July 24, 1998: Reynoso Leads Shutout of Cubs

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Date: July 24, 1998
Mets starter: Armando Reynoso
Mets: 5
Cubs: 0
Winning pitcher: Armando Reynoso
Key player(s): Armando Reynoso, Dennis Cook, Brian McRae, John Olerud
Key play: Olerud’s RBI groundout, McRae’s double and RBI single

The Mets faced the Cubs in a doubleheader on a Friday afternoon. The teams played a three-hour and two-minute opener of the twinbill at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Armando Reynoso pitched eight scoreless innings as the Mets came away with a 5-0 win.

Brian McRae doubled against Cubs’ starter Geremi Gonzalez to lead off the top of the first. McRae went to third base on Lenny Harris’s single and scored on John Olerud’s ground out to second baseman Mickey Morandini. Todd Hundley flied out to right fielder Sammy Sosa to advance Harris to third. Gonzalez retired Todd Pratt on an inning-ending pop-up to first baseman Mark Grace. Reynoso then gave up only a single to Sosa in the bottom half.

Butch Huskey hit a leadoff single in the top of the second inning. Luis Lopez reached on fielder’s choice ground ball as Huskey moved to third base via an error by third baseman Jose Hernandez. A bunt single by Rey Ordonez loaded the bases (Huskey stayed at third) and Reynoso flied out to left fielder Henry Rodriguez. McRae singled to drive home Huskey and a sacrifice fly by Harris brought home Lopez for a 3-0 Mets lead. Gonzalez got Olerud to fly out to Rodriguez and end the inning. Reynoso then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Hundley doubled to open the top of the third. Todd moved to third base on Pratt’s fly out to Sosa and a walk to Huskey ensued. Lopez grounded out to Morandini to drive home Hundley with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Ordonez took a called third strike to close out the inning and Scott Servais got a one-out single in the bottom half. A sacrifice bunt by Gonzalez sent Servais to second and Lance Johnson drew a walk. Morandini followed with a single that loaded the bases. Reynoso then got Sosa to hit a force play grounder to shortstop Ordonez for the inning’s final out.

Reynoso singled against Gonzalez to begin the top of the fourth. McRae flied out to center fielder Johnson and Chicago reliever Dave Stevens issued a walk to Harris. Stevens retired Olerud on a pop-up to Hernandez and struck out Hundley to finish off the inning. Reynoso shut down the Cubs in the bottom half and Stevens surrendered only a pair of walks (one intentional) in the top of the fifth. Reynoso then set down all three Cubs hitters in the bottom of the inning.

McRae singled against Cubs’ reliever Tony Fossas to begin the top of the sixth. Brian moved to second base on Harris’s sacrifice bunt and stole third. Fossas fanned both Olerud and Hundley for the inning’s final outs and Reynoso hurled a perfect bottom half. With one out in the top of the seventh, Huskey got a single against Chicago’s Rodney Myers. Lopez singled and pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga followed with a force play grounder to second baseman Manny Alexander. Myers struck out Reynoso to end the inning. Armando then retired the Cubs 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Olerud hit a two-out double in the top of the eighth. Edgardo Alfonzo singled to score Olerud with the Mets’ fifth run. Pratt hit a single and Myers fanned Huskey for the third out of the inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Johnson singled to center field. Reynoso threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Glenallen Hill to finish off the inning. Chicago reliever Terry Adams then set down the side in order in the top of the ninth.

Mets’ reliever Dennis Cook got Sosa on a called third strike to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Grace drew a walk and pinch-hitter Kevin Orie was called out on strikes. Cook then struck out Jeff Blauser to end the game. The Mets had a shutout victory to begin the doubleheader.