June 25, 1979: Falcone's Shutout Gives Mets Split

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Date: June 25, 1979
Mets starter: Pete Falcone
Mets: 4
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Pete Falcone
Key player(s): Pete Falcone, Lee Mazzilli, Steve Henderson
Key play: Mazzilli’s home run, Henderson’s single

The Mets faced the Pirates in a doubleheader on a Monday evening. After dropping the opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium, the Mets aimed for a split in the nightcap. Pete Falcone pitched a five-hit shutout in a 4-0 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Falcone yielded only a single to Dave Parker in the top of the first inning. To begin the bottom half, Joel Youngblood singled and advanced to third base on a single by Frank Taveras. With Lee Mazzilli at bat, Youngblood was caught by pitcher Jim Rooker’s throw to catcher Manny Sanguillen for an out. Mazzilli slugged a two-run homer and Richie Hebner singled to left field. John Stearns followed with a double that sent Hebner to third. Steve Henderson hit a single that plated Hebner and Stearns for a four-run Mets lead. Alex Trevino was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Parker. Rooker then got Doug Flynn to ground out to third baseman Dale Berra and end the inning.

Phil Garner drew a walk with one out in the top of the second. Berra singled and Sanguillen hit a ground ball to second baseman Flynn for an inning-ending double play. Falcone hit a single to begin the bottom half. Youngblood and Taveras were retired on fly balls to center fielder Omar Moreno and a double by Mazzilli ensued. Hebner was retired on an inning-ending grounder to Rooker, who got a leadoff single in the top of the third. Falcone set down the next three Pittsburgh batters to close out the inning and Rooker hurled a perfect bottom half. Pete limited the Pirates to a single by Bill Robinson in the top of the fourth. Rooker then retired the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Falcone pitched a perfect top of the fifth. Taveras singled to begin the bottom of the inning. Mazzilli hit a force play ground ball to Berra and a single by Hebner followed. Stearns flied out to Moreno and a force play grounder by Henderson (to second baseman Garner) ended the inning. Falcone retired the Bucs 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Rooker then yielded only a single to Pete himself in the bottom half.

Falcone set down the side in order in the top of the seventh. Mazzilli drew a one-out walk against Rooker in the bottom of the inning. With Hebner at bat against Pittsburgh reliever Enrique Romo, Mazzilli was caught stealing second base on Sanguillen’s throw to shortstop Tim Foli. Hebner hit a double and an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Willie Montanez ensued. Henderson went down on strikes to end the inning and Falcone hurled a perfect top of the eighth. Romo then struck out the side in order in the bottom half.

Foli singled for the Bucs’ fifth hit to lead off the top of the ninth. Parker and Robinson were retired on consecutive fly balls to left fielder Youngblood. Falcone then got Lee Lacy to pop out to Flynn and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a shutout victory on Pete’s five-hitter and a split of the doubleheader.