September 9, 1969: Seaver Stifles Cubs

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Date: September 9, 1969
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 7
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Ken Boswell, Donn Clendenon
Key play: Boswell’s two-run double, Clendenon’s two-run homer

The Mets and Cubs played the latter half of a two-game series on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. With the teams at the top of the National League East standings, the game had a crucial impact in the race for the division title. Tom Seaver pitched a complete game in a 7-1 Mets win over Chicago.

Seaver hurled a perfect top of the first inning. Tommie Agee drew a walk against Cubs’ starter Ferguson Jenkins to lead off the bottom half. Wayne Garrett lined out to shortstop Don Kessinger and a walk to Cleon Jones followed. Art Shamsky grounded back to Jenkins to advance the runners to second and third base. An ensuing double by Ken Boswell scored Agee and Jones for a 2-0 Mets lead. Jenkins then struck out Donn Clendenon to end the inning.

After a scoreless second, Seaver set down all three Chicago batters in the top of the third. Jones singled to begin the bottom half. Shamsky hit a force play grounder to Kessinger and moved to second base when second baseman Glenn Beckert dropped a throw by first baseman Willie Smith on a pickoff play. Boswell went down on strikes and Clendenon followed with a two-run homer. Jerry Grote hit a single to center field. Jenkins then got Bud Harrelson on a foul fly ball to left fielder Billy Williams for the inning’s final out.

Beckert doubled with one out in the top of the fourth inning. Williams flied out to center fielder Agee and a single by Ron Santo drove home Beckert. An ensuing single by Smith moved Santo to third base. Seaver retired Jim Hickman on an inning-ending fly ball to Agee and hit a double to open the bottom half. Tom went to third on Agee’s ground out to Kessinger and scored on a sacrifice fly by Garrett. Jenkins then got Jones to ground out to Kessinger and end the inning.

Seaver set down the Cubs 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Leading off the bottom half, Shamsky homered to extend the Mets’ lead to 6-1. Jenkins retired the next three New York batters and Seaver hurled a perfect top of the sixth. Jenkins held the Mets to a single by Agee in the bottom of the inning. Seaver then retired the side in order in the top of the seventh.

Boswell hit a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Clendenon was hit by a pitch and Grote doubled to plate Boswell with the Mets’ seventh run. Harrelson was issued an intentional walk that loaded the bases and Jenkins got Seaver on a force play grounder to Kessinger for the third out. Tom shut down the Cubs in the top of the eighth. Chicago reliever Ted Abernanthy then pitched a perfect bottom of the inning.

Beckert popped out to first baseman Clendenon to begin the top of the ninth. Williams flied out to right fielder Rod Gaspar and a single by Santo ensued. Seaver then retired Smith on a fly ball to Gaspar for the game’s final out. The Mets had triumphed to move one-half game behind the Chicago team in the N. L. East Division.