August 22, 1976: Matlack Beats Jones, Blanks Padres

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Date: August 22, 1976
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 1
Padres: 0
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Jerry Grote
Key play: Grote’s double

The Mets faced the Padres on a Sunday afternoon in San Diego. Jon Matlack took the mound against Randy Jones, who was already looking for his twentieth win of the season. Matlack outlasted Jones with a shutout in a 1-0 Mets victory.

Matlack held the Padres to two hits and a walk from the first inning to the sixth. Meanwhile, the Mets failed to score despite five hits off Jones. To begin the top of the seventh inning, Joe Torre reached on an error by third baseman Ted Kubiak. Jones balked to advance pinch-runner Pepe Mangual to second base, after which San Diego manager John McNamara was ejected for arguing the call. Mangual moved to third on Mike Vail’s ground out to first baseman Mike Ivie. A double by Jerry Grote scored Mangual for a one-run Mets lead. Roy Staiger flied out to center fielder Willie Davis and an intentional walk to Leo Foster ensued. Jones retired Matlack on an inning-ending ground ball to Ivie. Jon then yielded just a single to Ivie in the bottom half.

Jones gave up only a double to Felix Millan in the top of the eighth. Fred Kendall singled to open the bottom of the inning. Hector Torres’ sacrifice bunt sent pinch-runner Enzo Hernandez to second base and pinch-hitter Willie McCovey fouled out to third baseman Staiger. Matlack got Luis Melendez on a foul pop-up to first baseman John Milner for the inning’s final out. Padres’ reliever Butch Metzger then surrendered just a single to Staiger in the top of the ninth.

Kubiak got a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth inning. Dave Winfield followed with a force play bunt back to Matlack and a foul pop-up by Willie Davis was caught by catcher Grote. Ivie singled and Tito Fuentes was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Matlack then retired Bob Davis on a grounder to Staiger to end the game. The Mets had a shutout win on Jon’s six-hitter.