April 3, 1989: Mets Defeat Cardinals in Opener

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Date: April 3, 1989
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 8
Cardinals: 4
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Howard Johnson, Darryl Strawberry
Key play: Johnson's single in 3rd

The Mets started the season on a Monday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The crowd of 38,539 watched the home team get 13 hits in the Opening Day game. The Mets came out with an 8-4 win over the Cardinals.

Dwight Gooden walked the bases loaded in the first inning, but St. Louis failed to score. In the bottom half, Darryl Strawberry doubled off Cardinals' starter Joe Magrane to score Gregg Jefferies. Strawberry later came home on a single by Kevin McReynolds to put the Mets ahead, 2-0.

The Cards grabbed the lead in the top of the third on a three-run homer by Pedro Guerrero. The Mets had the bases loaded in the bottom half when Howard Johnson delivered a single to bring home Strawberry and McReynolds. Kevin Elster also singled to score Gary Carter and Gooden's sacrifice fly brought in Johnson to give the Mets a 6-3 lead. In the fourth, Strawberry doubled home Jefferies for another Met run and Magrane was replaced by reliever John Costello.

From the fifth inning to the seventh, Gooden shut down the Cardinals while the Mets didn't score against the St. Louis bullpen. In the eighth, Guerrero singled off Gooden to score Willie McGee. Mets' reliever Don Aase then retired three straight batters and Johnson homered off the Cards' Todd Worrell in the bottom half of the inning.

Aase allowed only a single in the top of the ninth in finishing off the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the new season.


  • The win gave the Mets a record of 9 wins and 1 loss in Opening Day games in the 1980s. The team had the same record in season openers in the 1970s.