August 10, 1979: Six-Run First Inning Beats Expos
|Date: August 10, 1979|
|Mets starter: Craig Swan|
|Winning pitcher: Craig Swan|
|Key player(s): Joel Youngblood, Doug Flynn, Craig Swan|
|Key play: Youngblood's two-run double, Flynn's two-run single|
The Mets and Expos faced each other in a doubleheader on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The opener was delayed 35 minutes because of rain. When it finally started, the Mets got off to a six-run lead in the first inning. Craig Swan did the rest with a complete game for a 7-1 win over Montreal.
Swan retired the Expos in order in the top of the first. In the bottom half, Frank Taveras led off with a single and went to second base on an error by first baseman Tony Perez. Alex Trevino flied out and Lee Mazzilli doubled to bring home Taveras. Lee stayed at second base on John Stearns' infield single, but came around to score on a single by Willie Montanez. A walk to Jose Cardenal loaded the bases and Joel Youngblood doubled to score Stearns and Montanez. Montreal starter Ross Grimsley was replaced by Scott Sanderson, who surrendered a single to Doug Flynn that brought home Cardenal and Youngblood. Sanderson retired Swan and Taveras to end the inning with the Mets ahead, 6-0.
After a scoreless second inning, Swan retired Duffy Dyer on a foul pop-up to first baseman Montanez leading off the third. Chris Speier homered for the Expos' first run of the game. Swan retired Sanderson and Warren Cromartie on ground balls to second baseman Flynn for the final outs of the inning. Sanderson then got three ground balls outs to set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.
Rodney Scott and Andre Dawson got leadoff singles for Montreal in the top of the fourth inning. Swan got Perez to hit into a double play and struck out Ellis Valentine. Flynn led off the bottom of the inning with a single and Sanderson retired the next three batters. Swan then pitched a perfect top of the fifth.
Mazzilli singled off Sanderson to begin the bottom of the fifth inning. Stearns flied out to center fielder Dawson and a double by Montanez scored Mazzilli. Sanderson retired the next two batters to end the inning and Swan retired Montreal 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Expos' reliever Stan Bahnsen then shut down the Mets in the bottom of the sixth inning despite back-to-back walks to Swan and Taveras.
Swan and Bahnsen each pitched a scoreless seventh inning. In the top of the eighth, Dyer singled with one out to end Craig's string of 12 consecutive batters retired. Speier followed with another single and pinch-hitter Tommy Hutton fouled out to third baseman Trevino. Swan retired Cromartie on a line drive to right fielder Cardenal for the final out of the inning. Montreal's Woodie Fryman then set down three straight Met batters after singles by Cardenal and Youngblood in the bottom half.
In the ninth inning, Swan retired Scott and gave up singles to Dawson and Perez. He recorded outs on the next two Expo hitters to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the twinbill on the strength of Craig's solid pitching and a six-run first inning.