September 29, 1989: Cone Blanks Bucs for Sweep

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Date: September 29, 1989
Mets starter: David Cone
Mets: 7
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: David Cone
Key player(s): David Cone, Lou Thornton, Howard Johnson, Tom O'Malley
Key play: Johnson’s home run, O'Malley’s single

The Met and Pirates faced each other in a doubleheader on a Friday evening. After winning the opener of the twinbill at Three Rivers Stadium, the Mets aimed for a sweep in the nightcap. David Cone pitched a three-hit shutout in a 7-0 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Cone and the Bucs’ Jeff Robinson each hurled two scoreless innings to start the game. Leading off the top of the third, Mackey Sasser reached on an error by right fielder Albert Hall. Craig Shipley went down on strikes and Cone singled to advance Sasser to third base. Keith Miller grounded out to third baseman Bobby Bonilla to drive home Sasser with the first run of the game. Robinson fanned Lou Thornton to end the inning. Cone then retired all three Pirates hitters in the bottom half.

The Mets failed to score after loading the bases in the top of the fourth. Cone pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and Thornton singled with two outs in the top of the fifth. Lou stole second base and Dave Magadan drew a walk. Howard Johnson followed with a three-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Tim Teufel reached on Bonilla’s two-base error and went to third on a wild pitch. Mark Carreon singled to score Teufel with the fifth New York run. Robinson then retired Sasser on a line drive to second baseman Rafael Belliard to close out the inning.

Benny Distefano singled for the first hit against Cone to begin the bottom of the fifth. Mike LaValliere drew a walk and Belliard was struck out. Pinch-hitter R. J. Reynolds went down on strikes and Hall grounded out to shortstop Shipley to end the inning. Miller hit a two-out single against Pittsburgh reliever Rick Reed in the top of the sixth. Keith stole second base and went to third on a single by Thornton. Lou stole second and Magadan drew a walk to load the bases. Reed struck out Tom O'Malley to finish off the inning. Cone then set down the Bucs in order in the bottom half.

Reed held the Mets to a single by Sasser in the top of the seventh. Cone hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Miller singled with one out in the top of the eighth. Thornton hit a double and Magadan was walked intentionally to load the bases. O’Malley followed with a single to bring home Miller and Thornton with the Mets’ sixth and seventh runs of the game. Teufel flied out to center fielder Andy Van Slyke to advance Magadan to third. Reed got Carreon to hit an inning-ending force play grounder to shortstop Jay Bell. Cone then shut down the Pirates in the bottom half.

Pittsburgh reliever Dorn Taylor yielded only a double to Sasser in the top of the ninth inning. Bonilla got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Barry Bonds popped out to third baseman O’Malley and a bunt single by Distefano ensued. LaValliere flied out to left fielder Carreon. Cone then got pinch-hitter Billy Hatcher for his tenth strikeout to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory on David’s three-hitter and a sweep of the doubleheader.