Rewind: Seaver K’s 19 Padres in 2-1 win

SEAVER K’S 19 PADRES IN 2-1 WIN

In the Spring 1970, The Jackson 5 were climbing the pop charts with their first No. 1 single:

A B C, easy as one, two, three
Are simple as do re mi
A B C, one, two, three, baby, you and me

While Michael and his brothers were counting their way to the top of the pop charts, fifty years ago today, Jerry Koosman was counting Tom Seaver’s pitches as the Mets ace took the mound at Shea Stadium for a Wednesday matinee against the San Diego Padres.

The day began when the franchise struck a high note celebrating The Franchise for winning the National League Cy Young Award for his performance in 1969, winning 25 games and playing a pivotal role in leading the Mets to their first-ever World Series title.

After the pomp and circumstance, the Mets and Padres took the field on getaway day for both teams. The Mets scored first after Bud Harrelson singled and came around to score on a double by Ken Boswell. In the second inning, Padres outfielder Al Ferrara turned on a Seaver fastball, depositing the pitch in over left‐field fence to tie the game at one. The Mets reclaimed the lead in the third inning when Tommie Agee singled and Harrelson tripled to right‐field to 2‐1 lead. San Diego notched their second — and final — hit off Seaver in the fourth inning when Dave Campbell snuck a single past Mets third baseman Joe Foy.

“He wasn’t that strong in the early innings,” Jerry Grote told the New York Times after the game. “The cool weather helped and by the end of the game he was stronger than ever.”

With two out in the sixth, Seaver struck out Ferrara to record his 10th punch out of the game. What happened next was remarkable. Seaver, who had already retired 10-in-a-row, started the seventh inning striking out Nate Colbert. He finished the frame striking out Campbell and Jerry Morales. By this point, Seaver had retired 10 straight and 13 strikeouts in the game. He was just two strikeouts away from tying the franchise record, set days earlier when Nolan Ryan struck out 15 batters.

Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Johnny Podres, then a minor league pitching instructor for the Padres, watched Seaver. “He had perfect rhythm,” he said. “It’s amazing, as hard as he was throwing he was still hitting the spots. If you didn’t swing, it still was a strike.”

“He was like a machine those last few innings,” said Ed Kranepool. “Whomp. Whomp. Whomp. He was working fast and throwing strikes.”

Seaver took the mound in the eighth inning, working quickly, striking out Padres Bob Barton, Ramon Webster and Ivan Murrell. “Everybody congratulated me when I got No. 16 in the eighth inning,” said Seaver. “I just told them, let’s get some more runs. All I could think of was that Carlton had struck out 19 of us and still lost.”

The Mets didn’t oblige. Seaver was back on the mound in the 9th inning with a one-run lead. Focused on nailing down the win, Seaver went to work striking out Van Kelly and Cito Gaston. With one out to go, Seaver was fully aware of what Ferrera had done in the second inning. One bad pitch and the game would be tied.

Seaver struck out Ferrera to secure a 2-1 Mets win.

“The last time up, it was his best shot against my best shot,” said Ferrera. “He challenged me and he won.”

Seaver’s final line: 9 IP/1 ER/2 hits/19 K/2 BB/ 136 pitches (81 fastballs, 34 sliders, 19 curves and two change‐ups). The 14,917 in attendance were sent home amazed, and so was Koosman.

Seaver made it look so easy, easy as one, two, three …

Are simple as do re mi
A B C, one, two, three, baby, you and me

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Mets Rewind
National League baseball in New York was redefined on March 6, 1961 when the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club Inc. formally received a certificate of membership from leave president Warren Giles. Of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs today, the case could be made that no other team has a more compelling franchise history than the New York Mets. From Casey Stengel to Yogi Berra, Marv Throneberry to Tom Seaver, Willie Mays, Tug McGraw, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Bobby Valentine, Pedro Martinez and Matt Harvey, the Mets are loaded with character(s). Then there are the Amazin’ seasons — 1962, 1969, 1973, 1986, 2000, 2006-2008 and 2015 — full of miracles, joy, hope and heartbreak. Mets Rewind is designed for that purpose: To share team history in a distinct and entertaining format. We hope you — the baseball fan — enjoy the content. We encourage you to share your memories.
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