Jan 26, 2018

Remembering Mets History (1977): Jon Matlack Tosses Back to Back Shut Outs

The 1977 Mets didn't give the fans much to cheer about. It was the beginning of one of the worst periods in Met history. During the middle of May the team was already in last place. Tom Seaver was on the verge of being traded. Left hander; Jon Matlack, gave New York something to cheer about, as he pitched back to back shut outs.

Friday May 13, 1977: In front of 19,448 at Shea Stadium, Joe Frazier's Mets (11-19) hosted Tommy Lasorda's first place Los Angeles Dodgers (24-7).

Matlack was able to shut the mighty Dodger line up down, scattering seven hits, walking just one while striking out four. The win got him to 2-4.

The Mets provided all their offense in the 1st inning, as Lenny Randle the Mets second batter, hit a HR off Rhoden. After a single by Ed Kranepool, Dave Kingman followed with a two run shot of his own, already his 8th HR of the season. Those three runs were all Matlack would need on the night.

Wednesday May 18th, 1977:  Just five nights later, the Mets hosted the San Francisco Giants (14-21), led by Joe Altobelli. 

Matlack went up against Giants pitcher Jim Barr, to tiny crowd of 7,131 at Shea. Jim Barr was good only allowing one run through seven innings, but Matlack was better. He didn't allow any runs, didn't walk any body & struck out seven Giants on just five hits.

Lenny Randle came up big for Matlack once again, getting three hits and scoring both Mets runs. In the 3rd inning, Randle doubled and reached third on an error by right fielder Jack Clark. Barr then threw a wild pitch & Randle scampered home.

In the 8th inning, Randle singled and scored on catcher Jerry Grote's base hit off Giant pitcher; Gary Lavelle.

Trivia: It was the tenth time in Mets history that pitchers had thrown back to back shut outs. Tom Seaver & Jerry Koosman had done it four times each up to that point & Jim McAndrew had also done it once.

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