August 8, 1973: Matlack Hurls Two-Hit Shutout

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Date: August 8, 1973
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 1
Dodgers: 0
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Jerry Grote
Key play: Grote’s single

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Wednesday night in Los Angeles. The teams played the opener of a two-game series. Jon Matlack pitched a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 Mets win.

Dodgers’ starter Andy Messersmith hurled a scoreless top of the first inning. Matlack gave up only a single to Willie Davis in the bottom half and John Milner drew a walk to open the top of the second. Milner advanced to second base on a wild pitch and Cleon Jones flied out to left fielder Manny Mota. Wayne Garrett went down on strikes and Jerry Grote singled to drive home Milner for a one-run Mets lead. Ted Martinez followed with a double on which Grote was out at home via a relay throw by second baseman Dave Lopes to catcher Joe Ferguson to end the inning. Matlack then struck out the side in order in the bottom half.

Messersmith retired all three Mets batters in the top of the third. Matlack hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Messersmith set down the side 1-2-3 again in the top of the fourth. Mota singled for the Dodgers’ second hit to lead off the bottom half. Davis was struck out and Steve Garvey popped out to shortstop Martinez. Ferguson was retired on a ground ball to third baseman Garrett that closed out the inning and Grote doubled with one out in the top of the fifth. Messersmith fanned both Martinez and Matlack for the inning’s final outs. Jon then set down the Dodgers in order in the bottom half.

Rusty Staub got a two-out single in the top of the sixth. Milner singled and Jones fouled out to right fielder Willie Crawford to finish off the inning. Matlack surrendered just a walk to Messersmith in the bottom half and Garrett hit a leadoff single in the top of the seventh. Wayne stole second base and Grote flied out to Crawford. Messersmith got Martinez to pop out to shortstop Bill Russell and fanned Matlack for the inning’s third out. Ferguson drew a walk with two outs in the bottom half. Matlack then retired Ron Cey on a grounder to first baseman Milner to close out the inning.

Messersmith held the Mets to a walk to Felix Millan in the top of the eighth. Matlack pitched a perfect bottom half and Los Angeles reliever Pete Richert set down the side in order in the top of the ninth. Lopes was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Staub to open the bottom of the inning. Mota grounded out to second baseman Millan. Matlack then got Davis to pop out to Garrett and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a shutout victory on Jon’s two-hitter.