September 18, 1972: Matlack and Dyer Put Away Bucs

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Date: September 18, 1972
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 1
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Duffy Dyer
Key play: Dyer’s single in 9th

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. Jon Matlack pitched a five-hit shutout and Duffy Dyer hit a run-scoring single in the ninth inning for a 1-0 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Matlack gave up only a single to Rennie Stennett in the top of the first inning. Wayne Garrett singled against Bucs’ starter Nelson Briles to led off the bottom half. Ken Boswell popped out to shortstop Gene Alley and a fly ball by John Milner was caught by center fielder Al Oliver. Rusty Staub hit a single to advance Garrett to third base. Briles then struck out Cleon Jones to end the inning.

Matlack surrendered just a walk to Bob Robertson in the top of the second. Briles hurled a perfect bottom half and drew a walk to begin the top of the third. Stennett and Oliver followed with consecutive force play ground balls and Roberto Clemente popped out to second baseman Boswell to finish off the inning. Briles yielded only a single to Garrett in the bottom half and Matlack held the Pirates to a single by Richie Hebner in the top of the fourth. Briles then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Matlack retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Briles pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and Jon set down all three Pittsburgh batters in the top of the sixth. Leading off the bottom half, Garrett got his third single of the game. Boswell hit a single and Milner flied out to right fielder Clemente. Staub followed with a grounder to second baseman Stennett for an inning-ending double play and Matlack limited the Bucs to a single by Richie Zisk in the top of the seventh. Dyer reached on an error by Stennett with two outs in the bottom half. Briles then got Bud Harrelson to fly out to Oliver and end the inning.

Matlack shut down the Pirates in the top of the eighth. Jon drew a walk to begin the bottom half. Garrett went down on strikes and Boswell flied out to Oliver. Briles threw a called third strike past Milner to close out the inning and Hebner hit a two-out single in the top of the ninth. Robertson followed with a single to left field. Matlack then got Alley on a pop-up to second baseman Ted Martinez for the inning’s third out.

Staub hit a single to open the bottom of the ninth. Jones’ sacrifice bunt moved Staub to second base and Ed Kranepool was given an intentional walk. Dyer singled to drive home Staub and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a shutout victory to start the series.