April 29, 1989: Davey Johnson's 500th Win

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Date: April 29, 1989
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 5
Astros: 1
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Ron Darling, Howard Johnson, Darryl Strawberry, Kevin McReynolds
Key play: Strawberry’s and McReynolds’ RBI singles, Johnson’s home run

The Mets faced the Astros on a Saturday night in Houston. The teams played a two-hour and fifty-seven-minute game. The Mets recorded a 5-1 victory for Davey Johnson’s 500th win as the team’s manager.

Ron Darling and the Astros’ Bob Knepper each started the game with four scoreless innings pitched. Knepper retired the side in order in the top of the fifth and Rafael Ramirez doubled to lead off the bottom half. Knepper drew a walk and Gerald Young followed with a sacrifice bunt on which Darling made an error that allowed Ramirez to come home. Billy Hatcher hit a ground ball on which first baseman Keith Hernandez threw to catcher Barry Lyons for an out at home on Knepper. Lyons followed up with a throw back to Hernandez to complete a double play. Darling then got Bill Doran to ground out to second baseman Tim Teufel and end the inning.

To begin the top of the sixth, Howard Johnson singled and moved to third base on a single by Hernandez. Darryl Strawberry hit a single to score Howard Johnson and tie the game. Kevin McReynolds singled to bring home Hernandez and give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Knepper was replaced on the mound by Houston reliever Danny Darwin, against whom Teufel grounded out to second baseman Doran. Lyons was walked intentionally to load the bases and Kevin Elster was struck out. Darwin fanned Darling to close out the inning. Ron then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Darwin set down the Mets on three consecutive outfield fly balls in the top of the seventh. Darling retired all three batters in the bottom of the inning and Astros’ relievers Juan Agosto and Bob Forsch combined for a perfect top of the eighth. Doran singled against the New York’s Don Aase with two outs in the bottom half. Glenn Davis drew a walk and Kevin Bass grounded back to Mets’ reliever Randy Myers for the inning’s third out.

Elster got a one-out single in the top of the ninth. Myers was called out on strikes and Lenny Dykstra doubled to drive home Elster. Howard Johnson followed with a homer to extend the Mets’ lead to four runs. Forsch retired Hernandez on a fly ball to right fielder Bass that ended the inning and Ramirez singled with two outs in the bottom half. With pinch-hitter Craig Biggio at bat, Ramirez went to second base on defensive indifference. Myers then got Biggio to pop out to Lyons and bring the game to an end. The Mets had achieved victory for the 500th time with Davey Johnson as manager.