September 7, 1984: Gooden One-Hits Cubs

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Date: September 7, 1984
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 10
Cubs: 0
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, George Foster, Mookie Wilson
Key play: Foster's home run in 3rd, Moreland's single in 5th

The Cubs came to New York with a seven-game lead over the Mets in the National League East. Dwight Gooden was on the hill to start a crucial three-game series against Chicago. Dwight was right on his game, striking out eleven batters and limiting the Cubs to an infield single. The Mets won easily, 10-0.

The Mets scored immediately against Cubs' starter Dick Ruthven. Wally Backman led off the first inning with a triple and came home on a sacrifice fly by Mookie Wilson. In the third, the Mets added five more runs on Wilson's double that scored Mike Fitzgerald (with Backman also coming home on an error) and George Foster's three-run homer. After issuing a walk to Hubie Brooks, Ruthven was replaced on the mound by Warren Brusstar.

Gooden singled off Brusstar with one out in the fourth. Backman followed with a walk and Wilson singled to score Gooden. Hernandez then hit a ground ball to first base on which Backman was tagged out in a rundown. Still, the Mets had a comfortable 7-0 lead.

The Cubs were hitless through the first four innings against Dwight. Keith Moreland then led off the top of the fifth with a slow roller toward third base. Ray Knight picked up the ball, but was unable to get a grip on it and could not make a throw. The play was ruled a single for the first Chicago hit. Gooden then retired the next three Cub batters and got the side out in order in the sixth.

Keith Hernandez singled off reliever Rick Reuschel to score Backman with two out in the bottom of the sixth. Darryl Strawberry followed with a two-run homer. The Mets put two more runners on base before Reuschel got the final out of the inning.

Gooden then set down the Cubs with ease. He issued a walk in each of the last three innings, but allowed no other Chicago batter to reach base. Dwight completed his one-hit shutout by getting Tom Veryzer to ground out. The Mets had begun the series with a solid victory.