Amazin’ Look Back – June 4, 1973: Matlack loses it, Mets lose 5-0 in Cincy

By Sam Maxwell

The New York Mets, since winning 4 in a row to bring their record to 17-14, lost for the 11th time in 16 games by a score 5-0 to the hosting Reds on Monday, June 4th, 1973. The 22-25 Mets, who won the day before by a score of 9-2 over the Padres, sent Jon Matlack to the mound only to see their horse crumble in the later innings. He went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 4 runs on 3 hits and EIGHT walks. Jack Billingham went the distance for the Reds, though the Mets had plenty of chances to get at least a run. He gave up 3 hits and 5 walks, striking out only 2 Metsies.

The games stayed scoreless until the 6th. Matlack started out nicely by striking out Pete Rose, but followed by walking Joe Morgan, his 5th of the day. Morgan stole 2nd with Johnny Bench at the plate, but still got the 2nd out with a flyball to deep left field. He then intentionally walked Tony Perez, who Matlack had been pitching around all day with 2 walks prior. The strategy did not work, as Dave Concepcion came through with an RBI single, scoring Morgan and sending Perez to 3rd. The floodgates opened, and Matlack was unable to get out of the inning. After a Bobby Tolan single, Tolan stealing 2nd, a wild pitch scoring Concepcion, a Denis Menke double, an intentional walk to Bill Plummer and a walk to Jack Billingham, Yogi had seen enough. Phil Hennigan headed into the game and got Pete Rose to fly out to right.

The Reds tacked one more on in the 8th off reliever Harry Parker.

Starting Lineups

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