September 12, 1984: Gooden Sets Strikeout Record

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Date: September 12, 1984
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 2
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Hubie Brooks
Key play: Brooks’ home run, Gooden’s strikeout of Wynne

The Mets began a two-game series with the Pirates on a Wednesday night. Dwight Gooden took the mound with the Mets’ hopes of a division title fading away. Gooden struck out 16 Pittsburgh batters and set a new major league rookie strikeout record in a 2-0 Mets’ win.

Through the first four innings, Dwight had six strikeouts while giving up only two hits to the Pirates. In the bottom of the fourth, Keith Hernandez hit a single and Hubie Brooks homered to give Gooden and the Mets a two-run lead. Dr. K then struck out the side in order in the top of the fifth.

To begin the sixth, Pirate pitcher John Tudor stepped up to the plate to face Gooden. Dwight got Tudor on strikes, giving him ten strikeouts for the game and 245 for the season to tie Herb Score’s rookie record set in 1955. Gooden then got Marvelle Wynne on strikes for his 246th, passing Score for the all-time rookie strikeout record. Dwight struck out Wynne again for the final out of the eighth, bringing his game total to sixteen.

Gooden retired the Pirates in the ninth to finish off a five-hit shutout. The Mets had a victory to remember, despite the dwindling pennant hopes.

Notes

  • Aside from Gooden’s strikeout total, the number 16 proved extra significant in this game. It was also Dwight’s uniform number as well as his 16th win of the season. Furthermore, the Mets’ two runs were scored on Brooks’ 16th home run of the season.