October 12, 1988: Game Seven of the NLCS
|Date: October 12, 1988|
|Mets starter: Ron Darling|
|Winning pitcher: Orel Hershiser|
|Key player(s): Orel Hershiser|
|Key play: Mets' errors, Sax's two-run single|
The National League Championship Series came down to the final day. Ron Darling was opposed by Orel Hershiser in the winner-take-all game. The Dodgers scored six runs in the first two innings and Hershiser tossed a five-hit shutout for a 6-0 Los Angeles win. The Mets' quest for their second pennant in three years fell short.
Darling's night lasted only five batters into the second inning. The Dodgers had scored a first inning run before a five-run second (aided by two infield errors) did in the Mets. Hershiser reached base on Gregg Jefferies' miscue to make the score 2-0. Steve Sax followed with a two-run single and Darling was replaced by Dwight Gooden. Wally Backman then mishandled Mike Marshall's grounder for another run. John Shelby's sacrifice fly sent home the final run of the inning - and the game.
Hershiser took it the rest of the way. The eventual Most Valuable Player of the Series mowed down the Mets' hitters. His strikeout of Howard Johnson in the ninth ended the game and the hopes of the Mets' return to the World Series.