April 11, 1979: Pirates Drop Third Straight

The Pirates lost their third straight game, a 5-4 affair to the Phillies.

In a matchup of future Hall-of-Famers, neither Steve Carlton nor Bert Blyleven was at his best.  Both did, however, get complete games, Blyleven’s of the eight-inning variety.  Carlton’s 39 career wins against the Bucs were the most he had against any opponent except the Cubs, but in this one he gave up nine hits and all four runs.  Blyleven gave up ten hits and one more run.

The Phillies got on the board first, with an RBI single in the first inning by Mike Schmidt, who had three RBIs in the game.  The Pirates tied it in the second, when Steve Nicosia singled in Bill Robinson, who’d doubled.

The Pirates got their first lead in the fourth.  Lee Lacy, playing against Carlton in place of Willie Stargell (Lacy was in left and Bill Robinson at first), singled to drive in Dave Parker, who’d gotten plunked and moved up on a single by Robinson.  The Phillies got that back in the bottom half when a Tim McCarver fly ball brought in the ever-annoying Garry Maddox, who had three hits for the second straight day.

The teams traded two-spots in the next inning.  The Pirates’ came courtesy of Phil Garner, who struck his first longball of the year after a Frank Taveras double.  The Phillies, though, got it all back by loading the bases ahead of a fly ball from Schmidt and an RBI single from, of course, Maddox.

That made it 4-4 and there was only one more run to come.  With two out in the eighth, Schmidt connected off Blyleven for his second home run of the season.  The Pirates had a chance in the sixth (two singles to start the inning), but got only two more baserunners off Carlton in the last three innings.  Garner, Robinson and Lacy each had two hits.