Johnson – Gooden Duel
JOHNSON BATTLES GOODEN THROUGH 8; BONIFACIO CREATES LONE RUN
August 7 (Miami): Emilio Bonifacio pinch-hit for Josh Johnson in the 8th inning. He bunted for a single. He stole second. He advanced to third when Todd Hundley’s throw went into CF. Then he scored the game’s only run when Luis Castillo’s ground ball got past Bobby Bonilla. Dwight Gooden had earned a batter fate. He pitched brilliantly for 8 innings. He struck out the 1st batter he faced in each of the five innings. He gave up only 5 hits (two in the 8th), and surrendered only 1 walk against 8 strikeouts. His counterpart, Josh Johnson, was just as good – if not better. Johnson also gave up 5 hits and an intentional walk over 8 innings while fanning six. He, of course, gave up no runs.
There wasn’t a lot of offense in this game – but there were several critical moments.
Critical Moment #1: Second Inning. Rusty Staub comes up with two outs. The PB is in his favor and the random number is 35 – inside Staub’s 35.58 HR range. Alas, Johnson has an M1 HR rating. The random number is higher than 58. Staub cruises into second with a double and is stranded when HoJo flies to CF. Of note, Cliff Floyd, who usually starts in these situations, is inactive since he is also on the Marlins active roster. His range is 35.75. Norm and I couldn’t remember the random number, but it would have been close to a HR.
Critical Moment #2: Sixth Inning. After a Dykstra GO to 1st, Bonilla delivers a single, followed by a smash double from Hernandez. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Cast elects to intentionally walk Strawberry and load the bases. Hundley comes up. Norm decides not to PH with Piazza. Johnson controls the action and induces a 5-4-3 DP to end the inning.
Critical Moment #3: Sixth Inning. Josh Johnson leads off with a groundout to 1st. Castillo draws a walk and steals second. Juan Pierre bunts for a base hit, and reaches. Castillo moves to third. Cast elects not to steal second (Pierre had been gunned down earlier in the game) and lets Cabrera swing the bat. Gooden induces a 5-4-3 DP to end the inning.
Critical Moment #4: Eighth Inning. Jeff Conine grounds out 2-3 to start the inning. Bonifacio PHs for Charles Johnson and bunts his way on. He attempts to steal second and is safe, but the throw scoots into CF and Bonifacio takes third. Sheffield is called on to hit for Josh Johnson. The infield comes in, but Sheffield strikes out. With two outs, Castillo comes up and draws a CD. It goes to Bonilla (CD: 2) and the random draw is 41. The ball scoots past Bonilla for a base hit. One more number and it would have been a foul ball.
Steve Cishek gave up a leadoff single in the 9th, but the Marlins turned another 5-4-3 DP. Piazza PH for Hundley and went 4-3 to end the game.
NY Mets 000 000 000 0 6 2
Miami 000 000 01X 1 5 1
WP: Johnson (7-5)
LP: Gooden (8-6)
SV: Cishek (3)
E: Bonilla, Hundley, Conine
DP: Miami 2, New York 1
CS: Strawberry, Pierre
SB: Reyes, Castillo, Bonifacio
MVP: Johnson, Gooden, Bonifacio
GG: Staub -1, J.Johnson +1, Bonilla -3, Conine -1, Hundley -2
Gooden 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 0 HR (L 8-6)
Johnson 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR (W 7-5