New York Mets History: Jon Matlack
Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009
Jon won the 1972 Rookie of the Year, going 15-10 with a 2.32 ERA (fourth the NL). He threw 4 shutouts, 8 complete games (both leading the Met staff) and had 169 strikeouts.
In the 1973 pennant season Matlack didn’t have a lot of run support & pitched well. Winning 14, 205 Ks & a 3.20 ERA. He threw 242 innings with 14 complete games and three shutouts.
Postseason: In Game No. 2 of the 1973 NLCS, Jon pitched one of the best Mets games ever, throwing a two-hit shutout in Cincinnati, striking out nine Reds.
Matlack would get three starts in the 1973 World Series, pitching well in all of them. He was superb in the opener going six innings, allowing three hits on two unearned runs. As fate would have it an error & a botched pickoff attempt led to the Mets 2-1 loss.
In Game No. 4 at Shea Stadium, Matlack got his lone career World Series victory. Allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 5, & walking 2 in the 6-1 victory.
A tired Matlack was called upon to pitch Game No. 7. He got beat up for 4 runs in 2 2/3 innings earning the loss. Overall in the World Series, he was 1-2, allowing only 4 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings. 11 strikeouts, 5 walks, & a 2.16 ERA.
In 1974 Matlack led the league with seven shutouts, led the Mets with a 2.41 ERA, 14 complete games, and 265 innings pitched. He struck out 195 batters but took a lot of hard luck losses going 13-15. He made his first of three straight All-Star Game appearances.
In the bicentennial year Matlack had his best Met season with 17 wins, 16 complete games, a league leading 8 shut outs, and an ERA below three. On July 6 he lost a heartbreaking 1-0, 10 inning game to J.R. Richard & the Astros. He again represented the Mets in the All Star game with Tom Seaver & Dave Kingman at Philadelphia.
The Mets went down hill in 1977 & Jon fell to 7-15 with a 4.21 ERA. He was traded that winter going to Texas in exchange for Willie Montanez, Ken Henderson and Tom Grieve.
In his 13-year career, he was 125-126 with a 3.18 ERA (better than Steve Carltons) & 1516 Ks. He threw 97 complete games, and 30 shutouts in 2363 innings pitched. Matlack ranks third All Time in Mets ERA at 3.03.
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