September 15, 1990: Viola and Tabler Lift Mets Over Phils
|Date: September 15, 1990|
|Mets starter: Frank Viola|
|Winning pitcher: Frank Viola|
|Key player(s): Frank Viola, Pat Tabler|
|Key play: Tabler’s two-run single|
The Mets faced the Phillies on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a series. Frank Viola pitched eight innings and Pat Tabler provided a key single in a 4-2 Mets win over Philadelphia.
After a scoreless first inning, Ricky Jordan singled to lead off the top of the second. Jordan advanced to third base on Darren Daulton’s single and a strikeout of Charlie Hayes ensued. Randy Ready drew a walk to load the bases and Terry Mulholland went down on strikes. Lenny Dykstra walked to force home Jordan for a 1-0 Phils lead. Viola retired Dickie Thon on a fly ball to center fielder Keith Miller for the inning’s third out. The Mets then failed to score after loading the bases against Mulholland in the bottom half.
Viola gave up only a single to Dale Murphy in the top of the third. Miller drew a walk to open the bottom of the inning. Dave Magadan hit a single and Tommy Herr walked to load the bases. Darryl Strawberry was retired on a pop-up to third baseman Charlie Hayes. Tabler came to bat and delivered a single that scored Miller and Magadan, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. On Pat’s hit, Herr moved to third base. Gregg Jefferies followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Herr with the third New York run. Mulholland then got Howard Johnson to hit a force play ground ball to Charlie Hayes that closed out the inning.
Viola and Mulholland each hurled scoreless fourth and fifth innings. Frank yielded just a single to Murphy in the top of the sixth and Johnson singled to open the bottom half. On a bunt, Charlie O'Brien reached via an error by Mulholland that allowed Johnson to advance to third base. Viola’s sacrifice bunt sent O’Brien to second and an intentional walk to Miller loaded the bases. Magadan was retired on a grounder to second baseman Ready. On the play, Johnson scored the Mets’ fourth run as first baseman Jordan threw to shortstop Thon for an out on Miller and an inning-ending double play.
Viola set down the side in order in the top of the seventh. Phillies’ reliever Joe Boever pitched a scoreless bottom half and Frank retired all three batters once again in the top of the eighth. Johnson singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. With O’Brien at the plate, Howard was caught stealing on catcher Daulton’s throw to Thon. Boever then fanned O’Brien and got Viola on a ground ball to Jordan for the inning’s final out.
To begin the top of the ninth, Murphy homered against Viola for the second Philadelphia run. Mets’ reliever John Franco retired Jordan on a grounder to third baseman Jefferies and threw a called third strike past Daulton. Charlie Hayes singled and Ready drew a walk. Franco then struck out pinch-hitter Von Hayes to end the game. The Mets had a victory to pull them to one-half game behind the division-leading Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League East.