April 15, 1988: Mets Beat Cardinals in Six Innings

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Date: April 15, 1988
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 3
Cardinals: 0
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Gary Carter
Key play: Carter’s home run, Gooden’s single

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. In a game shortened to six innings due to rain, the Mets came away with a 3-0 win over St. Louis.

Mets’ starter Dwight Gooden pitched a perfect top of the first inning. The Cards’ Greg Mathews hurled a scoreless bottom half and Gooden retired the side in order again in the top of the second. Gary Carter hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the inning. Howard Johnson followed with a walk. With Kevin Elster at bat, Johnson stole second base and moved to third on an error by catcher Tony Pena. Elster grounded out to third baseman Terry Pendleton and a single by Gooden scored Johnson for a 2-0 Mets lead. Mathews then got Mookie Wilson to line out to right fielder Jose Oquendo and retired Tim Teufel on a ground ball to Pendleton to end the inning.

Gooden set down all three St. Louis batters in the top of the third. Mathews gave up just a single to Kevin McReynolds in the bottom half and Dwight held the Redbirds to a single by Tommy Herr in the top of the fourth. Mathews hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Gooden retired the side in order in the top of the fifth. Wilson hit a single to open the bottom half. Mookie went around to third base on a pair of infield ground outs and scored the Mets’ third run on a wild pitch. Mathews threw a called third strike past Darryl Strawberry to close out the inning and Gooden yielded just a single to Ozzie Smith in the top of the sixth. Carter got a one-out single in the bottom half. On Mathews’ third strike to Johnson, Carter was caught stealing on Pena’s throw to second baseman Herr for an inning-ending double play.

With Herr at bat to lead off the top of the seventh, the game was halted by rain and discontinued. The Mets had a six-inning shutout victory.