April 26, 1989: Gooden Leads Mets Past Braves

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Date: April 26, 1989
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 6
Braves: 1
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Lenny Dykstra, Kevin McReynolds, Howard Johnson
Key play: Dykstra’s RBI single, McReynolds’ and Johnson’s home runs

The Mets faced the Braves on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. Dwight Gooden pitched eight and two-thirds innings and scored the winning run in a 6-1 Mets victory over Atlanta.

Gooden struck out the side in a scoreless top of the first. Lenny Dykstra drew a walk against Braves’ starter Pete Smith to lead off the bottom half. Gregg Jefferies singled to advance Dykstra to third base and Dave Magadan lined out to shortstop Andres Thomas. With Darryl Strawberry at bat, a wild pitch brought home Dykstra and moved Jefferies to second. Smith then struck out both Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds to end the inning.

After a scoreless second, Ron Gant slugged a solo home run with one out in the top of the third. Lonnie Smith drew a walk and stole second base. Gerald Perry reached on third baseman Howard Johnson’s error as Lonnie Smith stayed at second. Dale Murphy went down on strikes and a balk sent the runners to second and third. Gooden retired Thomas on a fly ball to right fielder Strawberry that closed out the inning and singled to begin the bottom half. Pete Smith set down the next three batters and Dwight hurled a perfect top of the fourth. The Mets were then retired in order by Pete Smith in the bottom of the inning.

After shutting down the Braves in the top of the fifth, Gooden got a two-out double against Pete Smith in the bottom half. Dykstra singled to drive home Dwight and put the Mets ahead by a run. Lenny stole second base and came around to score on Jefferies’ double for a 3-1 Mets York lead. Magadan hit a single and Atlanta reliever Paul Assenmacher threw a called third strike past Strawberry to end the inning. Gooden pitched a perfect top of the sixth and McReynolds homered for the Mets’ fourth run to begin the bottom half. Johnson was struck out and Gary Carter grounded out to third baseman Gant. Assenmacher then fanned Kevin Elster to close out the inning.

Gooden surrendered only a walk to pinch-hitter Terry Blocker in the top of the seventh. Braves’ reliever Jim Acker yielded just a single to Dykstra in the bottom half and Murphy singled with two outs in the top of the eighth. Thomas hit a single and Dion James was retired on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Jefferies. Magadan singled to lead off the bottom half. Strawberry hit a single and McReynolds grounded to Thomas for a double play. Johnson followed with a homer to extend the Mets’ lead to five runs. Acker then got Carter to fly out to right fielder James and finish off the inning.

Jody Davis lined out to left fielder McReynolds to open the top of the ninth. Jeff Treadway singled and pinch-hitter Darrell Evans was retired on a line drive to center fielder Dykstra. Gant and Lonnie Smith drew consecutive walks that loaded the bases. Gooden was then replaced on the mound by Randy Myers, who struck out Perry to end the game. The Mets had a solid victory.