September 30, 1977: Matlack Wins Final Game With Mets

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Date: September 30, 1977
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 6
Cardinals: 3
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Roy Staiger, Bob Myrick
Key play: Staiger’s two-run single

The Mets and Cardinals faced each other in a doubleheader on a Friday evening in St. Louis. After dropping the opener, the Mets aimed for a split in the nightcap. Jon Matlack recorded a win in his final game as a member of the Mets in the team’s 6-3 victory over the Redbirds.

Leading off the top of the first inning, Lee Mazzilli got a bunt single against Cards’ starter Pete Falcone. Mazzilli stole second base and Leo Foster flied out to right fielder Mike Anderson. Steve Henderson singled to score Mazzilli and advanced to third base on Anderson’s error. A sacrifice fly by John Stearns brought home Henderson with the Mets’ second run. Falcone then retired Dan Norman on a fly ball to Anderson that ended the inning.

Matlack got Rick Bosetti to ground out to shortstop Doug Flynn to begin the bottom of the first. Garry Templeton fouled out to first baseman Luis Rosado and a walk to Hector Cruz followed. Roger Freed hit a home run to tie the game at 2-2. Matlack struck out Ken Reitz to end the inning and Falcone held the Mets to a double by Roy Staiger in a scoreless top of the second. Jon then shut down the Cardinals in the bottom half.

From the third inning to the fifth, Matlack and Falcone each pitched scoreless ball. Foster hit a single to open the top of the sixth. Falcone issued back-to-back walks to Henderson and Stearns to load the bases and St. Louis reliever Butch Metzger retired pinch-hitter Ed Kranepool on a pop-up to shortstop Templeton. Pinch-hitter Bruce Boisclair drew a walk to force home Foster with the go-ahead run. Staiger singled to score Henderson and Stearns with Boisclair advancing to third base. Flynn grounded out to Templeton to drive home Boisclair for a 6-2 Mets lead. Metzger then fanned Matlack to close out the inning.

Templeton singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Matlack retired Cruz and Freed on consecutive fly balls to center fielder Mazzilli. Facing Mets’ reliever Bob Myrick, Reitz hit a single that sent Templeton to third base. Anderson flied out to right fielder Boisclair to end the inning. Metzger shut down the Mets in the top of the seventh. Myrick then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Cardinals’ reliever Al Hrabosky retired the Mets in order in the top of the eighth inning. With one out in the bottom half, a double error by third baseman Staiger allowed Cruz to reach second base. Freed reached base on Staiger’s third error of the inning, which allowed Cruz to score the Cardinals’ third run. Myrick got Reitz to foul out to first baseman Kranepool and retired Anderson on an inning-ending fly ball to Boisclair. Hrabosky then pitched a perfect top of the ninth.

Ted Simmons grounded back to Myrick to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Keith Hernandez was retired on a ground ball to shortstop Bud Harrelson. Myrick then got pinch-hitter Jerry Mumphrey on a grounder back to the mound to end the game. The Mets had a split of the twinbill as Matlack was the winning pitcher in his last appearance with the orange and blue.