May 18, 1977: Matlack Hurls Five-Hit Shutout

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Date: May 18, 1977
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 2
Giants: 0
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Jerry Grote, Lenny Randle
Key play: Barr’s wild pitch, Grote’s single

The Mets faced the Giants on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a series. Jon Matlack chalked up a five-hit shutout in a 2-0 Mets win over San Francisco.

Matlack and the Giants’ Jim Barr each pitched two innings of two-hit scoreless ball to start the game. Jon retired the side in order in the top of the third and Lenny Randle doubled with two outs in the bottom half. On his own hit, Randle advanced to third base via an error by left fielder Darrell Evans. With Jerry Grote at bat, Randle came home on a wild pitch for a 1-0 Mets lead. Barr then got Grote to ground out to third baseman Bill Madlock and end the inning.

Matlack and Barr each allowed one hit in hurling scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the seventh. Jon gave up just a single to Jack Clark in the seventh while Barr limited the Mets to a fifth-inning double by Ron Hodges. Willie McCovey singled to open the top of the eighth. Marc Hill reached on catcher Hodges’ error that allowed pinch-runner Johnnie LeMaster to move to third base. Evans went down on strikes and Rob Andrews hit a ground ball on which first baseman Ed Kranepool threw to Hodges for an out at home on LeMaster. Matlack then got pinch-hitter Randy Elliott to ground out to second baseman Randle and finish off the inning.

Pinch-hitter Roy Staiger got an infield single against San Francisco reliever Gary Lavelle to open the bottom of the eighth. Bud Harrelson hit a force play grounder to Madlock and a strikeout of Matlack ensued. Randle singled and Grote hit a single that scored Harrelson with the Mets’ second run. Lavelle fanned Bruce Boisclair for the inning’s third out and Tim Foli grounded out to third baseman Staiger to lead off the top of the ninth. Derrel Thomas singled for the Giants’ fifth hit and Clark popped out to Randle. Matlack then got Madlock on a force play ground ball to Staiger for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory on Jon’s shutout.