New York Daily News - May 2, 1980

Falcone ties K mark but loses 2-1


By Jack Lang


Pete Falcone got his name in both the record book and the lost column last night. He didn't seem overly excited about either.


The Brooklyn lefty who has been nurtured like a thoroughbred by Joe Torre and Rube Walker, gave an inkling why when he opened the game against the Phils by striking out the first six batters he faced. He became only the second National Leaguer ever to perform that feat and only the fifth player in modern major league history.


But when he threw a low inside fastball to Luis Aguayo in the fifth and the rookie second baseman deposited it in the left field bullpen lor a 2-run homer, that was all the Phils needed for a 2-1 win over the Mets.


WAS IT FRUSTRATING, Pete was asked after the game, pitching as well as he did, striking out eight, allowing only three hits and still losing?


"No," was his quick retort. "It's not frustrating at all. When you can pitch a game like that, when you know you've given your best, you can walk away with a positive attitude."


Unfortunately, he also walked away with his second loss because of what Torre described as "one bad pitch."


"He made one bad pitch and Steve Carlton didn't make any," said the manager. "But I thought Pete was super."


The one errant pitch came on a 2-0 count to Aguayo just after Falcone had missed by a hair of making it 1-1. The next pitch was down and in, a fastball, and Aguayo gave it a good ride. Scoring ahead of him was Larry Bowa, who had singled with two down to keep the Phils alive in the fifth.


"I DON'T KNOW how to pitch to him," Faclone said. "I never faced him before tonight. He looks like he's going to be a good hitter."


For anyone else but Falcone, who took a rather passive approach to the entire evening, it would have been a terribly frustrating loss. Imagine setting a record by striking out the first six batters in a game and not winning. With that kind of stuff he should have been unbeatable.


It all started when he got Lonnie Smith and Pete Rose swinging at third strikes in the first. You know he had to have something extra to strike out Rose, who had not fanned all year before he did it on his 63rd at bat last night. Then Falcone got Garry Maddox looking at a third strike to end the inning.


Pete didn't lose it between innings. He electrified the crowd of 5,928 by striking out Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski and Bob Boone in the second. The fans were on their feet applauding as Pete walked off the mound. That sixth strikeout tied the record first established by John Hiller of Detroit in 1968 and later tied by Ray Culp of Boston in 1970, Bert Blyleven of Minnesota in 1970 and Andy Messersmith of Los Angeles in 1973.


LARRY BOWA DIDN'T give Falcone a chance to make it seven in a row when he led off the third. He swung at the first pitch and tapped back to the mound.



Lee Mazzilli pressing. He's 0-for-10 with only one ribby in his last 53 trips. His average is down to .226... Steve Henderson hopes to be ready to play over the weekend... Aguayo was 11th player to hit his first homer off Mets pitching this year.