June 14, 1984: Darling's First Shutout

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Date: June 14, 1984
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 6
Cardinals: 0
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, Hubie Brooks, Jose Oquendo
Key play: Mets’ two-run doubles

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Thursday night in St. Louis. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. Ron Darling chalked up his first career shutout in a 6-0 Mets win over the Redbirds.

Darling and the Cards’ John Stuper each pitched two-hit scoreless ball from the first inning to the fifth. With one out in the top of the sixth, Wally Backman singled and advanced to third base on a single by Mookie Wilson. Keith Hernandez hit a double to drive home Backman and Wilson for a 2-0 Mets lead. Darryl Strawberry was given an intentional walk. Hubie Brooks followed with a double that scored Hernandez and Strawberry. On his own hit, Brooks moved to third base via a throw. Stuper was replaced on the mound by St. Louis reliever Dave Rucker, who issued a walk to pinch-hitter Jerry Martin. Pinch-hitter Mike Fitzgerald drew a walk to load the bases and went to third on Jose Oquendo’s double that brought home Brooks and Martin for a six-run New York lead. Darling hit a ground ball on which first baseman Andy Van Slyke threw to catcher Darrell Porter for an out at home on Fitzgerald. Rucker retired Backman on a fly ball to center fielder Willie McGee to finish off the inning. Darling then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Rucker yielded only a single to Hernandez in the top of the seventh. Darling hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Martin singled against Cardinals’ reliever Dave Von Ohlen to begin the top of the eighth. Fitzgerald hit a double play ground ball to shortstop Mike Ramsey. Oquendo grounded out to Ramsey to end the inning and Darling set down the Redbirds 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Von Ohlen then held the Mets to a single by Wilson in the top of the ninth.

Van Slyke hit a single to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. George Hendrick fouled out to third baseman Brooks and single by Porter ensued. Darling then got Ken Oberkfell to hit a grounder to shortstop Oquendo for a game-ending double play. The Mets had victory on Ron’s first shutout as a major leaguer.