May 25, 1980: Swan Outduels Niekro
|Date: May 25, 1980|
|Mets starter: Craig Swan|
|Winning pitcher: Craig Swan|
|Key player(s): Craig Swan, John Stearns, Frank Taveras|
|Key play: Stearns' double, Jorgensen's home run|
The Mets and Braves concluded a three-game series on a Sunday afternoon. Craig Swan and Atlanta ace Phil Niekro battled in a scoreless duel at Shea Stadium. It was Craig who emerged as the winner with the Mets coming out with a 3-0 victory.
Swan allowed singles in each of the first two innings. From the third to the sixth, he retired every Braves batter except for a two-base error by center fielder Mike Jorgensen on a ball hit by Brian Asselstine. Meanwhile, the Mets got two singles and a double from Frank Taveras and a John Stearns single over six scoreless innings by Niekro.
For Atlanta, Gary Matthews singled off Swan to open the seventh inning. Matthews advanced to second base on Asselstine's sacrifice bunt before Jeff Burroughs was intentionally walked. Swan then struck out Bruce Benedict and Mike Lum to snuff out the Braves' scoring chance. Niekro then set down the Mets after a leadoff single by Alex Trevino in the bottom of the inning.
Swan retried the Braves 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. In the bottom half, Taveras doubled with one out for his fourth hit of the game. Lee Mazzilli fouled out and Stearns hit a double to score Taveras and put the Mets ahead, 1-0. Jorgensen followed with a home run to increase the lead by two more runs. Niekro then got Trevino to fly out and end the inning.
In the ninth, Swan got the first three Atlanta hitters on outfield flies to end the game. Craig had a three-hit shutout with some late run support. The Mets also had a win to sweep the series from Atlanta.