June 26, 1979: Blyleven Stops Mets in 2-1 Bucs Win

Bert Blyleven gave up just one run over eight innings as the Pirates beat the Mets, 2-1.  Blyleven allowed only four hits and a walk, and fanned eight.

The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first.  A two-out triple by John Milner drove in Tim Foli, who’d walked.

The Mets tied it in the bottom of the second.  A walk and a John Stearns double brought in a run, and a wild pitch put Stearns on third with nobody out.  The Dutchman ended the threat, though, by striking out the next three hitters.

The strikeouts started a stretch of nine straight batters retired by Blyleven.  He hit the leadoff batter in the fifth, but a double play erased the runner.  Frank Taveras singled in the sixth, but Ed Ott threw him out stealing.

The Pirates themselves did little more against Mets’ starter Tom Hausman until the seventh.  With one out, Bill Robinson launched his 16th home run to make it 2-1.

Blyleven had another 1-2-3 inning in the seventh.  In the eighth, he got out of a first-and-second, no-out jam with a double play grounder.

Chuck Tanner went with Grant Jackson in the ninth.  The inning started oddly, as Taveras was called out for batter’s interference.  It was the second such call in the game, as Blyleven had gotten dinged for it earlier.  Jackson then walked Lee Mazzilli, but Richie Hebner bounced to Robinson at first.  He stepped on the bag and threw to second to get Mazzilli for a game-ending double play.

Blyleven improved to 5-2 and Jackson got his eighth save.  The Pirates had only five hits, two by Rennie Stennett.  The Cubs lost, so the Bucs were left in sole possession of second place, six games back of Montreal.  The Pirates and Mets both left for a two-game series in Pittsburgh, with former Pirate Dock Ellis and Kevin Kobel facing Ed Whitson and Jim Bibby.