May 15, 1979: Swan Leads Shutout Over Pirates

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Date: May 15, 1979
Mets starter: Craig Swan
Mets: 3
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Craig Swan
Key player(s): Craig Swan, Joel Youngblood, Willie Montanez
Key play: Youngblood’s home run, Montanez’s RBI single

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Craig Swan pitched eight and one-third innings of shutout ball as the Mets defeated the Bucs, 3-0.

Swan and the Pirates’ Don Robinson each hurled three scoreless innings to start the game. In the top of the fourth, John Stearns drew a walk with two outs. Joel Youngblood followed with a home run to put the Mets ahead, 2-0. Robinson retired Doug Flynn on a ground ball to first baseman Willie Stargell to end the inning. Swan pitched a perfect bottom half and walked to lead off the top of the fifth. Frank Taveras hit into a force play and was caught stealing by catcher Ed Ott. Robinson walked the next three Mets batters to load the bases before retiring Steve Henderson on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Rennie Stennett. Swan then shut down the Pirates in the bottom half.

Following a scoreless sixth inning, Lee Mazzilli got a two-out double in the top of the seventh. An ensuing single by Willie Montanez brought home Mazzilli with the Mets’ third run. Henderson grounded out to shortstop Tim Foli and the Bucs were set down 1-2-3 by Swan in the bottom half. Pittsburgh reliever Kent Tekulve held the Mets to a single by Youngblood in the top of the eighth. Swan then retired all three Pirates batters in the bottom of the inning.

The Mets were held without a run by the Bucs’ Grant Jackson in the top of the ninth. With one out in the bottom half, Stargell drew a walk and John Milner hit a double to right field. Skip Lockwood came in to pitch for the Mets and retired Ott on a pop-up to second baseman Flynn. Lockwood then threw a called third strike past Phil Garner to end the game. The Mets had begun the series with a shutout.