Mar 11, 2018

Remembering Mets History (1988): Straw Hits Another Walk Off HR Off John Franco

Friday May 6th, 1988: Davey Johnson's New York Mets were already in first place, up by a game & a half with a 19-7 record.

They would go on to win the NL Eastern Division in 1988. Tonight they hosted a good Cincinnati Reds team, that would finish second & in just two years win another World Championship.

The Reds Manager Pete Rose had just recently been suspended for an ugly incident in Cincinnati, in a game against the New York Mets.

On April 30th, a week prior, Rose had made contact with umpire Dave Pallone, eventually shoving him. The Reds fans showered the field with debris & Pallone was kept off the field for his safety with only three umpires being used the rest of the game. Former Reds / Astros infielder, Tommy Helms was now the acting manager.

22,857 fans came to see Dwight Gooden take on Dennis Rasmussem at Shea Stadium.

Starting Lineups

In the home 1st, Tim Teufel drew a walk & Keith Hernandez singled sending Teufel to third. A Darryl Strawberry sac fly made it 1-0. In the 5th inning, Strawberry drove in his second run of the game, after Keith Hernandez singled & stole second he scored on Straw's base hit.

Dwight Gooden pitched well not allowing any runs until the 7th. He would scatter eleven hits on the day, strike out five & walk two pitching a full nine innings. Dave Collins & Chris Sabo's RBI singles tied it in the 7th. Gooden got out of a 9th inning jam, as he got Barry Larkin to ground out with runners on second & third.

Randy Meyers came on in the 10th inning, and served up a lead off HR to Chris Sabo. John Franco was on the mound to save it for the Reds. Franco the future Mets All Star reliever & Brooklyn native, would lead the NL in saves that year with 39. He would lead the NL in saves two more times in his career as a member of the Mets.

But on this day, "it was de' ja vu all over again" as former Mets manager Yogi Berra would say, as Darryl Strawberry came up & blasted a walk off HR off Franco just as he did two years ago. This time there were two outs & Keith Hernandez on first base.

In this game Strawberry drove in all four Strawberry would go on to lead the NL with 39 HRs that season, becoming the second Met to do so.

The 39 HRs tied a career high for him which he had done in 1987. In his career Straw would have just three walk off HRs in his Mets career.

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