April 23, 1988: Mets Outlast Cards in Hitting Battle

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Date: April 23, 1988
Mets starter: Sid Fernandez
Mets: 12
Cardinals: 9
Winning pitcher: Roger McDowell
Key player(s): Barry Lyons, Dave Magadan, Kevin McReynolds, Roger McDowell
Key play: Lyons’ and McDowell’s doubles, Magadan’s single

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Saturday night in St. Louis. The teams played the second of three games in a series. In a high-scoring battle, the Mets came away with a 12-9 win over the Redbirds.

Cards’ starter Bob Forsch pitched a perfect top of the first inning. Vince Coleman tripled against the Mets’ Sid Fernandez to lead off the bottom half. Ozzie Smith grounded out to third baseman Dave Magadan and a foul pop-up by Willie McGee was caught by first baseman Keith Hernandez. On a walk to Bob Horner, Coleman stole home for a 1-0 St. Louis lead. Fernandez then retired Terry Pendleton on a fly ball to right fielder Darryl Strawberry for the third out.

Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds got consecutive singles against Forsch to begin the top of the second. Gary Carter singled to score Strawberry with McReynolds advancing to third base on an error by center fielder McGee. Howard Johnson flied out to McGee and a walk to Magadan loaded the bases. Fernandez grounded out to first baseman Horner to drive home McReynolds with the go-ahead run. Lenny Dykstra hit a triple to plate Carter and Magadan, extending the Mets’ lead to 4-1. St. Louis reliever Larry McWilliams then retired Wally Backman on a ground ball to second baseman Luis Alicea to end the inning.

Tony Pena singled with one out in the bottom of the second. Alicea flied out to left fielder McReynolds and a bunt single by McWilliams ensued. Coleman slugged a three-run homer to tie the game at 4-4. Smith drew a walk and moved to second base on a balk. McGee went down on strikes to close out the inning and McReynolds hit a solo homer with two outs in the top of the third. McWilliams retired Carter on an inning-ending fly ball to McGee. Fernandez then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

McWilliams hurled a scoreless top of the fourth. Pena hit a single against Fernandez to open the bottom of the inning. Alicea was retired on a foul fly ball to Strawberry. McWilliams was hit by a pitch and a balk advanced the runners to second and third base. Against Mets’ reliever David Cone, Coleman grounded out to second baseman Backman to bring home Pena. Smith singled to score McWilliams and put the Cardinals ahead, 6-5. McGee drew a walk and Smith was caught stealing on catcher Carter’s throw to Magadan for the final out of the inning.

McWilliams retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Cone pitched a perfect bottom half and Johnson drew a two-out walk in the top of the sixth. Magadan reached on an error by shortstop Smith. Pinch-hitter Barry Lyons followed with a double that scored Johnson and Magadan, giving the Mets a 7-6 lead. McWilliams retired Dykstra on a fly ball to right fielder Tom Brunansky that ended the inning and Alicea tripled against New York’s Roger McDowell with one out in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Curt Ford hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Alicea and tie the game. Coleman then grounded out to McDowell to finish off the inning.

Cards’ reliever Steve Peters retired all three batters in the top of the seventh. McDowell yielded just a single to McGee in the bottom half and McReynolds singled against Peters to lead off the top of the eighth. McReynolds went to second base on Carter’s ground out and Johnson was given an intentional walk. Magadan hit a single to bring home McReynolds and put the Mets in front by a run. McDowell followed with a double that scored Johnson and Magadan for a 10-7 New York lead. Dykstra was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Coleman. St. Louis’s Scott Terry issued a walk to Tim Teufel and struck out Hernandez to end the inning. The Cardinals then failed to score after loading the bases against McDowell and Mets’ reliever Randy Myers in the bottom half.

Strawberry singled against Redbirds’ reliever Scott Arnold to begin the top of the ninth. Darryl stole second base and moved to third via a wild pitch on a walk to McReynolds. A balk brought home Strawberry and sent McReynolds to second. Carter singled to score McReynolds and increase the Mets’ lead to 12-7. Johnson doubled and Kevin Elster drew a walk to load the bases. Myers went down on strikes and Dykstra flied out to McGee. Arnold then got Teufel on a fly ball to Brunansky for the inning’s final out.

Smith hit a single to lead off the bottom of the ninth. McGee grounded out to second baseman Teufel and a strikeout of Horner followed. Pendleton reached on shortstop Elster’s error and Brunansky singled to drive home Smith. Pena hit a single that plated Pendleton with the Cards’ ninth run. Myers then retired Alicea on a fly ball to left fielder McReynolds for the final out of the game. The Mets had emerged with a victory.