May 30, 1972: Matlack's First Shutout

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Date: May 30, 1972
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 7
Phillies: 0
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Rusty Staub
Key play: Staub’s double and two singles

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. It was a matchup of lefthanders as rookie Jon Matlack went up against Philadelphia ace Steve Carlton. Matlack recorded his sixth consecutive win by hurling his first career shutout in a 7-0 Mets victory over the Phils.

Matlack shut down the Phillies easily in the top of the first inning. With one out in the bottom half, Bud Harrelson drew a walk and Tommie Agee singled to left field. An ensuing double by Rusty Staub scored Harrelson and Agee for the first two runs of the game. Cleon Jones grounded back to Carlton and a fly ball by Jim Fregosi was caught by center fielder Willie Montanez to end the inning. Matlack and Carlton each pitched a perfect second. Jon then retired the Phils in order again in the top of the third.

Consecutive walks to Willie Mays and Harrelson opened the bottom of the third inning. Agee went down on strikes and Staub followed with a single that drove home Mays and sent Harrelson to third base. Jones hit a sacrifice fly to score Harrelson and increase the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Carlton retired Fregosi on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Greg Luzinski. To begin the top of the fourth, Terry Harmon drew a walk and Larry Bowa singled for the first Philadelphia hit of the game. Matlack recorded outs on each of the next three hitters to close out the inning. Carlton then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Despite two walks and a wild pitch, Matlack shut down the Phillies in the top of the fifth inning. Harrelson tripled to lead off the bottom half. Agee fouled out to first baseman Pete Koegel and a single by Staub plated Harrelson. Jones singled to advance Staub to second base. Rusty came home on Fregosi’s ensuing single for a six-run Mets lead. Carlton was replaced on the mound by Phils’ reliever Wayne Twitchell, who got Ted Martinez to hit a grounder to second baseman Harmon for an inning-ending double play.

Matlack shut down the Phillies on three consecutive ground balls in the top of the sixth inning. Staub doubled for his fourth hit of the game with one out in the bottom half. Jones was hit by a pitch and Fregosi was struck out. On the third strike, Staub was out stealing via a throw by catcher Mike Ryan to third baseman Don Money to complete an inning-ending double play. With two outs in the top of the eighth, Harmon singled and Bowa reached on an error by shortstop Harrelson. Matlack then got Montanez on a ground ball to second baseman Martinez to close out the inning.

Jerry Grote drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the eighth. Matlack took a called third strike and Mays singled to center field. Harrelson hit a single to bring home Grote for the Mets’ seventh run. Twitchell then struck out Agee to end the inning.

Matlack retired Luzinski and Koegel on infield ground balls to begin the top of the ninth. Money drew a walk and Mike Anderson followed with a single to center field. Matlack then got Ryan on a foul pop-up to catcher Grote for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory on Jon’s three-hitter and first major league shutout.