September 16, 1979: Falcone Leads Shutout of Pirates
|Date: September 16, 1979|
|Mets starter: Pete Falcone|
|Winning pitcher: Pete Falcone|
|Key player(s): Pete Falcone, Lee Mazzilli, Dan Norman, Joel Youngblood|
|Key play: Mazzilli’s RBI single, Norman’s home run, Youngblood’s double|
The Mets faced the Pirates on a Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The teams played the latter half of a two-game weekend series. Pete Falcone pitched eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 Mets win over the Bucs.
Elliott Maddox doubled against Pirates’ starter John Candelaria with one out in the top of the first. Lee Mazzilli hit a single to drive home Maddox for a 1-0 Mets lead. With Joel Youngblood at bat, Mazzilli was caught stealing on catcher Steve Nicosia’s throw to second baseman Phil Garner. Candelaria struck out Youngblood to end the inning and Dave Parker hit a two-out double in the bottom half. Falcone then issued a walk to Bill Robinson and fanned Lee Lacy for the inning’s third out.
John Stearns and Dan Norman got back-to-back singles to begin the top of the second. Alex Trevino hit a double play ground ball to shortstop Dale Berra. Doug Flynn popped out to first baseman Robinson to end the inning and Falcone hurled a perfect bottom half. Maddox hit a double with two outs in the top of the third. Candelaria threw a called third strike past Mazzilli to close out the inning and Garner doubled with two outs in the bottom half. Falcone then got Parker to foul out to left fielder Youngblood and finish off the inning.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Norman homered for the Mets’ second run of the game. Trevino grounded out to Garner to end the inning and Falcone retired all three Pittsburgh batters in the bottom half. Candelaria set down the side in order in the top of the fifth and Berra got a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Manny Sanguillen was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Norman. Falcone then got Omar Moreno to fly out to center fielder Maddox and end the inning.
Maddox drew a walk against Bucs’ reliever Jim Bibby to lead off the top of the sixth. Mazzilli went down on strikes and Youngblood lined out to left fielder Lacy. Stearns singled to send Maddox to third base and Bibby fanned Norman to close out the inning. Falcone gave up just a single to Robinson in the bottom half and Bibby set down the Mets in order in the top of the seventh. Nicosia and Berra got consecutive singles with one out in the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter John Milner followed with a force play ground ball to first baseman Mazzilli. Falcone then got Moreno to ground out to second baseman Flynn and finish off the inning.
Mazzilli got a two-out single against Pittsburgh reliever Kent Tekulve in the top of the eighth. Youngblood doubled to bring home Mazzilli with the Mets’ third run. Stearns was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Parker that ended the inning and Falcone set down the Bucs 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Tekulve then retired all three New York hitters in the top of the ninth.
Lacy singled against Falcone to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Mets’ reliever Neil Allen completed a walk (charged to Falcone) to Bill Madlock and got pinch-hitter Mike Easler on a force play grounder to Flynn. Allen then got pinch-hitter Willie Stargell to hit a ground ball to shortstop Frank Taveras for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a shutout victory to close out the series.
- The loss for the Pirates dropped them into a first-place tie with the Montreal Expos in the National League East Division.