Remembering Mets History: (1988) Ron Darling Shuts Out the Dodgers As Magic Number To Clinch Gets Closer

Friday September 2nd, 1988: Davey Johnson's New York Mets were getting closer to clinching the NL East title as they had a comfortable 8 1/2 game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tonight the Mets hosted Tommy Lasorda's first place Los Angeles Dodgers (77-56) in what was to be an NLCS preview. The Mets dominated the Dodgers on the regular season, as they did this night, but the NLCS wasn't as good for New York.

Starting Lineups

Mets started Ron Darling breezed along with a five hit, complete game shut out. Darling struck out eight batters on the evening & walked just one as he won his 14th game of the season (14-9) lowering his ERA to 3.15.

In the home 3rd, the Mets got two solo HRs off Dodger pitcher, Tim Leary. Kevin Elster started off his big night & promising rookie Greg Jefferies, hit his second HR of the year.

 Jefferies would play in just 29 regular season games after being promoted to the big leagues, but still earned a staring spot in the 1988 Post Season where he hit .333.

In the 5th, with Gary Carter on base, Elster connected again, as the Mets went up 4-0 on Elster's 9th HR of the year. Elster was batting .219 & hitting 8th that night.

In the Mets 7th, after Elster drew a walk, Mookie Wilson with a two run HR. Jefferies then singled & advanced on a Dodger error. Keith Hernandez drove him in with a base hit. Hernandez would score when Kevin McReynolds reached on another Dodger error.  

Mets notes: It was Hernandez 46th RBI of the year, he had missed lots of playing time due to his bad back. The back issues would end his career by 1990. Hernandez played in just 95 games for the NL Eastern Champs that season batting .276, his lowest average since 1978, with 11 HRs 16 doubles & 55 RBIs.


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