July 5, 1979: Swan Strikes Out 10 to Defeat Phils

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Date: July 5, 1979
Mets starter: Craig Swan
Mets: 3
Phillies: 2
Winning pitcher: Craig Swan
Key player(s): Craig Swan, Joel Youngblood, Willie Montanez, John Stearns
Key play: Youngblood’s home run, Montanez’s single, Stearns’ sacrifice fly

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Thursday night in Philadelphia. The teams played the finale of a four-game series at Veterans Stadium. Craig Swan struck out ten batters in a complete game as the Mets defeated the Phils, 3-2.

Joel Youngblood hit a home run against Phillies starter Dickie Noles (in his major league debut) to lead off the top of the first inning. Frank Taveras lined out to first baseman Pete Rose and a single by Lee Mazzilli followed. With Richie Hebner at bat, Mazzilli was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Bob Boone to shortstop Larry Bowa. Noles retired Hebner on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Garry Maddox and the Phils had runners on first and second base with one out in the bottom half. Swan then got Greg Luzinski to fly out to center fielder Mazzilli and fanned Mike Schmidt for the third out of the inning.

Noles pitched a scoreless top of the second. In the bottom half, Manny Trillo and Boone got back-to-back singles with one out. Noles went down on strikes and Bake McBride drew a walk to load the bases. Bowa was retired on a foul pop-up to shortstop Taveras to end the inning and Noles set down the Mets in order in the top of the third. Swan then recorded strikeouts of Luzinski and Schmidt in a perfect bottom half.

Mazzilli drew a walk to open the top of the fourth inning. Hebner doubled and advanced to third base on Willie Montanez’s single that scored Mazzilli. John Stearns hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Hebner and increase the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Steve Henderson grounded to second baseman Trillo for an inning-ending double play and Garry Maddox singled to begin the bottom half. Swan then got Trillo on a double play grounder to third baseman Hebner and retired Boone on a fly ball to left fielder Henderson that closed out the inning.

Following a scoreless fifth, Taveras hit a double against Philadelphia reliever Rawly Eastwick to lead off the top of the sixth. Mazzilli was struck out and Hebner grounded out to Trillo to send Taveras to third base. Montanez drew a walk and Eastwick got Stearns on a force play ground ball to Bowa that ended the inning. To begin the bottom half, Swan struck out Luzinski and retired Schmidt on a grounder back to the mound. Garry Maddox singled and stole second. Craig then threw a called third strike past Trillo for the inning’s final out.

Henderson and Doug Flynn opened the top of the seventh with back-to-back singles. Eastwick recorded outs on each of the next three Mets hitters and Boone singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Greg Gross hit a force play grounder to Taveras and a strikeout of McBride ensued. Pinch-hitter Del Unser homered to reduce the Mets’ lead to one run. Swan then fanned Luzinski for the third time to finish off the inning.

Phils’ reliever Kevin Saucier set down the side in order in the top of the eighth. Swan pitched a perfect bottom half and Saucier held the Mets to a single by Flynn in the top of the ninth. Boone flied out to right fielder Elliott Maddox to begin the bottom of the inning. Gross singled and McBride went down on strikes. Swan then got pinch-hitter Dave Rader for his tenth strikeout to end the game. The Mets had a series-closing victory.