May 21, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1988) Mets Seven Game Win Streak & Benches Clear in L.A.

Saturday May 21st 1988: Davey Johnson's first place Mets (29-11) were riding a five game win streak, 4 1/2 games in front of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL East. 

Tonight they were in Los Angeles facing Tommy Lasorda's Dodgers (22-16) who were 1/2 game behind the Houston Astros. The starting pitchers were Dwight Gooden & Tim Belcher.


Doc Gooden came into the game with a 7-0 record, one of the best starts any Mets pitcher has ever had. Tonight the Doctor was in again, he pitched a complete game four hit shut out, he struck out six batters & walked just one. 

Gooden went to 8-0 on the season with a 2.77 ERA. Gooden would go on to start the All Star Game in Cincinnati & finish the year at 18-9 (5th most wins in NL) with 175 strike outs (8th in the NL) & a 3.19 ERA.

In the Mets 2nd, Howard Johnson singled, Mookie Wilson doubled & Dave Magadan drew an intentional pass.  Gooden came through with base hit putting New York up 2-0. The Mets put put up two more in the 5th, Lenny Dykstra doubled, then with two outs, Keith Hernandez & Kevin McReynolds both had RBI singles.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, with the Mets up 4-0, Gooden hit Dodger short stop Alfredo Griffin, on the hand with a pitch. He was removed from the game with a fracture. Howard Johnson was the first Mets batter in the 6th inning & he was hit by a pitch from new Dodger pitcher; Brian Holton. Tensions were high but nothing broke out- yet.
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Sunday May 22, 1988: The Mets were now riding high with a 5 1/2 game lead in the East. On this day 44,826 filled Dodger Stadium to see the Mets; David Cone (5-0) go against Fernando Valenzuela (3-4).

The Mets wasted no time in attacking, in the 1st Mookie Wilson led off with a base hit, advanced on a fielders choice & stole third. Keith Hernandez drove him in with a base hit. Darryl Strawberry followed with his 11th HR of the season. With a 3-0 lead, in the 2nd Wally Backman singled and was moved up on a sacrifice. With two outs Kevin Elster walked & then Hernandez & Strawberry delivered with RBI singles making it 5-0 Mets.

In the home 6th, Cone threw two high & tight pitches to Dodger clean up hitter; Pedro Guerrero. On the next pitch he throws a 75 mph curve ball that bounces off Guerrero's shoulder and bounces off his head. With tensions still high from the previous night, Pedro glares at Cone, then swings his bat & flings it at him. 

The bat slowly rolled over toward shortstop Kevin Elster. As Guerrero walks toward the mound, he is stopped by Mets catcher Barry Lyons & a fast moving Howard Johnson. Both benches cleared & a lot of words were exchanged but no punches were thrown. Eventually calm prevails & everyone cools down. 

After the game; NL President Bartlett Giamatti suspends Guerrero for four games with a $1000 fine.

Cone gave up two runs that inning but that was all for L.A. on the day. The Mets went on to win the game 5-2 David Cone went six innings, two runs on four hits, six strike outs & three walks. 

Cone bests his record to 6-0 with a 1.75 ERA. Roger McDowell got his fifth save of the year. The Mets would sweep the series in L.A. and finish off a seven game win streak before being stopped in San Francisco.

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