Remembering Mets History: (1974) Jon Matlack Tosses His Second Career One Hitter

Saturday June 29th, 1974: A crowd of 37,317 came to Shea Stadium to see Manager Yogi Berra's struggling last place, Mets (30-42) host Red Schoendienst first place St. Louis Cardinals (38-34). 

The Mets were still the reigning NL Champions, but injuries & poor offense made for a fifth-place finish in 1974. 

Tom Seaver also struggled thru his mechanics resulting in an 11-11 season, his worst until the latter part of his career.

The Mets had just won three of four, after sweeping a series at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Today the Mets sent Jon Matlack (5-5) to the hill to face the Cards John Curtis (4-7). 

In the 1st inning, Matlack started the game striking out Lou Brock. Brock was to become the All Time stolen base leader that season. Matlack then walked Ted Sizemore. But then he struck Reggie Smith & Ted Simmons to end the inning.

In the home 1st, Wayne Garrett led off with a base hit, then Cleon Jones blasted his sixth HR of the year, a two-run shot HR giving the Mets an early 2-0 lead.

In the 3rd inning, Matlack allowed a base hit to the pitcher John Curtis. It was a terrible break, since it was the only hit Matlack would allow the rest of the way. Matlack would allow just one more base runner the rest of the way as well, that was a 6th inning walk to pinch hitter Tom Heintzelman. 

Matlack walked three in the one hit shutout, as he struck out seven Red Birds.

Trivia: This was the eleventh one hitter in Mets history. Matlack had pitched the last Mets one hitter in July of 1973.

The win was his sixth on the year lowering his ERA to 2.47. In 1974 Matlack led the league in shut outs with seven, he went 13-15 on the year with 195 strike outs (4th in the NL) & a 2.41 ERA (3rd best in the NL), taking a lot of hard luck losses.

The rest of the Mets scoring came in the 5th & 7th innings. 

In the 5th, Wayne Garrett had hit a leadoff solo HR, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. It was his 7th HR
of the season. 

In the 7th, Cards reliever Mike Thompson walked Garrett to start the inning. He advanced on George Theodore's grounder. Cleon Jones then added an RBI double, scoring Garrett making it 4-0 Mets.

Garrett had two hits & three runs scored on the day, getting his average over the .200 mark. 


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