Sunday October 6th, 1991: Veterans Stadium Philadelphia, PA: On this, the last day of the 1991 season, the '91 Mets (now being managed by Mike Cubbage after the release of Bud Harrelson) had finished a disappointing 77-84 twenty & one half games behind the first place Pittsburgh Pirates. It was the teams worst finish in almost a decade, back in 1983 they were last under .500 at 68-94. But on this day, another Mets pitcher shined & made his way into the record books.
The Mets were closing out the year at Philadelphia, the Phillie's (managed by Jim Fregosi) had finished a game better than the Mets, in third place at 78-84, twenty games back. Fregosi sent Andy Ashby (1-4) to the mound to face New York's; David Cone (13-14). This was Cone's worst year (up to that point) since his rookie season, in the win lost column, as he finished at .500. He was the reigning NL strike leader & would win the title again in 1991. He was to finish with his third straight 14 win season , pitching 200 plus innings for the fourth straight year & posting a 3.29 ERA.
The Mets gave Cone run support in their first at bat. Daryl Boston led off with a triple & was brought home by Keith Miller. Greg Jefferies & Chris Donnels added RBI hits to make it 3-0. In the Phillies 1st, Cone walked a batted but struck out the rest of the side. In the 2nd, after a Dave Hollins lead off double, he struck out the next three batters, six outs- six K's.
In the 4th, he struck out the side once again & then added two more K's in the 5th to bring his total up to ten. Keith Miller added a two run HR, Howard Johnson & Greg Jefferies had RBI base hits giving the Mets a 6-0 lead. Daryl Boston would add a 9th inning solo HR to make it 7-0.
Cone struck out the side again in the 6th inning, but did not strike anyone out in the next inning. He entered the 8th inning with 15 strikeouts, he quickly struck out center fielder Braulio Castillo & catcher; Doug Lindsey, reaching 17 strike outs.
In the 9th, Cone came to the mound needing two more strike outs to tie Tom Seaver's club record of 19. Seaver set that record in April of 1970, twenty one years earlier, against the San Diego Padres.
In the bottom of the 9th inning, Cone struck out #18- Kevin Batiste. Mickey Morandini came up & got to a full count. Cone struck him out for #19, but catcher; Charlie O'Brien dropped the ball & had to complete a throw to first base to record the out. The final out was a ground out by Dale Murphy, so Cone was able to tie but not break Seaver's club record of 19 strike outs. On the day Cone allowed no runs on three hits & walked one.