July 29, 1996: Harnisch Shuts Out Pirates

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Date: July 29, 1996
Mets starter: Pete Harnisch
Mets: 5
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Pete Harnisch
Key player(s): Pete Harnisch, Edgardo Alfonzo, Butch Huskey
Key play: Alfonzo’s and Huskey’s home runs

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a five-game series. Pete Harnisch pitched a four-hit shutout in a 5-0 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Harnisch retired the side in order in the top of the first. Bucs’ starter Chris Peters yielded just a single to Lance Johnson in the bottom of the inning and Harnisch gave up only a single to Mark Johnson in the top of the second. Todd Hundley drew a walk with one out in the bottom half. Alex Ochoa was retired on a ground ball to shortstop Jay Bell. Edgardo Alfonzo followed with a home run for a 2-0 Mets lead. Peters then struck out Tim Bogar to end the inning.

Harnisch and Peters each pitched scoreless ball from the third inning to the fifth. Pete surrendered a walk to Al Martin and a pair of singles while Peters limited the Mets to a single by Lance Johnson and two walks. Leading off the top of the sixth, Jermaine Allensworth singled for the Pirates’ fourth hit of the game. Martin lined out to shortstop Rey Ordonez and a fly ball by Jeff King was caught by center fielder Lance Johnson. Harnisch retired Orlando Merced on a fly ball to left fielder Bernard Gilkey to end the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Butch Huskey homered to extend the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Peters then got both Hundley and Ochoa on infield ground balls for the inning’s final outs.

Harnisch hurled a perfect top of the seventh. Bogar hit a double with one out in the bottom half. Harnisch grounded out to second baseman King and a single by Lance Johnson brought home Bogar. Lance stole second base and moved to third on an error by catcher Angelo Encarnacion. Peters retired Ordonez on a grounder to third baseman Charlie Hayes that closed out the inning and Harnisch retired that Bucs 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Pittsburgh reliever Ramon Morel got Gilkey to line out to left fielder Martin to open the bottom half. Huskey hit his second homer for the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Hundley was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Allensworth. Morel then got Ochoa to ground out to King and end the inning.

Martin reached on an error by Ordonez to lead off the top of the ninth. King was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Ochoa. Harnisch then got Merced to hit a ground ball back to the mound for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a shutout victory on Pete’s four-hitter.