August 4, 1985: Gooden Wins 11th in a Row

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Date: August 4, 1985
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 4
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Gary Carter
Key play: Carter’s two-run double

The Mets and Cubs faced each other on a Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The teams played the third of four games in an overlapping weekend series. Dwight Gooden set a new Mets seasonal record with his eleventh straight winning decision in the team’s 4-1 victory over Chicago.

Gooden and the Cubs’ Ray Fontenot each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. In the top of the third, Dwight hit a one-out double and moved to third base on a single by Wally Backman. Fontenot retired Tom Paciorek on a fly ball to right fielder Keith Moreland and yielded a single to Keith Hernandez that scored Gooden. Gary Carter followed with a double to bring home Backman and Hernandez, extending the Mets’ lead to 3-0. George Foster popped up to third baseman Ron Cey for the third out. Gooden then pitched his third consecutive perfect inning in the bottom half.

After a scoreless fourth inning, Fontenot shut down the Mets on one hit in the top of the fifth. The Cubs had runners on second and third with one out in the bottom half. A force play grounder by Jody Davis scored Cey for the first Chicago run. Gooden retired Larry Bowa on a fly ball to left fielder Foster that ended the inning. Fontenot got Ray Knight to hit into a double play for the last two outs of a scoreless top of the sixth. Gooden then set down the Cubs 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Ron Gardenhire drew a walk to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Gooden’s sacrifice bunt moved Gardenhire to second. Backman hit a single that brought home Gardenhire for the Mets’ fourth run. Following the hit, Wally was out at second trying to advance. Paciorek flied out to Moreland to end the inning. Gooden then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

After the Mets failed to score against Fontenot in the top of the eighth, the Cubs put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the inning. Gooden retired pinch-hitter Dave Lopes on a fly ball to center fielder Lenny Dykstra. Dwight followed up with an inning-ending strikeout of Ryne Sandberg. Chicago reliever Dave Gumpert then set down the Mets in order in the top of the ninth.

Gary Matthews walked to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Moreleand hit a grounder back to Gooden for a double play. Cey singled and Richie Hebner hit a fly ball to Dykstra for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory as Dr. K won his team record setting 11th consecutive decision of the season.

Notes

  • The previous Mets record for consecutive winning decisions in one year was 10, set by Tom Seaver in 1969. Interestingly, Seaver recorded his 300th career win on the same day that Gooden set the new team mark.