fielder Kingman on which Johnstone moved to third. Seaver fanned pinch-hitter Tommy Hutton for his 200th strikeout of the season to close out the inning. Phillies’ reliever Ron Reed then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Seaver retired the Phils in order in the top of the eighth. Reed set down all three Met batters in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the ninth, Luzinski struck out and Johnstone popped out to Millan. Seaver then fanned Schmidt for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory over first-place Philadelphia as Tom got to the double-century strikeout mark for the ninth consecutive season.