October 2, 1988: Mets' 100th Win of Season

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Date: October 2, 1988
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 7
Cardinals: 5
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Ron Darling, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Tim Teufel
Key play: Strawberry’s and Hernandez’s HRs, Teufel’s two doubles, Darling’s triple

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the regular season finale in front of 42,099 fans on hand. The Mets recorded their 100th win of the year with a 7-5 triumph over St. Louis.

Mets’ starter Ron Darling pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Keith Hernandez singled to center field. Darryl Strawberry followed with a home run to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Cardinals’ starter Larry McWilliams retired Kevin McReynolds on a fly ball to left fielder John Morris that ended the inning. Denny Walling opened the top of the second with a double and Rod Booker flied out to center fielder Mookie Wilson. Darling then caught Luis Alicea’s line drive and threw to first baseman Hernandez for an inning-ending double play.

Tim Teufel hit a one-out double in the bottom of the second. Teufel moved to third base on Kevin Elster’s fly out and scored on a triple by Darling. An ensuing single by Wilson plated Ron with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. McWilliams got Gregg Jefferies on a grounder to shortstop Tim Jones for the third out. Darling shut down the Redbirds in the top of the third inning. McWilliams then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Darling held St. Louis to a single by Walling in a scoreless top of the fourth. In the bottom half, Teufel doubled with one out and went to third on Elster’s line drive to right fielder Tom Brunansky. A bunt single by Darling brought home Teufel for a 5-0 Mets lead. Wilson hit into an inning-ending force play and Darling set down the Cards 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Hernandez and Strawberry hit back-to-back solo homers off St. Louis reliever Steve Peters. McReynolds flied out to center fielder Willie McGee. Peters then retired Gary Carter on a fly ball to Brunansky for the third out.

In the top of the sixth inning, Darling again set down all three Redbird batters. Ron singled off Peters for his third hit of the game in a scoreless bottom half. The Cardinals loaded the bases with none out in the top of the seventh. Alicea singled to score Brunansky and Walling. An ensuing double by Tom Pagnozzi brought home Booker and Alicea to cut the Mets’ lead to 7-4. Darling was then replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Bob McClure.

McClure got pinch-hitter Ozzie Smith on a line drive to shortstop Elster. McGee singled to left field and Jones got a bunt single that plated Pagnozzi. Morris flied out to left fielder McReynolds. With Rick Aguilera pitching for the Mets, McGee and Jones advanced on a double steal. Aguilera then retired Brunansky on a pop-up to catcher Carter to end the inning.

Cards’ reliever John Costello pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh. Aguilera set down all three St. Louis batters in the top of the eighth and Costello retired the Mets in order in the bottom of the inning. Pagnozzi singled off Mets’ reliever Randy Myers to start the top of the ninth. Myers set down the next two batters and walked pinch-hitter Pedro Guerrero. Morris then hit a force play grounder to shortstop Howard Johnson for the final out of the game. The Mets had their 100th victory of the season.