April 7, 1973: Mays Hits Winning Single in 9th

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Date: April 7, 1973
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 3
Phillies: 2
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Willie Mays, Jon Matlack
Key play: Mays' single

The Mets and Phillies faced each other on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. In the second game of the regular season, Jon Matlack pitched all nine innings and held the Philadelphia batters to four hits. The Mets came out with a 3-2 win on Willie Mays' run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth.

Matlack issued a one-out walk to Bill Robinson in the top of the first inning. Robinson stole second base and came around to score on a single by Willie Montanez. Jon got Deron Johnson to hit into a double play for the final outs of the inning. Phils' starter Jim Lonborg then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

John Milner hit a solo home run off Lonborg in the bottom of the second inning. In the third, Rusty Staub doubled with two outs and scored on Cleon Jones' single to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Meanwhile, Matlack allowed only a single to Robinson and pitched two scoreless innings. He then pitched a perfect fourth and shut down the Phillies again in the top of the fifth. Lonborg held the Mets without a run or a hit in the fourth and fifth innings.

Robinson homered to tie the game for the Phils in the top of the sixth. Matlack retired the next three batters and Lonborg shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning. In the seventh, Jon shut down the Phils on one hit and the Mets loaded the bases with none out. Phillies reliever Bill Wilson got Mays to hit into a double play on which Matlack was out at home. Staub was walked intentionally and Jones hit into an inning-ending force play. Neither team scored in the eighth and Jon pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.

Philadelphia's Dick Selma walked pinch-hitter Ed Kranepool leading off the bottom of the ninth inning. Bud Harrelson struck out and Felix Millan hit a ground ball on which pinch-runner Ted Martinez advanced to second base. Mays followed with a single off Selma that scored Martinez with the winning run. The Mets had a victory on Willie's first hit of the season.