May 29, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1973) Tom Seaver Strikes Out 16 Giants

May 29th, 1973: the Mets were in the midst of a California West Coast road trip. Yogi Berra's Mets were just below .500 at 20-21 in second place 5 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs. 

They had lost four straight, including getting beat by a pair of Hall of Fame pitchers the past two nights. The previous night the first place San Francisco Giants, Juan Marichal beat rookie Tommie Moore & the night before that, the Dodgers Don Sutton beat Jerry Koosman in a 2-1 classic.

Tonight's game drew a small crowd, just under 8000 at Candlestick Park. The Mets sent Tom Seaver to the mound to face off against Jim Barr. Seaver started things off by striking out two batters in the 1st inning, & then the side in the 2nd inning.

"stretch" - Willie McCovey
In the 5th inning, Seaver put the Mets on the board hitting his first & only HR of the season. Seaver was a fine hitting pitcher who batted .154 with 12 career HRs & 86 RBIs.

In the Giants home 6th inning, Tito Fuentes doubled to left field & Willie McCovey blasted a two un HR. Barr kept the Mets at bay, holding them to just one run through eight innings. Seaver allowed just the two runs & was striking out Giants along the way. He had at least one strike out in every inning with a pair of K's in the 4th, 5th inning & 8th innings.

In the top of the 9th, pinch hitter Ken Boswell drew a walk. Giants manager Charlie Fox, pulled Barr & brought in reliever Randy Moffitt. Moffitt is the younger brother of female tennis star Bill Jean King, who was on top of her game in 1973.

Moffitt surrendered singles to Bud Harrelson & Tom Seaver. He then walked Wayne Garrett forcing in a run to tie the game. Felix Millan followed with a two run single, putting the Mets up 4-2. Moffitt was gone & Sudden Sam McDowell was brought in to pitch.

Yogi Berra sent in George "the Stork" Theodore to pinch hit & he came through with a sac fly scoring Millan. McDowell retired Jim Gosger next & Boswell again who originally led off the inning, as the Mets batted around.

Seaver came on to finish the game off, striking out Gary Maddox for K #15 & then he got McCovey for his 16th strike out of the day.

On the night Seaver struck out every batter in the line up. Bobby Bonds led the team in wiffs, going down four times, earning "the golden sombrero".

Willie McCovey who homered, also struck out three times on the night. Chris Speier & Gary Mathews both went down twice apiece.

The victory put Seaver at 6-3 his fourth win in a row. His ERA was an incredible 1.71 eleven games into the season. He already had 82 strike outs on the season. The 16 Ks would be his highest total in a single game all year. Overall he had six games where had double figures in strike outs.

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