September 8, 1979: Pirates Lose to Mets in 15, 3-2

A day after having to go 14 innings to beat the Mets, the Pirates went 15 in New York.  This time, though, the game didn’t end as well, with the Mets getting a walkoff, 3-2 win.

Both teams got good efforts from their starters, Bert Blyleven for the Bucs and Kevin Kobel for the Mets.  The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when Blyleven walked Lee Mazzilli and, one batter later, gave up a home run to Ed Kranepool.  This came an inning after Omar Moreno had helped Blyleven out by throwing Doug Flynn out at the plate on a single to center.

The Pirates were having even more trouble with Kobel.  He retired the first ten batters he faced, before Tim Foli singled and stole second in the fourth.  Foli was stranded and the Bucs had only two other baserunners, both on walks, until the top of the eighth.  With one out, the Pirates got singles from Steve Nicosia, Willie Stargell — who was batting for Blyleven — and Moreno.  The last hit scored Nicosia’s pinch runner, Matt Alexander.  Moreno’s hit also finished Kobel.  Foli greeted reliever Ed Glynn with a sacrifice fly that drove in Stargell’s runner, Alberto Lois.

The bullpens took over from there.  Enrique Romo and Jeff Reardon traded zeroes from the bottom of the eight to the top of the tenth.  Dave Roberts got one out in the bottom of the tenth, then left for Kent Tekulve with a runner on second.  Teke stranded that runner and threw a perfect 11th.  The Pirates had a chance in the top of the 11th when they got runners to second and third with one out, but John Milner struck out and Lee Lacy flied out.

Grant Jackson gave the Pirates three scoreless innings, from the 12th through the 14th.  He gave up only one runner, on a walk.  The Mets meanwhile went with a familiar face, Dock Ellis, starting in the 13th.  Ellis stranded two Pirates in the 13th and again in the 15th.

In the bottom of the 15th, Chuck Tanner had to start dipping into his starting pitchers.  Jim Rooker gave up a leadoff double, then got two outs.  Tanner turned to Jim Bibby, who intentionally walked Joel Youngblood, but a John Stearns single ended the game.

Rooker took the loss to drop to 3-7.  Moreno went 4-for-7 and also had two steals, giving him 65 for the season.  The Expos won, pulling to within one game of the Pirates.