The Mets lost their fourth straight today, this time to open a series against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Limited to just three hits off Bucs’ starting pitcher Dock Ellis over his six innings of work, the Mets only run came on shortstop Bud Harrelson‘s RBI single which scored Wayne Garrett in the fifth inning. Reliever Ramon Hernandez held the Mets scoreless over the final three innings, allowing just one hit to pinch-hitter Don Hahn. Felix Millan and Ron Hodges were the only other Mets to hit safely. The Mets starting three, four and five hitters went a combined 0 for 10 in the game.
The Pirates scored three earned runs off Mets starter Jerry Koosman, who pitched eight innings in taking the loss – his eleventh defeat of the season. Pittsburgh roughed up Koosman for ten hits. He walked one batter and struck out two. Pittsburgh scored single runs in the third and fourth innings, and the eighth and ninth innings for the win.
Pirates first baseman Bob Robertson had a big day at the plate, going 3 for 4, with one of the Pirates three runs batted in. Second baseman Rennie Stennett and catcher Manny Sanguillen had the other runs batted in for Pittsburgh. The Pirates scored one unearned run off Mets reliever John Strohmayer in the ninth when catcher Ron Hodges failed to secure the ball on a play at home plate.
|Pittsburgh Pirates||New York Mets|
|1||Rennie Stennett||2B||1||Willie Mays||CF|
|2||Manny Sanguillen||C||2||Felix Millan||2B|
|3||Al Oliver||CF||3||Rusty Staub||RF|
|4||Willie Stargell||LF||4||Cleon Jones||LF|
|5||Richie Zisk||RF||5||Ed Kranepool||1B|
|6||Bob Robertson||1B||6||Wayne Garrett||3B|
|7||Richie Hebner||3B||7||Ron Hodges||C|
|8||Dal Maxvill||SS||8||Bud Harrelson||SS|
|9||Dock Ellis||P||9||Jerry Koosman||P|
The Mets now have a firm hold on last place with a 44-57 record, 10.5 games out of first, and 2.5 games behind the fifth place Philadelphia Phillies. Tomorrow, the Mets will host Pittsburgh in a twi-night double-header. Tom Seaver is scheduled to take the mound in Game One versus Pittsburgh’s Steve Blass. In Game Two, George Stone will face-off against the Pirates’ Nelson Briles.