September 8, 1979: Mets Beat Pirates in 15 Innings

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Date: September 8, 1979
Mets starter: Kevin Kobel
Mets: 3
Pirates: 2
Winning pitcher: Dock Ellis
Key player(s): Kevin Kobel, Ed Kranepool, John Stearns
Key play: Kranepool's home run, Stearns' single

The Mets and Pirates faced each other on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Pittsburgh was in the middle of a tight pennant race while the Mets were reduced to the role of a spoiler. In 15 innings, the Mets came up with a 3-2 win.

Through the first seven innings, Kevin Kobel held the powerful Pittsburgh lineup scoreless on only one hit. Kobel retired the first ten batters before Tim Foli singled with one out in the fourth. Kevin then gave up only two walks while the Mets took a 2-0 lead on Ed Kranepool's home run off the Pirates' Bert Blyleven in the sixth.

Kobel got tagged for three consecutive Pittsburgh singles that produced a run with one out in the eighth. Foli then hit a sacrifice fly off reliever Ed Glynn to score the tying run. In the bottom of the inning, the Mets had Joel Youngblood at third base when Pirates' reliever Enrique Romo got Doug Flynn on an inning-ending fly ball.

As the game entered extra innings, Jeff Reardon and Dwight Bernard combined for four innings of shutout relief for the Mets. In the 13th, Dock Ellis started a stretch of three scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh hitters. Meanwhile, the Mets were unable to score against four Pirate relievers as the game wore on.

In the bottom of the 15th inning, Lee Mazzilli led off with a double against Pittsburgh's Jim Rooker. Mazzilli moved to third base on Richie Hebner's ground out before Kelvin Chapman popped up to shortstop Foli. Jim Bibby then relieved Rooker and gave Youngblood an intentional walk. John Stearns followed with a single to left field, scoring Mazzilli with the winning run. The Mets had a victory after a 4-hour and 18-minute battle against the Eastern Division's leading team.

Notes

  • Kranepool's homer was the last one of his career.