September 22, 1988: Mets Clinch NL East
|Date: September 22, 1988|
|Mets starter: Ron Darling|
|Winning pitcher: Ron Darling|
|Key player(s): Ron Darling|
|Key play: Carman's wild pitch, McReynolds' RBI single, Darling's strikeout of Parrish|
The Mets needed a win to clinch their second division title in three years. Ron Darling hurled a complete game 6-hitter for a 3-1 victory over the Phillies at Shea Stadium. The National League East championship returned to New York.
Over the first three innings, Darling faced the minimum nine batters. He then allowed a run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Von Hayes. It was all the scoring for the Phils.
The Mets' three runs came in three consecutive innings, starting in the fifth when Kevin Elster scored on Gregg Jefferies' ground out to tie the game. The Mets then took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on pitcher Don Carman's wild pitch that brought home Darryl Strawberry. In the seventh, Kevin McReynolds' two-out single scored Mookie Wilson for the final run.
In the eighth, the Phils had runners on first and third and one out. Darling got Ricky Jordan to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Ron finished it off in the ninth, striking out Lance Parrish for the final out. The Mets had their eighth win in a row and were kings of the NL East.