April 24, 1987: Fernandez Strikes Out 11

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Date: April 24, 1987
Mets starter: Sid Fernandez
Mets: 2
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Sid Fernandez
Key player(s): Sid Fernandez, Keith Hernandez, Kevin McReynolds
Key play: Hernandez’s single, McReynolds’ RBI groundout

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Sid Fernandez recorded eleven strikeouts in a 2-1 Mets win over St. Louis.

Fernandez fanned Jack Clark for the final out of a scoreless top of the first inning. Cards’ starter Greg Mathews gave up just a single to Mookie Wilson in the bottom half and Sid struck out both Tito Landrum and Steve Lake in a perfect top of the second. Kevin McReynolds got a two-out single in the bottom of the inning. Howard Johnson doubled and Rafael Santana was walked intentionally to load the bases. Mathews then threw a called third strike past Fernandez to end the inning.

Fernandez and Mathews each pitched two-hit scoreless ball from the third inning to the fifth. Sid chalked up four more strikeouts while Mathews recorded two double plays and faced the minimum nine batters. Mathews went down on strikes to begin the top of the sixth. Vince Coleman drew a walk and stole second base. Coleman advanced to third on Ozzie Smith’s ground out to first baseman Keith Hernandez and scored on Terry Pendleton’s single for a 1-0 Cardinals lead. Fernandez then retired Clark on a pop-up to shortstop Santana for the inning’s third out.

Wilson drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Mookie went to second base on Tim Teufel’s sacrifice bunt and came home on a single by Hernandez. Gary Carter and Darryl Strawberry drew back-to-back walks to load the bases and Mathews was replaced on the mound by St. Louis reliever Ray Soff. McReynolds grounded out to Soff to score Hernandez and put the Mets ahead by a run. Johnson was given an intentional walk that loaded the bases once again. Soff then got Santana to line out to center fielder Landrum and finish off the inning.

Fernandez fanned two more Redbird hitters in a perfect top of the seventh. Cardinals’ reliever Pat Perry set down the side in order in the bottom half and Coleman got a two-out single in the top of the eighth. Coleman stole second base and Smith lined out to Fernandez to end the inning. Perry retired the Mets on three straight fly balls to Landrum in the bottom half and Pendleton flied out to right fielder Strawberry to open the top of the ninth. Clark doubled and Fernandez got Landrum for his eleventh strikeout. Sid then retired pinch-hitter Jim Lindeman on a fly ball to center fielder Wilson to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.