May 8, 1974: Matlack Fans 12 in Four-Hitter

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Date: May 8, 1974
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 4
Giants: 2
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Jerry Grote, Felix Millan
Key play: Grote’s triple and single, Millan’s two-run single

The Mets faced the Giants on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Jon Matlack recorded twelve strikeouts and pitched a four-hitter in a 4-2 Mets win over San Francisco.

Matlack struck out the side in order in the top of the first inning. Giants’ starter John D’Acquisto hurled a scoreless bottom half and Gary Matthews got a one-out single in the top of the second. Matthews advanced to third base on Chris Speier’s single and came home as Dave Kingman reached on an error by third baseman Ken Boswell. Matlack fanned both Ken Rudolph and D’Acquisto to end the inning and Boswell drew a walk with two outs in the bottom half. Jerry Grote hit a triple to score Boswell and a walk to Matlack ensued. Bud Harrelson walked to load the bases and Felix Millan singled to drive home Grote and Matlack for a 3-1 Mets lead. D’Acquisto was replaced on the mound by San Francisco reliever Jim Willoughby, who got Cleon Jones on a ground ball back to the mound for the inning’s third out.

Matlack and Willoughby each pitched scoreless third and fourth innings. Jon chalked up two more strikeouts and yielded a single to Matthews while Willoughby set down all six New York batters. Matlack struck out Rudolph and pinch-hitter Chris Arnold to start a perfect top of the fifth. Giants’ reliever Charlie Williams gave up just a single to Harrelson in the bottom half and Matlack fanned Garry Maddox in a perfect top of the sixth. Rusty Staub singled to open the bottom of the inning. John Milner flied out to center fielder Maddox and a fly ball by Dave Schneck was caught by right fielder Bobby Bonds. Boswell hit a single and Grote singled to drive home Staub, increasing the Mets’ lead to 4-1. Trying to advance on the play, Boswell was out via a throw by Bonds to third baseman Steve Ontiveros to finish off the inning.

Matlack fanned Kingman for the last out of a perfect top of the seventh. Williams yielded only a single to Millan in the bottom half and Bonds homered for the Giants’ second run with two outs in the top of the eighth. Tito Fuentes grounded out to third baseman Wayne Garrett to end the inning and San Francisco reliever Elias Sosa retired the side on three straight infield ground balls in the bottom half. Maddox popped out to second baseman Millan to begin the top of the ninth. Matlack threw a called third strike past Ontiveros for his twelfth K of the game. Jon then got Matthews to ground out to shortstop Harrelson and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a series-closing victory.