July 6, 1984: Darling and Brooks Put Away Reds

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Date: July 6, 1984
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 1
Reds: 0
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Ron Darling, Hubie Brooks
Key play: Brooks’ home run

The Mets faced the Reds in a doubleheader on a Friday evening at Shea Stadium. The teams opened the twinbill with a two-hour and twelve-minute game. Ron Darling pitched a four-hit shutout and Hubie Brooks hit a home run in a 1-0 Mets win over Cincinnati.

Following a scoreless first inning, Dave Parker hit a single to lead off the top of the second. Parker was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Mike Fitzgerald to second baseman Wally Backman and a strikeout of Dave Concepcion ensued. Darling retired Wayne Krenchicki on a fly ball to left fielder George Foster for the inning’s third out. Foster and Brooks got back-to-back singles against Cincinnati starter Jeff Russell to begin the bottom half. Fitzgerald’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third base and Ron Gardenhire went down on strikes. Russell then got Darling to fly out to center fielder Eric Davis and end the inning.

Ron Oester singled to open the top of the third. Darling got Brad Gulden to fly out to center fielder Mookie Wilson and struck out Russell. Davis drew a walk and Duane Walker hit a line drive back to Darling for the final out of the inning. To begin the bottom half, Backman drew a walk and Wilson reached on a fielder’s choice ground ball. Keith Hernandez flied out to right fielder Parker and a ground out by Darryl Strawberry to second baseman Oester advanced the runners to second and third. Russell then got Foster on a grounder to shortstop Concepcion that closed out the inning.

Darling set down the Reds in order in the top of the fourth. Russell held the Mets to a single by Gardenhire in the bottom half and Krenchicki tripled to lead off the top of the fifth. Darling fanned the next three Cincinnati batters to end the inning and Russell hurled a scoreless bottom half. Davis was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the sixth. With Walker at bat, Davis was caught by Darling’s pickoff throw to first baseman Hernandez. Walker grounded out to Backman and a single by Cesar Cedeno followed. Cedeno was then caught stealing on Fitzgerald’s throw to shortstop Gardenhire for the inning’s final out.

Foster flied out to Parker to begin the bottom of the sixth. Brooks followed with a homer for the first run of the game. Fitzgerald grounded out to third baseman Krenchicki and a strikeout of Gardenhire ended the inning. Darling yielded only a walk to Krenchicki in the top of the seventh and reached on an error by first baseman Cedeno to lead off the bottom half. Backman’s sacrifice bunt moved Ron to second base and Wilson was struck out. Russell then got Hernandez to line out to Oester and finish off the inning.

Darling set down the Reds 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Cincinnati reliever John Franco hurled a scoreless bottom half. Walker went down on strikes to open the top of the ninth inning. Cedeno was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Strawberry. Darling then got Parker on a ground ball back to the mound to end the game. The Mets had begun the doubleheader with a victory.