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1988 Dodgers: NLCS Game 1 vs. Mets

The 1988 post-season began with a best of seven League Championship Series against the New York Mets.

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

25 years ago, the Dodgers hosted the Mets in their first post-season match up in the 1988 League Championship series. The Mets had won 100 games that year, 10 of those were against the Dodgers. The Dodgers won just one game against the Mets during the regular season.

The Dodgers had the hottest pitcher in baseball in Orel Hershiser, who finished the season with 59 consecutive scoreless innings. The Mets countered with ace Dwight Gooden.

The first inning would be like Hershiser's previous 59 as he retired the side without a run scoring, the Dodgers then got on the board first, with 2 out, Steve Sax, who had singled and stole second, he scored on a Mike Marshall single.

The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the seventh, Mike Scioscia doubled to lead off the inning and with one out, Scioscia scored on a Alfredo Griffin single to make it 2-0.

Hershiser continued his scoreless streak through eight innings but then Gregg Jefferies led off the ninth with a single and then with one out, Daryl Strawberry doubled home Jefferies to make it 2-1. The run snapped Hershiser's scoreless streak at 67 innings, and he was removed from the game.

Jay Howell came in and walked Kevin McReynolds. Then Howell struck out Howard Johnson for the second out. Gary Carter came to bat and he doubled home both Strawberry and McReynolds to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Sam McManis of the LA Times recounted the game-winner:

With the sellout crowd on its feet and roaring in anticipation, Howell threw Carter another curveball, low and away. Carter reached out and sent a blooper into shallow center field.

"My first reaction was that I was surprised he swung," Howell said. "Then, I was surprised he hit it. I just turned around and looked to see what type of jump John got on the ball. It would have taken a great play for John (Shelby) to catch the ball. And I've seen John make plays like that before."

This, however, was not one of those times. Shelby appeared to get an adequate jump on the ball and, diving headfirst, he appeared to have reached the ball in time. The ball, upon Shelby's impact with the grass, bounced in and out of his glove and trickled behind him.

"I had a good feeling I could get the ball," Shelby said. "That's why I dove."

Had Shelby not dived for the ball, the tying run, Strawberry, would have scored and McReynolds would have been held at third base. But McReynolds, observing Shelby's stab at the ball, did not hesitate, rounding third and heading for home plate.

Wally Backman grounded out but the damage was done.

Randy Myers, who had pitched the eighth inning, came back and retired the side in order in front of a stunned Dodger home crowd and the Mets took a 1-0 lead in the series.

Up next

The Dodgers will try to even the series sending Tim Belcher on the mound to face David Cone in Game 2.

Game 1 particulars

WP - Randy Myers (1-0): 6 up, 6 down

LP - Jay Howell (0-1): ⅔ IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Box score