Remembering Mets History (1973) Tom Seaver Throws a Two Hit Shutout

Saturday May 12, 1973: Yogi Berra's Mets had started out May with a five-game losing streak at home, taking losses to the Reds & Astros. They then took two of three from the Atlanta Braves before heading on the road. 

In the first game of a short five game road trip, they beat the Pirates 4-3. On this Saturday afternoon the Mets (16-13) took on Bill Virdon's Pirates (12-14) at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. 

The starting pitchers were the Pirates' Bob Moose (2-2) going up against the Mets Cy Young Winner of that year, Tom Seaver (3-3).

Trivia: The Pirates Bob Moose threw a no hitter against the Mets on September 20th, 1969, at Shea Stadium. That year he was 14-3 with the leagues best winning % (.824%). Moose won a World Series with the Pirates in 1971 appearing in three games of that series. 

In 1972 he threw a wild pitch in the bottom of the 9th inning of the final Game #5 of the NLCS allowing George Foster to score the game's walk off winning run. Sadly in 1976 he was killed in a car crash on his 29th birthday.

In the top of the 1st inning, the Mets Wayne Garrett led off with a base hit. Felix Millan followed with another base hit advancing Garrett to third.  Cleon Jones hit into a double play, but Garrett scored on the play for a 1-0 Mets lead. 

Tom Seaver came to pitch & retired the first eight Pirates in a row before the pitcher Bob Moose singled up the middle in the 3rd inning. Seaver retired the next nine batters before issuing a two out walk to Vic Davalillo in the 6th inning. He ended the inning getting Manny Sanguillen to fly out, holding on to a 1-0 lead & a one hitter.

In the bottom of the 7th, Al Oliver flew out for the first out. Next, future Hall of Famer Willie Stargell collected a triple for the Pirates second hit of the day. 

Trivia: Stargell not known for his speed would hit three tiples in 1973. But he would have a tremendous yea leading the NL in HRs (44) RBIs (119) & doubles (43).

Seaver got the next two Pirates to pop up, securing his 1-0 lead.

The Pirates Bob Moose held the Mets to one run on seven hits going into the top of the 8th. But Cleon Jones & Rusty Staub started the inning with back-to-back singles. Ed Kranepool then dropped a base hit to right field bringing home Jones with the Mets second run.

Jim Gosger then doubled scoring Staub for the third Mets run & knocking Moose out of the game. Kranepool could not score on the play & Jim Rooker came on & retired the next three Mets batters to get through the 8th.

Ed Kranepool & Felix Millan both collected three hits on the day.

In the bottom of the 8th Seaver struck out Rennie Stennett, just his fourth strike out of the day. Then got Gene Alley & Gene Clines to pop up to end the inning.

The Pirates reliever Dave Giusti came on for the 9th, he was greeted by Wayne Garrett who hit his first HR of the year, making it a 4-0 Mets lead. 

A pirate error led to Felix Millan reaching base. Cleon Jones then doubled bringing Millan home all the way from first to give the Mets a 5-0 lead. Pirates first baseman Vic Davalillo then booted Jim Gosger's grounder, for the second Pirate error of the inning allowing Cleon to score making it 6-0.

In the 9th Seaver retired the Pirates in order, earning his fourth win (4-3) & completing his second shutout of the year. He lowered his ERA to 1.38 while pitching one of the two, two- hit games he would throw on the season.

The previous September, Seaver had thrown a two hit shutout in Pittsburgh, beating Nelson Briles in a 1-0 classic. Up to that point in his career, Seaver had thrown three two hitters & four one hitters.

In the 1973 Mets pennant season Seaver won 19 games (19-10) leading the league in strike outs (251) ERA (2.08) & Complete games (18). This game was one of his three shut outs on the year.


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