July 27, 1972: Matlack Blanks Bucs in 10 Innings

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Date: July 27, 1972
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 1
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Wayne Garrett
Key play: Garrett’s sacrifice fly

The Mets faced the Pirates in a doubleheader on a Thursday evening in Pittsburgh. In the opener of the twinbill at Three Rivers Stadium, Jon Matlack took the mound against the Bucs’ Nelson Briles. Both pitchers hurled complete games in an eventual 1-0 Mets win in 10 innings.

Matlack and Briles each retired the side in order in the first. Briles gave up just a single to Ed Kranepool in the top of the second. Matlack held the Pirates to a double by Willie Stargell in the bottom half and singled with one out in the top of the third. Bud Harrelson went down on strikes and Jim Fregosi drew a walk. Briles got Dave Marshall to fly out to center fielder Al Oliver and end the inning. Matlack then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Kranepool hit a two-out single in the top of the fourth. Wayne Garrett drew a walk and a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third base. Briles retired Jerry Grote on a pop-up to second baseman Bill Mazeroski for the inning’s third out and Matlack set down all three Pittsburgh batters in the bottom half. Briles retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth and Manny Sanguillen singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Bob Robertson was struck out and Mazeroski flied out to left fielder Cleon Jones. With Gene Alley at bat, Sanguillen was caught stealing on catcher Grote’s throw to second baseman Garrett to close out the inning.

Briles shut down the Mets in the top of the sixth. Matlack surrendered just a walk to Alley in the bottom half and Ted Martinez singled with two outs in the top of the seventh. Martinez stole second base and Fregosi reached on an error by shortstop Alley. Trying to score on the play, Martinez was out via a throw by Alley to catcher Sanguillen to end the inning. Leading off the bottom half, Oliver reached second on an error by Garrett. Stargell was called out on strikes and Sanguillen was given an intentional walk. Robertson walked to load the bases and Mazeroski lined out to center fielder Dave Schneck. Matlack then retired Alley on a fly ball to right fielder Marshall for the final out of the inning.

The Mets failed to score after loading the bases in the top of the eighth. Matlack held the Pirates to a single by Rennie Stennett in the bottom half and Fregosi singled with two outs in the top of the ninth. Marshall hit a single to send Fregosi to third and Schneck hit a force play ground ball to Mazeroski that finished off the inning. Matlack then hurled a scoreless bottom half to send the game onward.

Jones doubled to lead off the top of the 10th. Kranepool followed with a bunt single to advance Jones to third base. Garrett hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Jones for a one-run Mets lead. Grote was retired on a pop-up to Mazeroski. Matlack reached on an error by third baseman Robertson. Briles then got Martinez on a force play grounder to Alley to close out the inning.

Mazeroski flied out to Jones to begin the bottom of the 10th. Alley reached on Garrett’s error and pinch-hitter Dave Cash popped out to first baseman Kranepool. Gene Clines followed with a single to left field. Matlack then retired Stennett on a foul pop-up to Grote for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory on Jon’s 10-inning shutout to start the doubleheader.