October 7, 1973: Game Two of the NLCS
|Date: October 7, 1973|
|Mets starter: Jon Matlack|
|Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack|
|Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Rusty Staub|
|Key play: Staub's home run, Matlack's strikeout of Phil Gagliano|
The Mets and Reds faced each other in the second game of the National League Championship Series on a Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati. After dropping the opener, the Mets looked to get even in the Series. Jon Matlack pitched a two-hit shutout in a 5-0 Mets win.
Matlack held the feared Cincinnati lineup to a single by Andy Kosco and a walk to Darrel Chaney over the first three innings. Meanwhile, Reds’ starter Don Gullett gave up a third-inning walk to Matlack and retired all other New York batters. In the top of the fourth, Rusty Staub hit a home run with one out to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Cleon Jones drew a walk and John Milner hit a ground ball to second baseman Joe Morgan for an inning-ending double play. Matlack set down the side in order in the bottom half. Gullett yielded only a single to Don Hahn in a scoreless top of the fifth. Kosco walked to lead off the bottom of the inning. Matlack followed up with strikeouts of Dan Driessen and Cesar Geronimo. Chaney drew his second walk to advance Kosco to second base. Jon then struck out pinch-hitter Phil Gagliano to end the inning.
From the sixth inning to the eighth, Matlack and Reds’ reliever Clay Carroll each pitched scoreless ball. A one-out single by Kosco in the bottom of the seventh was the only hit for either team. With one out in the top of the ninth, Felix Millan singled off Cincinnati’s Tom Hall. Staub drew a walk and Jones singled to drive home Millan. Milner was given an intentional walk by reliever Pedro Borbon to load the bases. Grote followed with a single that scored Staub and Jones. Hahn singled to reload the bases and a single by Bud Harrelson brought home Milner with the Mets’ fifth run. Matlack took a called third strike for the second out. Borbon then retired Wayne Garrett on a grounder to Morgan to close out the inning.
Morgan flied out to center fielder Hahn to open the bottom of the ninth. Perez flied out to right fielder Staub. Matlack then struck out Johnny Bench to end the game. The Mets had a victory on Jon’s two-hitter and the Series was even at one game apiece.