September 7, 1986: Gooden Four-Hits Padres in DH Opener

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Date: September 7, 1986
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 7
Padres: 1
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Kevin Mitchell, Mookie Wilson
Key play: Mitchell’s three-run double

The Mets faced the Padres in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played a two-hour and twenty-four-minute opener of the twinbill. Dwight Gooden pitched a complete game four-hitter in a 7-1 Mets win over San Diego.

Gooden retired the side on three consecutive ground balls to second baseman Tim Teufel in the top of the first inning. Mookie Wilson drew a walk with one out in the bottom half. Wilson advanced to third base on Kevin Mitchell’s single and came home on a sacrifice fly by Gary Carter. Padres’ starter Dave LaPoint then issued a walk to Ray Knight and retired Lee Mazzilli on a grounder to third baseman Graig Nettles for the third out.

Gooden pitched a perfect top of the second. Teufel reached on second baseman Tim Flannery’s error to begin the bottom half. Kevin Elster drew a walk and Teufel stole third base. Gooden went down on strikes and Stan Jefferson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Wilson reached on an error by Nettles to drive home Teufel. Mitchell followed with a double that plated Elster, Jefferson and Wilson for a 5-0 Mets lead. On his own hit, Mitchell was out via a relay throw by shortstop Garry Templeton to Nettles. LaPoint then got Carter to fly out to center fielder Kevin McReynolds and end the inning.

Gooden yielded only a single to Templeton in the top of the third. LaPoint shut down the Mets in the bottom half and Dwight set down all three San Diego batters in the top of the fourth. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Jefferson singled for his first major league hit. Wilson followed with a double and Mitchell walked to load the bases. Carter drew a walk that forced home Jefferson. LaPoint was replaced on the mound by Padres’ reliever Bob Stoddard, who got Knight to pop out to first baseman Carmelo Martinez. Mazzilli was retired on a ground ball to Flannery. Teufel then grounded back to Stoddard to close out the inning.

Gooden hurled a scoreless top of the fifth. Stoddard set down the Mets in order in the bottom half and pinch-hitter Dane Iorg homered to lead off the top of the sixth. Gooden struck out the next three batters to finish off the inning and San Diego reliever Gene Walter pitched a perfect bottom half. Dwight set down the side 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Walter retired all three New York hitters in the bottom of the inning and Nettles drew a leadoff walk in the top of the eighth. Templeton was retired on a line drive to left fielder Wilson. Iorg reached on shortstop Elster’s error and Flannery flied out to Wilson. Tony Gwynn then lined back to Gooden for the third out of the inning.

Elster hit a single to begin the bottom of the eighth. A sacrifice bunt by Gooden advanced Elster to second base. Jefferson was retired on a pop-up to Flannery and a single by Wilson drove home Elster with the Mets’ seventh run. Walter got Mitchell on a fly ball to McReynolds for the inning’s final out and pinch-hitter Jerry Royster singled to open the top of the ninth. McReynolds flied out to right fielder Mitchell and a single by Martinez ensued. Gooden then fanned Terry Kennedy and retired Nettles on a force play grounder to Elster that ended the game. The Mets had a victory on Dwight’s four-hitter to start the doubleheader.