May 2, 1981: Falcone Stifles Padres in Relief
|Date: May 2, 1981|
|Mets starter: Ed Lynch|
|Winning pitcher: Pete Falcone|
|Key player(s): Pete Falcone, Dave Kingman|
|Key play: Kingman's homer in 1st, Stimac's groundout in 5th|
The Mets faced the Padres on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Trying to stop a seven-game losing streak, the Mets had Ed Lynch on the mound in his first start of the season. Lynch pitched well for four innings, but it was Pete Falcone's hitless relief that held down San Diego en route to a 6-2 Mets victory.
Lynch began the game by pitching a scoreless top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Padres' starter Chris Welsh walked Bob Bailor with one out. John Stearns followed with a triple to bring home Bailor. A two-run homer by Dave Kingman ensued and stretched the Mets' lead to 3-0. Welsh completed the inning with no further scoring and neither team got a run in the second. Lynch then shut down San Diego in the top of the third inning, yielding only a single to Ozzie Smith.
The Mets loaded the bases with one out against Welsh in the bottom of the third. Facing Padres' reliever John Littlefield, Alex Trevino hit an infield single to score Kingman with the Mets' fourth run. Doug Flynn followed with a single to center field that plated Joel Youngblood and Hubie Brooks. With the Mets ahead, 6-0, Lynch held San Diego scoreless in the top of the fourth despite allowing two hits. Littlefield then pitched a perfect bottom of the inning.
The Padres loaded the bases with three consecutive singles to begin the top of the fifth. Ruppert Jones hit a sacrifice fly to score Juan Bonilla for the first San Diego run of the game. After retiring Gene Richards, Lynch gave up a single to Terry Kennedy that brought home Randy Bass. Falcone then came in to relieve and ended the inning by retiring pinch-hitter Craig Stimac on a ground ball to third baseman Brooks.
The Mets failed to score against the Padres' Danny Boone in the bottom half of the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Falcone set down all three San Diego hitters with a strikeout and two ground balls. Pete continued to mow down the Padres with a perfect seventh and a scoreless eighth in which he issued only a walk to pinch-hitter Barry Evans. Meanwhile, Boone and Tim Lollar held the Mets without a run or a hit from the sixth inning to the eighth.
Falcone pitched a perfect top of the ninth inning on three ground balls to Brooks. The Mets had a win to end their seven-game skid. Pete's hitless four and one-third innings of shutout relief sealed the victory as he recorded his first win of the year.