May 22, 1988: Mets Defeat Dodgers for Three-Game Sweep

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Date: May 22, 1988
Mets starter: David Cone
Mets: 5
Dodgers: 2
Winning pitcher: David Cone
Key player(s): Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry
Key play: Hernandez’s run-scoring singles, Strawberry’s home run

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets completed a series sweep with a 5-2 win.

Mookie Wilson singled against Dodgers’ starter Fernando Valenzuela to lead off the top of the first inning. Wilson advanced to second base on Kevin Elster’s ground out and stole third. Keith Hernandez hit a single to score Wilson with the first run of the game. Darryl Strawberry followed with a two-run homer for a 3-0 Mets lead. Kevin McReynolds grounded out to shortstop Dave Anderson and a walk to Howard Johnson ensued. Valenzuela got Barry Lyons on a force play ground ball to Anderson that ended the inning. Mets’ starter David Cone then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Wally Backman singled to begin the top of the second. A sacrifice bunt by Cone moved Backman to second base and Wilson grounded out to third baseman Pedro Guerrero. Elster drew a walk and went to third on Hernandez’s single that brought home Backman. Strawberry singled to score Elster with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. On his own hit, Strawberry advanced to second as Hernandez moved on to third via an error by center fielder John Shelby. Valenzuela was replaced on the mound by Los Angeles reliever Tim Crews, who retired McReynolds on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Kirk Gibson. Cone then yielded only a single to Shelby in the bottom half.

Cone and Crews each pitched scoreless ball from the third inning to the fifth. Dodgers’ reliever Alejandro Pena set down the side in order in the top of the sixth. Cone struck out Gibson to open the bottom of the inning. David followed up by hitting Guerrero in the head with a pitch. In anger, Guerrero flung his bat in the vicinity of Cone and was ejected by home plate umpire John Kibler. Shelby hit a double to send Jeff Hamilton (pinch-running for Guerrero) to third base. A passed ball by catcher Lyons scored Hamilton and moved Shelby to third. Franklin Stubbs hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Shelby and a walk to Mike Scioscia ensued. With Anderson at bat, Scioscia was caught stealing on a Lyons’ throw to second baseman Backman for the inning’s final out.

Johnson hit a one-out single in the top of the seventh inning. Lyons fouled out to first baseman Stubbs and a stolen base by Johnson followed. Backman was given an intentional walk and Pena retired pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli on a pop-up to Anderson for the third out. Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell set down all three Los Angeles batters in the bottom half and the Dodgers’ Jay Howell pitched a perfect top of the eighth. McDowell then retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning.

Howell set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth. Shelby hit a single to begin the bottom half. Stubbs flied out to left fielder McReynolds and a force play grounder by Scioscia ensued. Anderson singled to move Scioscia to third base. McDowell then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Mike Marshall to end the game. The Mets had a victory and a three-game series sweep.