September 21, 1979: Pirates Blanked by Cubs and Add an Old Friend

In the opener of their three-game series at Wrigley Field, the Pirates got a good start from Don Robinson.  They couldn’t, however, get any offense against the Cubs’ Lynn McGlothen.  The result was a 2-0 loss.  The Expos didn’t play, so the Pirates now trail in the NL East by a game.

Robinson had some minor trouble in the first four innings.  He gave up two singles each in the second and third, but no runner got past second.

In the bottom of the fifth, though, he couldn’t get out of a jam.  McGlothen got a one-out single, then Ivan DeJesus singled him to third, taking second on the throw.  Scot Thompson singled to score both with what proved to be the game’s only runs.

The Pirates rarely challenged McGlothen, getting only four hits.  Their best chance came in the third, when Phil Garner led off with a single and went to third on a single by Robinson.  Garner, however, got thrown out trying to score on Omar Moreno’s bouncer to first baseman Bill Buckner.  Tim Foli hit into a double play to end the inning.

Grant Jackson and Dave Roberts held the Cubs scoreless after Robinson left, having thrown six innings.  It didn’t matter, though, as the Pirates had only two scoring chances after the third.  Dave Parker got a two-out double in the sixth, but Willie Stargell popped up.  In the ninth, Parker singled with one out and went to second on a ground out by Stargell.  John Milner grounded out to end the game.  The loss left Robinson at 8-7.

The Pirates made one move today, purchasing the contract of right-hander Dock Ellis from the New York Mets.  The former Pirates’ ace has had a shaky year.  He went 1-5 with a 5.93 ERA with Texas.  The Rangers sent him to the Mets for a couple of minor leaguers in June.  With the Mets, the 34-year-old Ellis was 3-7, 6.04.  The Pirates are going to need some pitching help, as they may be without John Candelaria for the rest of the regular season.