April 21, 1990: Mets Stop Expos Rally
|Date: April 21, 1990|
|Mets starter: Frank Viola|
|Winning pitcher: Frank Viola|
|Key player(s): Darryl Strawberry, Kevin Elster|
|Key play: Strawberry's & Elster's home runs, Santovenia's ground out|
The Mets played the Expos on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The game had gone all the Mets' way as they had a four-run lead after eight innings. They barely held on for a 5-4 victory after a Montreal comeback attempt fell short in the ninth.
Frank Viola and the Expos' Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd each pitched three scoreless innings to start the game. Viola recorded four strikeouts in retiring all nine batters he faced while Boyd yielded only a pair of singles to Darryl Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds in the bottom of the second. In the top of the fourth, Viola shut down Montreal again, allowing only a single to Marquis Grissom.
Keith Miller singled off Boyd to begin the bottom of the fourth inning. Miller stole second base and Howard Johnson popped out to second baseman Delino DeShields. Strawberry followed with a home run to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. The Expos scored a run in the fifth on a two-out double by Spike Owen that brought home Andres Galarraga.
Viola retired Montreal in order in the top of the sixth inning. In the bottom half, Miller opened with a walk and later stole second. Keith moved to third base on an infield out and scored on McReynolds' single. Viola then held the Expos scoreless in the top of the seventh.
Barry Lyons singled off Boyd with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Kevin Elster hit an ensuing two-run homer to extend the Mets' lead to 5-1. Boyd retired the next two batters and neither team scored in the eighth.
Viola kept cruising along with two outs to start the top of the ninth. He then surrendered a home run to Galarraga and a double to Larry Walker. After walking Mike Fitzgerald, Frank was removed from the game and John Franco came in to pitch for the Mets.
Facing Owen, Franco committed a balk that moved Fitzgerald and Walker to second and third. Owen followed with his second double of the game to bring home two more runs. With the Met lead suddenly down to a run, Franco faced pinch-hitter Nelson Santovenia with the tying run at second. John got Santovenia to ground out to shortstop Elster and finally end the game. The Mets had a win after fighting off an Expo rally.