October 4, 1972: Mets Defeat Expos in Season Finale
|Date: October 4, 1972|
|Mets starter: Jon Matlack|
|Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack|
|Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Jim Beauchamp|
|Key play: Beauchamp’s home run|
The Mets faced the Expos on a Wednesday night in Montreal. The teams played the last of five games in a series to close out the regular season. Jon Matlack (who would later be named the National League Rookie of the Year) recorded his fifteenth win in a 3-1 Mets victory.
Matlack and the Expos’ Balor Moore each pitched two-hit scoreless ball from the first inning to the third. Moore yielded just a single to Tommie Agee in the top of the fourth and Bob Bailey singled to lead off the bottom half. Bailey advanced to third base on Hal Breeden’s single and came home on Ron Woods’ double play ground ball to shortstop Ted Martinez. Matlack struck out Coco Laboy to end the inning and Moore held the Mets to a double by Martinez in the top of the fifth. Matlack then hurled a perfect bottom half.
Jim Fregosi reached second base on shortstop Tim Foli’s error to begin the top of the sixth. Fregosi moved to third on Agee’s ground out to first baseman Breeden and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1. Cleon Jones drew a walk and Jim Beauchamp hit a homer that put the Mets ahead by two runs. Duffy Dyer singled and went to second on Foli’s second error of the inning. Don Hahn was struck out and Martinez was given an intentional walk. Moore fanned Matlack for the inning’s third out. Jon then gave up only a single to Ron Hunt in the bottom half.
Moore surrendered only a walk to Fregosi in the top of the seventh. Matlack gave up just a single to Pepe Mangual in the bottom of the inning and Moore fanned Hahn for his twelfth strikeout of the game to finish off a perfect top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Clyde Mashore went down on strikes to open the bottom half. Hunt singled and Foli was hit by a pitch. Bailey hit a ground ball to Martinez for an inning-ending double play. Montreal reliever Mike Marshall then set down the side 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth.
Matlack got Breeden for his ninth strikeout to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Woods hit a single and Jon was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Tug McGraw. Laboy greeted McGraw with a single to right field. Tug followed up with a strikeout of pinch-hitter Ken Singleton. McGraw then retired John Boccabella on a foul pop-up to third baseman Wayne Garrett for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory to end the season.