July 12, 1972: Matlack Shuts Out Giants

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Date: July 12, 1972
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 4
Giants: 0
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Bud Harrelson, Bill Sudakis
Key play: Harrelson's two-run triple, Sudakis's single

The Mets and Giants faced each other on a Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Hoping to avoid a sweep of the three-game series, the Mets had Jon Matlack on the mound. Matlack came through with a four-hit shutout as the Mets defeated San Francisco, 4-0.

Matlack held the Giants to an infield single by Garry Maddox in the top of the first inning. San Francisco’s Sam McDowell issued three consecutive walks to begin the bottom half. Jim Fregosi hit a double play ground ball to third baseman Dave Kingman on which Bud Harrelson came home. McDowell retired Duffy Dyer on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Ken Henderson. Matlack then pitched a scoreless top of the second.

Wayne Garrett drew a walk with two outs in the bottom of the second inning. Matlack followed with an infield single. Harrelson tripled to drive home Garrett and Matlack for a 3-0 Mets lead. McDowell threw a called third strike past Ted Martinez to end the inning and Henderson singled to lead off the top of the third. Matlack struck out McDowell and got Bobby Bonds to hit a ground ball to shortstop Harrelson for a double play that ended the inning. The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half. McDowell then retired Garrett on a fly ball to center fielder Maddox for the third out.

Matlack limited the Giants to a single by Chris Speier in the top of the fourth inning. McDowell shut down the Mets in the bottom half and a single by Fran Healy opened the top of the fifth. Tito Fuentes fouled out to third baseman Fregosi. Henderson reached on Fregosi’s error that advanced Healy to third base. Pinch-hitter Chris Arnold went down on strikes and Bonds hit a grounder on which catcher Dyer threw to first baseman Bill Sudakis for the inning’s final out. San Francisco reliever Frank Reberger then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Matlack and Reberger each set down the side in order in the sixth inning. Jon retired the Giants 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh and Willie Mays got a one-out single in the bottom half. Ken Boswell hit a fly ball to Henderson for the inning’s second out and Dyer was hit by a pitch. Sudakis singled to drive home Mays with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Reberger got Jerry Grote on a called third strike to finish off the inning and Matlack pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Giants’ reliever Randy Moffitt then surrendered only a walk to Garrett in a scoreless bottom half.

Maddox grounded out to third baseman Garrett (who had shifted from second to replace Fregosi) to begin the top of the ninth inning. Speier flied out to left fielder Martinez. Matlack then threw a called third strike past Willie McCovey to end the game. The Mets had avoided a series sweep on Jon’s shutout.