Amazin’ Look Back: September 4, 1973 – Tom Seaver Silences Philadelphia With Thirteen Strikeouts

By Michael Lecolant

After splitting a double-header yesterday, the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies played game three of their four game series this evening at Shea Stadium.  Making his 30th start of the season, Tom Seaver climbed the hill, and went the distance.  The Franchise pitched nine complete innings, allowed just one earned run on five hits, walked one batter and struck out thirteen Phillies.  In earning his sixteenth victory of the season, Tom (16-8) lowered his ERA to a miniscule 1.69 mark.  This was the seventeenth time this season Seaver pitched nine or more innings in a game.  In his last start on August 30th, Tom pitched into the tenth inning, and two starts prior to that on August 12th, he pitched twelve innings against the Reds right here at Shea.  Tom also surpassed two hundred strikeouts in his last start; the sixth consecutive time he’s done that; and his thirteen against the Phils this evening now gives him 218 for the season.

Jul 2, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of Rawlings major league baseballs on the field before the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

On this night, Tom Seaver got plenty of support.  The Mets scored seven times en rout to a 7-1 victory, although six runs were unearned.  Wayne Garrett led off the home first inning with his eleventh home run of the season.  He is now one away from a career high.  In the third inning, Wayne Garrett doubled with two outs, and later scored when Felix Millan reached safely on an error by second baseman Denny Doyle.  That’s when the flood gates opened against Phillies starter, Jim Lonborg.  A hit by John Milner, a walk to Rusty Staub, a triple by Ed Kranepool, and yet another single by Jerry Grote knocked Lonborg from the game, behind by a 6-0 score.

Catcher Bob Boone ruined Tom Seaver’s shutout bid in the fifth inning with an RBI single that scored left fielder Greg Luzinski.  But that’s all Philadelphia would get.  The Mets scored one more time in the sixth.  With Wayne Garrett at the plate, Phillies relief pitcher Mike Wallace unleashed a wild pitch which scored Bud Harrelson, who previously doubled and moved over to third.

Starting Lineups

The Mets situation is odd.  With a 65-73 record, they remain in fifth place of the National League East, but only 5.5 games out of first.  The division leading St. Louis Cardinals are only three games above .500, with a 71-68 record.  Twenty-three games remain in the regular season.  A late playoff run is still not out of the question.  I guess we just gotta believe.

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