Tuesday April 20th, 1976: Joe Frazier's New York Mets were in second place 1 1/2 games out of first place, hosting Red Schoendienst's sixth place St. Louis Cardinals just 3 1/2 back. The starting pitchers; Jon Matlack for the Mets & Lynn McGlothen for the Cards would be major players in tonight's escapades.
The Mets beat up McGlothen early, in the 1st inning Wayne Garrett led off with a single & Felix Millan followed hitting his only HR of the season. Later in the inning Ed Kranepool doubled & Del Unser hit a two run HR, making it 4-0 Mets. In the 2nd inning John Milner hit a two run HR to give New York a commanding 6-0 lead.
The Cards were upset, McGlothlen was frustrated and hit Del Unser with a pitch in his next at bat in the 3rd inning. In the bottom of the 3rd, Matlack brushed back McGlothen with a pitch to even things up a bit. He then struck him out.
In the top of the 4th, Matlack came to bat & bean balls flew again, as McGlothen hit him with a pitch. Home plate Umpire, Bruce Froemming tossed McGlothen out of the game. As he was being ejected the Mets came running out of the dugout after him.
The Mets Dave Kingman, who is remembered as not being much of a team player, certainly was standing up for his team & his pitcher this night. The six foot six Kingman led the charge, & was zeroing in on McGlothen. But then non other than future Met legend,the Cardinal first baseman, Keith Hernandez intercepted Kingman, trying to tackle him.
It seems Kingman may have just tossed Hernandez aside, but after all these years memories vary. That said, he did save McGlothen, as benches cleared, punches flew & a lot of shoving went around.
Later in the game, Joe Torre had an RBI triple & Wayne Garrett added an RBI single in the 9th topping off the Mets 8-0 win. Jon Matlack would go the distance pitching a six hit shut out, striking out seven. He was now 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA on the season.