April 26, 1991: Viola Leads Shutout of Bucs
|Date: April 26, 1991|
|Mets starter: Frank Viola|
|Winning pitcher: Frank Viola|
|Key player(s): Frank Viola, Vince Coleman, Dave Magadan, Howard Johnson|
|Key play: Johnson’s and Magadan’s RBI singles|
The Mets faced the Pirates on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Frank Viola hurled eight and one-third innings of shutout ball in a 2-0 Mets win over Pittsburgh.
Viola and the Bucs’ Zane Smith each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. With one out in the top of the third, Andy Van Slyke drew a walk and Bobby Bonilla singled to right field. Barry Bonds went down on strikes and Jeff King was retired on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Kevin McReynolds. Gregg Jefferies hit a one-out single in the bottom half. Dave Magadan walked and Hubie Brooks’ fly out to right fielder Bonilla advanced the runners to second and third base. Howard Johnson singled to score Jefferies for a 1-0 Mets lead. Smith then retired McReynolds on a grounder to shortstop Jay Bell for the inning’s third out.
Viola set down the Pirates in order in the top of the fourth. Rick Cerone doubled to lead off the bottom half. Cerone stayed at second base on Kevin Elster’s infield single and Viola was struck out. Vince Coleman hit a force play ground ball to Bell and stole second. Jefferies grounded out to Bell to end the inning and Viola pitched a perfect top of the fifth. Smith shut down the Mets in the bottom half and Frank retired the side in order in the top of the sixth. McReynolds singled to open the bottom of the inning. Smith then got Cerone on a double play grounder to second baseman Jose Lind and retired Elster on a line drive to Bell that closed out the inning.
Viola yielded just a single to Lind in the top of the seventh. With one out in the bottom half, Coleman reached on an error by Pittsburgh reliever Bob Kipper. Vince stole both second and third base before Jefferies popped out to first baseman Gary Redus. Magadan singled to bring home Coleman with the Mets’ second run of the game. Brooks hit a force play grounder to Lind that ended the inning and Viola set down the Bucs 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Kipper and the Pirates’ Stan Belinda then combined for a perfect bottom half.
Viola retired Bonilla on a fly ball to McReynolds to begin the top of the ninth. Bonds hit a single and Mets’ reliever John Franco got King to fly out to McReynolds. Pinch-hitter Lloyd McClendon drew a walk. Franco then retired Lind on a ground ball to shortstop Elster for the final out of the game. The Mets had a shutout victory to start the weekend series.