September 21, 1987: Hojo and Teufel Slug Cubs

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Date: September 21, 1987
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 7
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Howard Johnson, Tim Teufel
Key play: Johnson’s grand slam, Teufel’s home run

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Monday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the opener of a two-game series at Wrigley Field. Howard Johnson and Tim Teufel hit home runs in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to give the Mets a 7-1 win.

Len Dykstra hit a double against Cubs’ starter Les Lancaster to lead off the top of the first inning. Dykstra advanced to third base on Teufel’s ground out to third baseman Keith Moreland and scored on Keith Hernandez’s single to right field. Darryl Strawberry drew a walk and Kevin McReynolds went down on strikes. Lancaster retired Gary Carter on a fly ball to right fielder Andre Dawson to end the inning. For the Mets, Dwight Gooden pitched a perfect bottom half.

After scoreless second and third innings, Lancaster gave up only a double to Johnson in the top of the fourth. Leading off the bottom half, Rafael Palmeiro homered to tie the game at 1-1. Dawson and Leon Durham were retired on consecutive ground balls to first baseman Hernandez and a fly ball by Moreland was caught by right fielder Strawberry for the inning’s third out. Lancaster set down the side in order in the top of the fifth and Mike Brumley singled to open the bottom of the inning. Brumley stole second base and Damon Berryhill flied out to left fielder McReynolds. Gooden then recorded strikeouts of both Lancaster and Dave Martinez to finish off the inning.

Lancaster retired the Mets on three straight outfield fly balls in the top of the sixth. Ryne Sandberg got an infield single to begin the bottom half. Sandberg stole second base and moved to third on Palmeiro’s ground out to Hernandez. Dawson followed with a grounder to Hernandez on which Sandberg got caught in a rundown and was tagged out by catcher Carter. Gooden fanned Durham for the final out of the inning and Lancaster retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Dwight then set down all three Chicago batters in the bottom half.

Strawberry got a two-out single in the top of the eighth. Darryl stole second base and McReynolds was given an intentional walk. Carter followed with an infield single that loaded the bases and Lancaster was replaced on the mound by Cubs’ reliever Ed Lynch. Johnson greeted Lynch with a grand slam to give the Mets a 5-1 lead. Rafael Santana singled to left field and Lynch retired Gooden on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Sandberg. Dwight then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Dykstra doubled against Chicago’s Drew Hall to open the top of the ninth. Teufel followed with a homer for the sixth and seventh Mets’ runs. Hernandez and Strawberry were retired on outfield fly balls and Hall fanned McReynolds to close out the inning. Durham went down on strikes to begin the bottom half. Moreland was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Dykstra. Gooden then got Brumley to ground out to Santana and end the game. The Mets had a victory with some late slugging.