April 10, 1976: Matlack Blanks Expos on Four Hits
|Date: April 10, 1976|
|Mets starter: Jon Matlack|
|Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack|
|Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Bud Harrelson, Felix Millan|
|Key play: Millan’s double in 4th|
The Mets faced the Expos on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a season-opening weekend series. Jon Matlack pitched a four-hit shutout in a 1-0 Mets win over Montreal.
Matlack and the Expos’ Woodie Fryman each hurled three scoreless innings to start the game. Jon yielded a single to Tim Foli while the Mets were held without a hit by Fryman. Gary Carter singled with one out in the top of the fourth. Barry Foote followed with an inning-ending double play grounder to shortstop Bud Harrelson, who hit a triple to lead off the bottom half. Felix Millan doubled to drive home Harrelson with the first run of the game. Joe Torre flied out to center fielder Pepe Mangual. After the catch, Millan was caught off base and tagged out by third baseman Larry Parrish for a double play. Fryman then retired Dave Kingman on a ground ball to Parrish that ended the inning.
Matlack limited the Expos to a single by Ellis Valentine in the top of the fifth. Benny Ayala singled to begin the bottom half. With Jerry Grote at bat, Ayala was caught stealing via a throw by catcher Foote to second baseman Pete Mackanin. Grote flied out to Mangual and a walk to Del Unser ensued. Fryman got Roy Staiger on a fly ball to Mangual to close out the inning and Matlack set down all three Montreal batters in the top of the sixth. Fryman retired the side in order in the bottom half and Jon did the same once again in the top of the seventh. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Kingman reached on an error by Parrish and stole second base. Ayala was called out on strikes and Grote was given an intentional walk. Fryman then got Unser to hit a force play ground ball to Parrish for the inning’s final out.
Foli got his second single to open the top of the eighth. Matlack retired the next three Expos hitters and Montreal reliever Dale Murray pitched a perfect bottom of the inning. Mike Jorgensen flied out to right fielder Kingman to lead off the top of the ninth. Matlack then fanned Parrish and got Carter on a pop up to Harrelson for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory on Jon’s shutout.