Remembering Mets History (1972) Jon Matlack Throws Two July Shut Outs

Wednesday, July 12th 1972: Yogi Berra's second place New York Mets (45-33) were hosting Charlie Fox's fifth place San Francisco Giants (36-49) n front of a large weekday crowd of 33,227 at Shea Stadium.

The Mets young left hander, Jon Matlack, who was 8-5 with a 2.70 ERA coming into tonight's game took the mound against the former Cleveland veteran, Sam McDowell, pitching his first year with the Giants.

In tonight's Mets line up was, legend; Willie Mays/ Mays had come over from the Giants in May, at the twi light of his Hall of Fame career, that would end where it began, in New York.

Starting Lineups

In the bottom of the 1st, Sam McDowell would walk the first three Mets batters. Jim Fregosi grounded into a double play, but Bud Harrelson scored the Mets first run. 

In the home 2nd, Bud Harrelson tripled, scoring Wayne Garrett who had walked & Matlack who had singled. It was 3-0 Mets.

Matlack held the Giants scoreless, striking out nine Giants along the way. He would retire the last 14 batters he would face, from the fifth inning on. 

He struck out two, earning his 9th win & lowering his ERA to 2.49. It was his fourth complete game & tsecond shut out of the year.

The Mets added a run in the 7th inning, Willie Mays singled & catcher, Duffy Dyer was hit by a Frank Reberger pitch. Short time Met, Bill Sudakis would single to center scoring Mays with the fourth run. Mets won it 4-0.

Thursday, July 27th 1972: The Mets (49-38) were five games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, as the opened up a three game series in the Steel City, starting with a twi night double header. Danny Murtaugh sent Nelson Briles to the mound for the Pirates, facing off against the Mets Jon Matlack.

Starting Lineups

The Mets stranded two base runners in the 3rd, the 4th & 6th innings. 

In the 7th the Pirates threatened, Al Oliver reached on an error. With one out, Manny Sanguillen was intentionally walked. Matlack the walked Bob Robertson to load the bases. But then, Matlack got Bill Mazeroski to line out & Gene Alley to fly out to right ending the inning.

The pitchers duel continued into the 8th. The Mets Dave Marshall singled, but was forced at second on Dave Schneck's grounder. 

Cleon Jones then singled, Schneck to third. Jones then stole second. Wayne Garrett was walked intentionally, loading the bases. But, Briles got Jerry Grote to fly out ending the inning. It was still a scoreless game, going to the 9th.

The game went to the 10th, with both starters still tossing shut outs. In the top of the 10th, Cleon Jones doubled to left. Ed Kranepool got aboard on an infield single & Jones went to third. Wayne Garrett, then hit a fly ball to center scoring Jones with what was the only run of the game.

Matlack had a shaky 10th, as Gene Alley reached on an Wayne Garrett error. Matlack got pinch hitter, Dave Cash to pop out for the second out. But then Gene Clines singled putting the winning run on base. Matlack got Rennie Stennett to pop up in foul territory, with Jerry Grote making the catch.

It was Matlacks' tenth win (10-5) on the year, his third shut out. It was his fifth complete game & he was now keeping on of the leagues best ERA's at 2.08. 

ROY: Matlack would win the 1972 ERA, going 15-10 with a 2.32 ERA. He struck out 169 batters & walked 71 in 244 innings pitched in 32 starts. He had four shut outs with eight complete games. The Mets finished third at 83-73.


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