May 25, 1979: Pirates and Mets Play to Fogbound, 11-Inning Tie

The Pirates and Mets played to an odd and contentious 3-3 tie at Shea Stadium.  With visibility limited by a thick fog, the game was finally called in the bottom of the 11th with a Mets runner on third and nobody out.  A detailed account of the game is available here.

Coming off eight and a third shutout innings in his first start of the year, Jim Rooker had another strong outing.  The Mets got to him for a run in the first on a two-out double by Richie Hebner and a single by Lee Mazzilli.  Rooker retired the next 14 straight before allowing a one-out single in the sixth, and that runner was caught stealing.  With the score still 1-0, Rooker left for a pinch hitter after seven, having allowed just three hits and no walks.

The game was still 1-0 because the Pirates couldn’t solve Mets starter Craig Swan.  He retired the first dozen batters he faced before Willie Stargell doubled to lead off the fifth, and Stargell got picked off second.  The Bucs finally got to Swan in the top of the eighth.  Lee Lacy, who was subbing for an injured Rennie Stennett, led off with a single.  The next two hitters were retired, bringing up Mike Easler to bat for Rooker.  Easler came through with his second home run of the year to put the Pirates ahead.  They made it 3-1 when Omar Moreno followed Easler with a triple and scored on an error.

By then, the fog was getting heavy.  The game remained scoreless into the bottom of the ninth, but Chuck Tanner had used Kent Tekulve and Grant Jackson to get through the eighth.  Jackson opened the ninth and gave up a run on a leadoff single and a one-out double by Mazzilli, who advanced to third on an error by Moreno.  Jackson got the lefty Hebner on a shallow fly.  With right-handed John Stearns up, Tanner went, not with Enrique Romo, but Bruce Kison.  Stearns singled to tie the game.

The Pirates went down in order in the tenth and eleventh.  In between, Tanner went to Romo, who got the Mets in order in the bottom of the tenth.  In the eleventh, Joel Youngblood, hit a routine fly to left.  Bill Robinson, who’d already complained to the umpires about the thick fog, lost the ball and Youngblood reached third before Robinson located it.  Robinson renewed his argument and, this time, the umpires listened.  The game was called, to be replayed in full as part of a doubleheader on June 25; a nice break for the Pirates.

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