Jun 5, 2021

Remembering Mets History: (1987) Dwight Goodens First Start After Rehab

Friday June 5th 1987: On this night, 51, 402 fans came out to Shea Stadium (including centerfieldmaz) to see the return of Dwight Gooden, as he made his first start of the 1987 season. Gooden had just returned from his first drug rehab assignment, following his substance abuse problems during the Mets 1986 Championship season.

Starting Lineups

Davey Johnson's World Champion Mets were struggling (25-25) in fourth place. Tonight they took on Jim Leyland's last place Pittsburgh Pirates (23-27). 

There was a big standing ovation as the Mets took the field & Dwight Gooden walked to the pitchers mound. It was an emotional connection between Doctor K & the fans, one he said he always remembered.

The crowd cheered even louder as he struck out his first batter; Barry Bonds. A 1-2-3 inning followed. 

The Mets responded to their pitcher right away, Wally Backman drew a one out walk & reached third on a balk & an error which Keith Hernandez reached base safely on. 

Then Gary Carter walked to load the bases. The Pirates helped with an infield error on a Darryl Strawberry grounder & then a Mookie Wilson force play, it was 2-0 Mets.

In the 3rd, the Pirates got a run after a walk, a single & Johnny Rays sac fly. But Gooden was looking good all along, he pitched into the 7th inning, allowing just the one run, on four hits. He walked four & struck out five. 

In the 7th, after he struck out Ron Reynolds, he allowed a single to catcher Mike LaValliere & a double to Bonds, then walked John Cangelosi. Jesse Orosco came on in relief, as Gooden walked off to another standing ovation. Orosco finished the game earning the save.

In the 6th inning the Mets scored again, Gary Carter singled & Darryl Strawberry doubled. Carter got thrown out at home attempting to score on a fielders choice. Lee Mazzilli then hit a sac fly scoring Strawberry, making it 3-1.

The Mets added two runs in the 7th, as Tim Teufel singled & Keith Hernandez tripled him in. Gary Carter then doubled topping off the 5-1 Mets win.

Gooden would go 15-7 on the year leading the Mets staff in wins, ERA (3.21) complete games (7) & shut outs (3). His 167 strike outs were second to on Darling. The Mets finished second to the St. Louis Cardinals, just three games out at 92-70.

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