July 21, 1998: Reed and Franco Shut Out Pirates

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Date: July 21, 1998
Mets starter: Rick Reed
Mets: 4
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Rick Reed
Key player(s): Rick Reed, John Franco, Edgardo Alfonzo
Key play: Alfonzo’s two-run double in 3rd

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. Rick Reed and John Franco teamed up for a shutout in a 4-0 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Reed and the Bucs’ Jason Schmidt each pitched two scoreless innings to start the game. In the top of the third, Tony Womack got a one-out single and Keith Osik hit a ground ball to third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo for an inning-ending double play. Todd Pratt led off the bottom half with a double to right field. Rey Ordonez got a bunt single and Reed reached on second baseman Womack’s error that brought home Pratt. Brian McRae flied out to center fielder Turner Ward. Alfonzo hit a double to score Ordonez and Reed, extending the Mets’ lead to 3-0. John Olerud singled and Todd Hundley doubled to plate Alfonzo. Schmidt then retired the next two batters to end the inning.

From the fourth inning to the seventh, Reed and Schmidt pitched scoreless ball. Rick held the Pirates to two hits and recorded five strikeouts. Schmidt limited the Mets to a single by Pratt and an error on which Lenny Harris reached base. Reed threw a called third strike past Osik to close out a scoreless top of the eighth. Pittsburgh reliever Jeff Tabaka then shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning.

To start the top of the ninth, Franco retired Ward on a ground ball to second baseman Carlos Baerga. Kevin Young followed with a single to left field. Jose Guillen struck out and Al Martin got an infield single. Franco then struck out Aramis Ramirez to end the game. The Mets had a victory on a combined shutout.