September 21, 1985: Gooden Homers in Rout Over Pirates

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Date: September 21, 1985
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 12
Pirates: 1
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Wally Backman
Key play: Gooden's home run in 1st

The Mets played the Pirates on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. A crowd of 49,931 watched as Dwight Gooden took the mound with the Mets in the middle of a pennant race. Dwight recorded his 22nd win of the season and hit his first major league home run as the Mets trounced Pittsburgh, 12-1.

The Pirates got a run in the top of the first inning against Gooden. Joe Orsulak reached on an error by center fielder Mookie Wilson and R. J. Reynolds followed with a single. A one-out walk to Sid Bream loaded the bases and Orsulak came home on Mike Brown's ground out. Gooden then struck out Denny Gonzalez to end the inning.

Wilson led off the bottom of the first with a walk from Pittsburgh starter Rick Rhoden. Mookie scored on a double by Wally Backman before Keith Hernandez drew a walk and Gary Carter singled to load the bases. With Darryl Strawberry at the plate, Rhoden uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Backman to come home and put the Mets ahead, 2-1. Hernandez scored on a single by Danny Heep and a two-out double by Rafael Santana brought home Carter. Gooden then clouted a three-run homer to raise the Mets' lead to 7-1. Rhoden's day was over quickly as he was replaced by reliever Larry McWilliams.

Gooden held the Pirates scoreless on two hits from the second inning to the fifth. With two out the the bottom of the fifth, Dwight singled off Pittsburgh's Mike Bielecki to score Howard Johnson for his fourth run batted in of the game. Gooden followed up by retiring the Bucs in order in the sixth and seventh on six consecutive outfield flies.

Backman and Hernandez got RBI singles to score Santana and Gooden, respectively, in the bottom of the seventh inning. In the eighth, Santana singled home Johnson and later scored the Mets' twelfth run on a single by Backman. For Wally, the hit was his fourth one of the game.

Reliever Tom Gorman shut down the Pirates in the top of the ninth to end the game. The Mets had an easy win as Gooden led the way both on the mound and at the plate. The victory also kept the Mets two games behind the first place St. Louis Cardinals in the National League East Division race.