August 28, 1989: Viola Beats Hershiser in Cy Young Matchup

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Date: August 28, 1989
Mets starter: Frank Viola
Mets: 1
Dodgers: 0
Winning pitcher: Frank Viola
Key player(s): Frank Viola, Orel Hershiser, Howard Johnson
Key play: Johnson’s single in 3rd

The Mets and Dodgers began a three-game series on a Monday night in Los Angeles. Frank Viola faced Orel Hershiser in a unique pitching matchup of the previous year’s Cy Young Award winners. Viola hurled a three-hitter to outlast Hershiser for a 1-0 Mets victory.

The Mets failed to score despite singles by Juan Samuel and Howard Johnson in the top of the first inning. Viola set down the Dodgers in order in the bottom half. Hershiser pitched a perfect top of the second on two ground balls and a fly out to center fielder Jose Gonzalez. Viola struck out Eddie Murray and Mike Marshall to begin the latter half. Frank then gave up a single to Jeff Hamilton and fanned Dave Anderson to end the inning.

In the top of the third, Gregg Jefferies got a one-out single to left field. Samuel grounded out to shortstop Anderson, moving Jefferies to second base. Johnson followed with a single that scored Jefferies and gave the Mets a one-run lead. Darryl Strawberry flied out to Gonzalez for the third out of the inning. Viola then retired three straight Los Angeles batters after Mike Sciocia’s leadoff single in the bottom half.

Viola and Hershiser each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the eighth. Frank set down the Dodgers 1-2-3 four times and yielded only a single to Hamilton in the fifth. Hershiser faced the minimum nine batters in the middle innings and limited the Mets to only a single and a walk in the seventh. Orel then got through a scoreless eighth inning after leadoff singles by Viola and Jefferies.

Los Angeles reliever Ray Searage pitched a perfect top of the ninth. Viola retired Gonzalez on a ground ball to second baseman Jefferies to start the bottom of the inning. Frank then got Willie Randolph and Mickey Hatcher to fly out to right fielder Strawberry and end the game. The Mets had a series-opening win as Viola outdueled Hershiser in a battle of reigning Cy Young Award winners.

Notes

  • As a member of the Minnesota Twins, Viola was the American League Cy Young winner in 1988. Hershiser had won the award in the National League.