October 8, 1988: Game Three of the NLCS

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Date: October 8, 1988
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 8
Dodgers: 4
Winning pitcher: Randy Myers
Key player(s): Wally Backman, Darryl Strawberry
Key play: Howell's ejection, Wilson's single

The Championship Series shifted to New York. The quest for the Series lead was postponed by rain and played one day later than scheduled. A five-run eighth inning vaulted the Mets to an 8-4 victory to put them one game up on the Dodgers.

Ron Darling started for the Mets, but struggled. He walked the first two Los Angeles hitters in the second inning, both of whom scored. The Dodgers then added another run in the third for a 3-0 lead.

By the end of the sixth inning, the Mets had come back to tie the game. Darryl Strawberry hit a double to score Mookie Wilson in the third to make it 3-1. Two more Mets runs came home in the sixth on RBI singles by Gary Carter and Wally Backman. It was all even.

After the Dodgers reclaimed the lead on a bases-loaded walk in the eighth, Jay Howell came in to relieve for Los Angeles. While Kevin McReynolds was batting, the Mets asked that Howell's glove be inspected. A foreign substance was found on the glove and Howell was ejected from the game.

The Mets then pounced on the Los Angeles bullpen. Backman doubled to bring home Howard Johnson to retie the game, then scored on Wilson's single to put the Mets in front, 5-4. A bases-loaded walk to Keith Hernandez and a two-run single by Strawberry capped the big inning for New York.

David Cone came in to pitch the ninth inning. He retired the Dodgers in order to put the game away.