June 2, 1975: Matlack Blanks Astros on Four Hits

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Date: June 2, 1975
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 2
Astros: 0
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Dave Kingman, Jerry Grote
Key play: Kingman’s triple, Grote’s sacrifice fly

The Mets faced the Astros on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. Jon Matlack pitched a four-hit shutout in a 2-0 Mets win over Houston.

Greg Gross drew a walk to lead off the top of the first inning. Roger Metzger flied out to center fielder Gene Clines and a walk to Cesar Cedeno followed. Matlack got Bob Watson to hit a ground ball to third baseman Joe Torre for an inning-ending double play and Astros’ starter Dave Roberts retired the side on three straight infield grounders on the bottom half. Jon hurled a perfect top of the second and Rusty Staub got an infield single with one out in the bottom of the inning. Dave Kingman tripled to score Staub for a 1-0 Mets lead. Jerry Grote hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Kingman with the second New York run. Roberts then got Mike Phillips on a foul pop-up to catcher Skip Jutze for the inning’s third out.

Matlack surrendered only a walk to Gross in the top of the third. Roberts yielded just a single to Clines in the bottom half and a single by Cedeno began the top of the fourth. Cedeno stole second base and moved to third on Watson’s ground out to Torre. Enos Cabell went down on strikes and Doug Rader popped out to shortstop Phillips to finish off the inning. Roberts then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Matlack set down the side in order in the top of the fifth. Robert retired all three Mets batters on infield ground balls in the bottom of the inning and Gross singled to open the top of the sixth. Matlack recorded outs on each of the next three Houston hitters and drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half. Clines went down on strikes and Felix Millan fouled out to third baseman Rader. Cleon Jones singled and Torre hit a single on which Matlack was out at home via a throw by center fielder Cedeno to Jutze to end the inning.

Matlack held the Astros to a walk to Tommy Helms in the top of the seventh. Roberts set down the Mets on three consecutive infield grounders for the third time in the game in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Wilbur Howard got a leadoff single in the top of the eighth. Gross hit a ground ball to Phillips for a double play and Metzger flied out to right fielder Staub to end the inning. Houston reliever Wayne Granger gave up only a single to Clines in the bottom half. Cedeno was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Clines (who had shifted from center) to begin the top of the ninth. Watson doubled for the Astros’ fourth hit and Cabell was struck out. Matlack then got Rader to fly out to center fielder Del Unser and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory on Jon’s shutout.