The Pirates had a Monday off-day, with the Mets coming to Pittsburgh for a three-game series. Expected starters were Craig Swan, Kevin Kobel and Pete Falcone. The Pirates were set to counter with Don Robinson, Ed Whitson and John Candelaria.
The Mets in 1979 were mired in a post-Tom Seaver funk. They’d finished last in the NL East the two previous years and came in to this series at 10-20. They had a good outfield of Joel Youngblood, Lee Mazzilli and Steve Henderson, but their infield was terrible except for ex-Pirate Richie Hebner. Seaver was in Cincinnati, Jon Matlack in Texas — as a part of the huge trade that included Bert Blyleven and Al Oliver — and Jerry Koosman was in Minnesota following records of 8-20 and 3-15 in 1977-78. In their place were Swan, Falcone, and Kobel. The manager was Joe Torre. A good chance for the Pirates to improve on their 12-17 record.