April 20, 1989: Mets Come Back for Win Over Cubs

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Date: April 20, 1989
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 4
Cubs: 3
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Gregg Jefferies, Mookie Wilson, Roger McDowell
Key play: Law’s error, Jefferies’ single, Wilson’s force play grounder

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. The Mets rebounded from a three-run deficit for a 4-3 win over Chicago.

Mitch Webster drew a walk against Mets’ starter Dwight Gooden with one out in the top of the first inning. Ryne Sandberg singled to advance Webster to third base and stole second. Andre Dawson hit a double to drive home Webster and Sandberg for a 2-0 Cubs lead. Gooden retired Mark Grace on a fly ball to center fielder Lenny Dykstra and struck out Vance Law to end the inning. Chicago’s Mike Bielecki then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Gooden surrendered only a walk to Joe Girardi in the top of the second. Bielecki gave up just a single to Keith Hernandez in the bottom of the inning and Webster doubled to lead off the top of the third. Sandberg was retired on a fly ball to Dykstra. Webster stole third base and scored the Cubs’ third run on a single by Dawson. Gooden fanned Grace and got Law on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Kevin McReynolds. With two outs in the bottom half, Dykstra doubled and Tim Teufel drew a walk. Bielecki then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Mookie Wilson for the inning’s final out.

After a scoreless fourth, Gooden retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Gary Carter hit a double to begin the bottom half. Kevin Elster singled to bring home Carter and advanced to second base on Gooden’s sacrifice bunt. Elster went to third after Dykstra’s fly out to center fielder Jerome Walton and scored the Mets’ second run as Teufel reached on third baseman Law’s error. Bielecki then struck out Wilson to finish off the inning.

Gooden hurled a perfect top of the sixth. Bielecki surrendered only a walk to Hernandez in the bottom half and Dwight shut down the Cubs again in the top of the seventh. Elster drew a walk against Chicago reliever Calvin Schiraldi to open the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli popped out to first baseman Grace. Dykstra walked against the Cubs’ Mitch Williams and moved to third base on pinch-hitter Gregg Jefferies’ single that scored Elster with the tying run. Wilson followed with a force play ground ball to second baseman Sandberg to plate Dykstra and put the Mets in front. With McReynolds at bat, Wilson got caught by Williams’ pickoff throw to Grace for the third out of the inning.

Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell retired the side in order in the top of the eighth. Williams pitched a scoreless bottom half and Law flied out to right fielder Wilson to begin the top of the ninth. Shawon Dunston was retired on a bunt back to McDowell. Roger then got pinch-hitter Gary Varsho to ground out to second baseman Jefferies and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a comeback victory to start the series.