September 26, 1985: Gooden's 8th Shutout
|Date: September 26, 1985|
|Mets starter: Dwight Gooden|
|Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden|
|Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Rafael Santana|
|Key play: Hernandez’s and Gooden’s singles, Santana’s double|
The Mets faced the Cubs on a Thursday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. Dwight Gooden set a new Mets record with his eighth shutout of the season in the team’s 3-0 win.
Mookie Wilson doubled against Cubs’ starter Johnny Abrego to lead off the top of the first inning. Wally Backman hit a single to advance Wilson to third base. With Keith Hernandez at bat, Backman got caught by Abrego’s pickoff throw and was tagged out by first baseman Leon Durham. Hernandez followed with a single to score Wilson for a 1-0 Mets lead. Gary Carter flied out to right fielder Keith Moreland and a single by Darryl Strawberry ensued. On the play, center fielder Bob Dernier made an error that sent Hernandez to third and Strawberry to second. Abrego retired Danny Heep on a ground ball to shortstop Shawon Dunston for the third out. Gooden then pitched a scoreless bottom half.
After scoreless second and third innings, Heep got a one-out single in the top of the fourth. Howard Johnson singled and moved to third base on Rafael Santana’s double that drove home Heep. Gooden hit a single to score Johnson with the Mets’ third run and Abrego was replaced on the mound by Chicago reliever Ron Meridith. Wilson hit a ground ball on which Meridith threw to catcher Jody Davis for an out at home on Santana. Backman grounded out to Dunston to finish off the inning and Gooden gave up only a single to Meridith in the bottom half. Meridith shut down the Mets in the top of the fifth. Dwight then hurled a perfect bottom of the inning.
Meridith retired the side on three consecutive infield ground balls in the top of the sixth. Davis singled to open the bottom half. Durham drew a walk and Ron Cey flied out to right fielder Strawberry. Gooden struck out both Billy Hatcher and pinch-hitter Richie Hebner to end the inning and Cubs’ reliever Steve Engel pitched a perfect top of the seventh. Dernier reached on second baseman Backman’s error to begin the bottom half. Dunston went down on strikes and Ryne Sandberg popped out to Backman. Gooden then got Moreland on a fly ball to center fielder Wilson to close out the inning.
Engel and Chicago reliever Jay Baller combined for a scoreless top of the eighth. Gooden shut down the Cubs in the bottom half and Baller set down the side in order in the top of the ninth. Hatcher was retired on a fly ball to Wilson to open the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Thad Bosley also flied out to Wilson and a single by Dernier ensued. Gooden then got Dunston to hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Johnson for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory on Dwight’s eighth shutout of the year, breaking the team record previously held by Jerry Koosman (1968) and Jon Matlack (1974.)