May 26, 1979: Mets Outlast Pirates for Win
|Date: May 26, 1979|
|Mets starter: Mike Scott|
|Winning pitcher: Skip Lockwood|
|Key player(s): Lee Mazzilli, Richie Hebner, Steve Henderson, Joel Youngblood|
|Key play: Mazzilli’s and Hebner’s two-run singles, Henderson’s and Youngblood’s home runs|
The Mets faced the Pirates on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played in front of 20,272 fans on hand. In a battle of hitting, the Mets came away with a 10-8 win over Pittsburgh.
After a scoreless first inning, Rennie Stennett drew a walk against Mets’ starter Mike Scott to lead off the top of the second. Stennett moved to second base on a wild pitch and Ed Ott flied out to left fielder Steve Henderson. Dale Berra walked and Bert Blyleven got a bunt single to load the bases. Omar Moreno followed with a sacrifice fly to score Stennett for a 1-0 Bucs lead. Scott got Tim Foli to hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Doug Flynn and end the inning. Blyleven then pitched a perfect bottom half.
Scott shut down the Pirates in the top of the third. Flynn doubled against Blyleven with one out in the bottom of the inning. Scott went down on strikes and Joel Youngblood was given an intentional walk. Frank Taveras walked to load the bases and advanced to third base on Lee Mazzilli’s single that drove home Flynn and Youngblood. On his own hit, Mazzilli went to second via a throw by center fielder Moreno. Richie Hebner singled to bring home Taveras and Mazzilli and went to third on a single by Willie Montanez. John Stearns hit a single to score Montanez and extend the Mets’ lead to 5-1. Pittsburgh reliever Ed Whitson threw a wild pitch that sent Stearns to second and issued a walk to Henderson. Whitson then got Flynn to fly out to Moreno and finish off the inning.
Berra got a one-out double in the top of the fourth. Pinch-hitter Manny Sanguillen flied out to right fielder Youngblood and a double by Moreno plated Berra. Foli grounded back to Scott for the third out of the inning and Pirates’ reliever Bruce Kison hurled a perfect bottom half. Dave Parker singled against Scott to open the top of the fifth. Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco struck out Willie Stargell and issued a walk to John Milner. Lee Lacy flied out to Youngblood and a single by Ott brought home Parker. Berra walked to load the bases and Orosco was replaced on the mound by New York’s Neil Allen. Bill Robinson greeted Allen with a single that scored Milner and Ott, tying the game at 5-5. Moreno then grounded back to Allen to end the inning.
Mazzilli drew a walk against Pittsburgh reliever Enrique Romo to begin the bottom of the fifth. Hebner singled to send Mazzilli to third base and Montanez flied out to left fielder Milner. Stearns hit a force play grounder to shortstop Foli that plated Mazzilli for a one-run Mets lead. Henderson hit a single to advance Stearns to third. Romo then struck out Flynn to finish off the inning.
Stargell and Milner got back-to-back singles with two outs in the top of the sixth. Allen retired Lacy on a fly ball to center fielder Mazzilli that ended the inning and Youngblood hit a one-out single in the bottom half. Taveras followed with a force play ground ball to Foli. With Mazzilli at the plate, Frank stole second base and went to third on catcher Ott’s throwing error. Mazzilli got a bunt single to bring home Taveras for a 7-5 New York lead. Lee stole second and moved to third on another error by Ott. Hebner then grounded back to Romo for the inning’s final out.
Ott hit a double against Mets’ reliever Dale Murray to lead off the top of the seventh. Berra and pinch-hitter Mike Easler drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Moreno singled to drive home Ott and Berra with the tying runs. Foli’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third before an intentional walk to Parker loaded the bases. Stargell hit a sacrifice fly that scored Easler and put the Bucs ahead, 8-7. Murray then got Milner on a force play grounder to Flynn to end the inning.
Montanez drew a walk against Pirates’ reliever Kent Tekulve to open the bottom of the seventh. A sacrifice bunt by Stearns moved Montanez to second base. Henderson slugged a two-run homer to give the Mets a 9-8 lead. Flynn went down on strikes and Tekulve got pinch-hitter Ron Hodges on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Parker. Ott doubled off New York’s Skip Lockwood with one out in the top of the eighth. Berra hit a single to send Ott to third and pinch-hitter Steve Nicosia was struck out. Lockwood fanned Moreno to close out the inning and Youngblood homered against Pittsburgh’s Grant Jackson to begin the bottom half. Jackson then set down the next three Mets batters to finish off the inning.
Foli hit a leadoff single in the top of the ninth. Parker went down on strikes and Stargell popped out to Flynn. Lockwood then retired Milner on a ground ball to Flynn for the final out of the game. The Mets had emerged with a victory.