April 4, 1994: Mets Win Opening Day Slugfest
|Date: April 4, 1994|
|Mets starter: Dwight Gooden|
|Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden|
|Key player(s): Jeff Kent, Dwight Gooden, Tuffy Rhodes|
|Key play: Kent's home run, Gooden's single|
The Mets and Cubs opened the season on a Monday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The teams staged an offensive show, combining for 20 runs and 30 hits. The Mets won the game, 12-8.
The Cubs got out to a 1-0 lead on a home run by Tuffy Rhodes leading off the first inning. The Mets scored twice in the third on back-to-back home runs by Jose Vizcaino and Todd Hundley off Chicago starter Mike Morgan. Rhodes then hit his second homer off Dwight Gooden in the bottom of the third to tie the game.
In the fourth, the Mets' hitters went to work on Morgan. Jeff Kent led off with a home run to give New York a 3-2 lead. David Segui followed with a walk and Jeromy Burnitz hit a double. Ryan Thompson followed with another double to score Segui and Burnitz and moved to third base on Gooden's sacrifice bunt. Ryan came home on Vizcaino's sacrifice fly for the Mets' fourth run of the inning. The Cubs came right back in the bottom half with three runs on doubles by Derrick May and Shawon Dunston to make it a 6-5 game in favor of the Mets.
Facing rookie Blaise Ilsley in the fifth, the Mets scored three more runs. Kevin McReynolds came home on a fielder's choice grounder and Gooden's single scored Segui and Burnitz. In the bottom of the inning, Rhodes hit his third homer of the game off Gooden and Ryne Sandberg scored on May's ground out for two Chicago runs. The Mets scored again off Ilsley in the sixth on Kent's single that plated Hundley to stretch their lead to 10-7.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Cubs had two runners on base with two out and Rhodes coming to the plate. Gooden was then replaced by reliever Eric Hillman, who walked Rhodes to load the bases for Chicago. Hillman followed up by getting Sandberg to line out to left fielder McReynolds for the final out of the inning.
After a scoreless seventh, the Mets got a run in the top of the eighth. Bobby Bonilla hit a one-out double off Jim Bullinger and went to third Kent's infield single. Segui followed with a sacrifice fly to score Bonilla. The Mets added another run in the top of the ninth when McReynolds singled home Vizcaino off Cubs' reliever Dan Plesac.
John Franco came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Mets. Franco recorded two outs before giving up a single to May that scored Sandberg. John then retired Sammy Sosa on a fly ball to right fielder Joe Orsulak to end the game. The Mets had a victory in a high-scoring season opener.