October 1, 1989: Mets Clinch Second Place
|Date: October 1, 1989|
|Mets starter: Sid Fernandez|
|Winning pitcher: Sid Fernandez|
|Key player(s): Kevin McReynolds, Howard Johnson, Sid Fernandez|
|Key play: McReynolds’ home run, Fernandez’s single|
The Mets faced the Pirates on a Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The teams played the final game of the regular season at Three Rivers Stadium. The Mets clinched second place in the National League Eastern Division with a 7-3 win over the Bucs.
Sid Fernandez and the Pirates’ Bob Patterson each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Howard Johnson drew a walk to lead off the top of the fourth. Kevin McReynolds followed with a two-run homer and Tim Teufel drew a walk. Mark Carreon reached on interference by catcher Dann Bilardello and a walk to Phil Lombardi loaded the bases. Patterson was replaced on the mound by Pittsburgh reliever Doug Bair, who got Kevin Elster to hit a ground ball to third baseman Jeff King for a double play on which Teufel came home. Fernandez hit a single to score Carreon for a 4-0 Mets lead. Bair retired Gregg Jefferies on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Jose Lind. Fernandez then shut down the Bucs in the bottom half.
Bair and Fernandez each hurled a scoreless fifth inning. Carreon got an infield single against Pirates’ reliever Stan Belinda to open the top of the sixth. Mark stole second base and advanced to third on a single by Lombardi. Elster was retired on a pop-up to Lind and a strikeout of Fernandez ensued. Jefferies singled to score Carreon with the Mets fifth run and Belinda fanned Keith Miller for the inning’s final out. Fernandez then set down the Bucs in order in the bottom half.
Johnson hit a single to begin the top of the seventh. Howard stole second base and went to third on McReynolds’ ground out to Lind. Teufel singled to plate Johnson and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Carreon went down on strikes and Lombardi singled to drive home Teufel with the Mets’ seventh run of the game. Belinda got Elster to fly out to left fielder Barry Bonds and end the inning. Fernandez then pitched a scoreless bottom half.
Despite two singles against Pittsburgh reliever Rick Reed, the Mets failed to score in the top of the eighth inning. Fernandez struck out Junior Ortiz to begin the bottom half. Bonds drew a walk and moved to third base on a double by Jay Bell. An ensuing double by Billy Hatcher scored Bonds and Bell to reduce the Mets’ lead to 7-2. Fernandez got Andy Van Slyke to pop out to second baseman Jefferies and retired R. J. Reynolds on an inning-ending grounder to shortstop Elster. Reed then shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth.
Mets’ reliever Julio Machado retired King on a fly ball to center fielder Miller to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Lind went down on strikes and pinch-hitter Albert Hall singled to center field. Hall went to third base on Benny Distefano’s pinch-hit single and scored the Bucs’ third run on a single by Bonds. Machado then got Bell to ground out to Elster and end the game. The Mets completed their season with a second place finish in the N. L. East Division.