Remembering Mets History: (1973) Jon Matlack Tosses a Two Hit 1-0 Shut Out

Wednesday August 8th 1973: Yogi Berra's Mets (51-60) were still down in fifth place eight games out of first place and the road to winning the 1973 NL East was still a ways down the road. On this night the Mets were in Los Angeles, in front of 24,219 at Dodger Stadium, taking on Walt Alston's first place Dodgers (71-43).

Two fine pitchers faced off against each other; Andy Messersmith (11-6) & Jon Matlack (8-14). Messersmith a one time twenty game winner with the California Angels was in his first season in the NL. He would win twenty games the next year & 19 the year after that. He also became one of the first MLB free agents.

Matlack had some problems early on & suffered from lack of run support, as his record shows. From this point on he would go 7-4 and was in a stretch where he'd pitch into the 9th inning five straight games.

In the Dodger 1st inning, Willie Davis got himself a base hit. In the 4th inning Manny Mota led off with a base hit as well. Those would be the only hits Matlack gave up on the day. In the 6th & 7th innings he issued walks but those runners were quickly retired as well. On the day Matlack did not allow a runner to even get to second base, he struck out nine Dodgers & was outstanding.

Messersmith had a fine day too, pitching eight innings allowing just one run on six hits, with seven strike outs of his own & three walks issued. 

In the Mets 2nd, John Milnet got a lead off walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Two outs later, Jerry Grote singled to left field scoring Milner with the only run of the game.


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