May 3, 1988: Cone Shuts Out Braves

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Date: May 3, 1988
Mets starter: David Cone
Mets: 8
Braves: 0
Winning pitcher: David Cone
Key player(s): David Cone, Lee Mazzilli, Kevin Elster, Darryl Strawberry
Key play: Mazzilli’s single, Elster’s and Strawberry’s home runs

The Mets faced the Braves on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. David Cone pitched a shutout in an 8-0 Mets win over Atlanta.

Despite singles by Dion James and Dale Murphy, the Braves failed to score in the top of the first inning. Lenny Dykstra got a bunt single against Atlanta’s Pete Smith to lead off the bottom half. Tim Teufel flied out to right fielder Murphy and a walk to Keith Hernandez ensued. Darryl Strawberry drew a walk to load the bases and Lee Mazzilli singled to drive home Dykstra and Hernandez for a 2-0 Mets lead. Gary Carter popped out to shortstop Andres Thomas and a walk to Howard Johnson loaded the bases once again. Smith then struck out Kevin Elster to end the inning.

After scoreless second and third innings, Cone retired the side in order in the top of the fourth. David hit a double to begin the bottom half. Dykstra was called out on strikes and Teufel popped out to third baseman Ken Oberkfell. Hernandez singled to score Cone and increase the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Smith then retired Strawberry on a pop-up to first baseman Gerald Perry to close out the inning.

Cone gave up only a single to Oberkfell in the top of the fifth. Mazzilli doubled against Braves’ reliever Juan Eichelberger to open the bottom half. Carter was struck out and Johnson was retired on a pop-up to second baseman Ron Gant. Elster slugged a two-run homer for a 5-0 Mets lead and Cone grounded out to Gant to end the inning. David pitched a scoreless top of the sixth and Teufel reached on Thomas’s error with one out in the bottom half. Hernandez walked and Strawberry homered to extend the New York lead to eight runs. Eichelberger then got Mazzilli to fly out to center fielder James and retired Carter on a ground ball to Gant that finished off the inning.

Cone set down the Braves in order in the top of the seventh. Eichelberger yielded only a double to Johnson in the bottom half and David hurled a perfect top of the eighth. Atlanta reliever Jim Acker retired all three batters in the bottom of the inning and Murphy went down on strikes to lead off the top of the ninth. Ken Griffey grounded out to second baseman Teufel and a single by Perry followed. Cone then got pinch-hitter Albert Hall on a pop-up to first baseman Dave Magadan for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory on David’s shutout.