September 6, 1971: Seaver Strikes Out 12 in Two-Hitter

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Date: September 6, 1971
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 7
Expos: 0
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Don Hahn
Key play: Seaver’s and Hahn’s two-run singles

The Mets faced the Expos on Labor Day night in Montreal. The teams played the opener of a three-game series at Jarry Park. Tom Seaver struck out twelve batters and pitched a two-hit shutout to lead the Mets to a 7-0 win.

Bud Harrelson singled against Expos’ starter Ernie McAnally to lead off the top of the first inning. Wayne Garrett hit a ground ball to shortstop Bobby Wine for a double play and Cleon Jones drew a walk. A wild pitch advanced Jones to second base and Ed Kranepool reached on McAnally’s error. Ken Boswell grounded back to McAnally for the inning’s final out and Ron Hunt hit a single to open the bottom half. A sacrifice bunt by Boots Day moved Hunt to second and Rusty Staub drew a walk. Seaver then got Ron Fairly on a ground ball to second baseman Boswell for an inning-ending double play.

Art Shamsky and Ken Singleton drew back-to-back walks to begin the top of the second. On Jerry Grote’s ensuing double, Shamsky was out at home via a relay throw by Wine to catcher John Bateman. Seaver singled to drive home Singleton and Grote with the first two runs of the game and went to second base on Harrelson’s ground out to first baseman Fairly. Garrett hit a single on which Seaver scored via an error by Bateman for a 3-0 Mets lead. McAnally retired Jones on a grounder to Wine to end the inning. Seaver then recorded strikeouts of Bob Bailey and Bateman in hurling a perfect bottom half.

Seaver and McAnally each pitched scoreless ball from the third inning to the eighth. Tom fanned eight Montreal batters and surrendered only a double to Gary Sutherland and a walk to Wine. Meanwhile, the Mets had failed to score despite loading the bases twice against McAnally. Seaver led off the top of the ninth inning with a walk against Expos’ reliever Jim Britton. A sacrifice bunt by Harrelson advanced Tom to second base and Garrett reached on an error by second baseman Sutherland. Jones drew a walk to load the bases and an ensuing walk to Kranepool forced home Seaver. Tim Foli grounded out to Montreal reliever Claude Raymond to score Garrett with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Don Hahn followed with a single to plate Jones and Kranepool for a seven-run New York lead and moved to second on a throw. Hahn went to third on a wild pitch. Raymond then got Singleton to ground out to Sutherland and finish off the inning.

Hunt was called out on strikes to begin the bottom of the ninth. Day followed up by becoming Seaver’s twelfth strikeout victim. Tom then retired Staub on a foul pop-up to third baseman Garrett for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory on Seaver’s impressive two-hit shutout.