September 3, 1974: Matlack and Milner Lead Mets Over Cubs

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Date: September 3, 1974
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 2
Cubs: 0
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, John Milner
Key play: Milner’s single and homer

The Mets faced the Cubs in a doubleheader on a Tuesday afternoon. In the opening game of the twinbill at Wrigley Field, Jon Matlack took the mound for the Mets. Matlack pitched a four-hitter and John Milner drove in a pair of runs for a 2-0 Mets win over Chicago.

Felix Millan drew a walk against Cubs’ starter Bill Bonham with one out in the top of the first inning. Millan stole second base and Ken Boswell was struck out. Milner singled to drive home Millan with the first run of the game and Bonham fanned Benny Ayala for the third out. Matlack set down all three Chicago batters in the bottom half and Bonham hurled a scoreless top of the second. Jon then limited the Cubs to a single by Ron Dunn (in his first major league at bat) in the bottom of the inning.

Matlack and Bonham each pitched one-hit scoreless ball from the third inning to the fifth. A double by Millan was the Mets’ lone hit off Bonham while the Cubs got only a single by Steve Swisher against Jon. Leading off the top of the sixth, Millan was retired on a pop-up to second baseman Billy Grabarkewitz. Boswell went down on strikes and Milner homered for the Mets’ second run. Ayala walked and advanced to second base on a balk. Bonham got Wayne Garrett to pop out to first baseman Andre Thornton and end the inning. Matlack struck out the side in order in the bottom half and Bonham retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Jon then hurled a perfect bottom of the inning.

Bud Harrelson hit a single to open the top of the eighth. Harrelson moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Millan and to third on Boswell’s ground out to Grabarkewitz. Milner was given an intentional walk and Ayala grounded to third baseman Dunn to close out the inning. Dunn got his second single to begin the bottom half. Swisher followed with a ground ball to second baseman Millan for a double play. Matlack retired pinch-hitter Bill Madlock on an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Garrett. Bonham then set down the Mets in order in the top of the ninth.

To begin the bottom of the ninth inning, Matlack fanned pinch-hitter George Mitterwald for his tenth strikeout of the game. Grabarkewitz singled to center field and Jose Cardenal flied out to right fielder Don Hahn. Matlack then got Jerry Morales on a fly ball to Hahn for the game’s final out. The Mets had started the doubleheader with a shutout victory.