After getting no decisions in his first three Opening Day starts for the New York Mets, Tom Seaver has now won three straight in front of the Shea faithful, as the Amazins shutout the Philadelphia Phillies to start the season off right. Yogi Berra is hoping his squad can improve upon their third place finish in the NL East this season, and getting a win is the best way to get things started.
Seaver was in complete control of the Philly lineup, as he went 7.2 shutout innings, allowing five hits and two walks, while striking out eight hitters. He worked quickly, as the ballgame in Flushing only lasted and hour and 56 minutes for the paid crowd of 27,326. The only jam he found himself in was right before he made his exit in the eighth inning; Seaver allowed a double to Bill Robinson, followed by a walk to Del Unser. That led Berra to bring in Tug McGraw to get the four out save, which he did easily, retiring the Phillies in order, including one strikeout.
New York only mustered five hits as well, but a couple packed more punch than those of the opposition. Cleon Jones was the offensive star of the game, collecting three hits, two of which were home runs. He broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a two-run shot, scoring Felix Milan, who doubled earlier in the inning. Then, he decided one wasn’t enough off southpaw Steve Carlton, and he hit a solo homer in the seventh to add some insurance. Jim Fregosi was the only other Met to record a hit.
Here’s what the starting lineups looked like:
|Philadelphia Phillies||New York Mets|
|1||Larry Bowa||SS||1||Bud Harrelson||SS|
|2||Del Unser||CF||2||Felix Millan||2B|
|3||Willie Montanez||RF||3||Willie Mays||CF|
|4||Tom Hutton||1B||4||Rusty Staub||RF|
|5||Greg Luzinski||LF||5||Cleon Jones||LF|
|6||Jose Pagan||3B||6||John Milner||1B|
|7||Mike Ryan||C||7||Jim Fregosi||3B|
|8||Denny Doyle||2B||8||Duffy Dyer||C|
|9||Steve Carlton||P||9||Tom Seaver||P|
The series continues tomorrow, as Berra runs out John Matlock to take on Dick Selma of the Phillies. Let’s go Mets!