(c) Houston Astros
Ryan Handcuffs Mets for 100th victory as Astro
by Ivy McLemore, Houston Post
July 9, 1988 - Of the 100 victories Nolan Ryan has earned in a Houston uniform, few could match the significance of his most recent achievement.
Ryan reached another milestone in his marvelous career Saturday. He joined Cy Young as the only pitchers to win 100 games for two different teams and 100 games in each league in a 6-3 victory over the New York Mets.
"I think it kind of goes along with longevity," said Ryan, who was winless in his previous seven starts. "After you go through a spell like I've been through, you're just glad to get it over with."
In addition to rewriting the record books once more, Ryan ended a personal seven-game losing streak against New York before an Astrodome crowd of 36,652 and a national television audience.
Now that Ryan has become the seventh pitcher to win 100 games for two different teams and the fifth pitcher to win 100 games in Houston franchise history, is the 300-victory plateau the next major obstacle for baseball's all-time leader to conquer?
"I really can't say," said Rayn, who ranks 28th on the all-time list with 267 career victories. "I'm taking each year as it comes along. I can't make any projections or predictions. I anticipate pitching next year, but I'll make that evaluation at the end of the season."
For the record, Ryan joined Pud Galvin, John Clarkson, Bob Caruthers, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Lefty Grove, and Young as the only pitchers ever to win 100 games with two different clubs. Ryan also won 138 games with the California Angels from 1972-79.
Joe Niekro, Larry Dierker, J.R. Richard and Don Wilson also won 100 games in a Houston uniform.
Ryan already had joined Young, Jim Bunning, Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins as the only pitchers to win 100 games in each league.
Ryan, 6-7, scattered eight hits and allowed all three New York runs over 7 1/3 innings. Juan Agosto secured the final five outs in another strong relief appearance to earn his second save.
The victory extended the Astros' modest winning streak to two games.
Don't laugh. Losses to the Mets in the final two games of their current homestand would have saddled the Astros with their worst six-game mark at home since the opened the 1983season by losing their first six home games.
The Astros took an unlikely path to victory as they battled back from a three-run deficit against a Mets team whose 53-32 record entering the game represented the best mark in the majors.
The heart of the Astros' lineup proved for the second day in a row they have not lost the art of clutch hitting. Four players delievered two hits apiece in a victory that greatly enhanced Manager Hal Lanier's job security.
"Another win tomorrow would give us a lot of momentum going into the All-Star break," Lanier said. "We would have tobe pleased with the wins the last two days against a very strong ballclub like the Mets."
"I'm still very confident we can come back after the All-Star break, put things together and catch the Dodgers or whoeveris in first place."
In the second inning, back-to-back singles by Glenn Davis and Buddy Bell preceded Billy Hatcher's ground-rule double which hopped over the center-field fence. The Astros were able to squeeze only one run out of the inning, however, as Mets starter Sid Fernandez retired Rafael Ramirez on a foul pop before striking out Craig Biggio and Ryan to end the inning.
Fernandez encountered a control lapse in the third. Gerald Young opened the inning with a walk, stole second, took third on catcher Gary Carter's throwing error and scored on a wild pitch.
Young triggered a four-run spree in the fifth when he drew his second of three walks on the day and stole second for his 46th theft of the season. He has reached base five times in the series' first two games, a quality that had been lacking from their leadoff man in recent weeks.
"You see what can happen when he gets on base," Lanier said.
Rick Aguilera, 0-4, came unraveled while working his second inning in relief of Fernandez. He walked three more batters in the fifth and also yielded two-out, run-scoring singles to Davis, Bell, and Hatcher.
A bases-loaded walk to Bigigo forced in the inning's final run.
"We've been overdue to break out of it and we've done that the last two days." Ryan said of the team's recent slump. "You can see the attitude has changed here in the clubhouse because of it."
Another sluggish start by Ryan enabled the Mets to build a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
Wally Backman scored the game's first run when he walked with one out in the first, stole second and came home on Kevin McReynolds' single to center.
Control problems plagued Ryan again in the next inning when he walked leadoff hitter Howard Johnson, who took third on a single by Dave Magadan and scored on Mackey Sasser's grounder to second.
Fernandez collected his third hit against Ryan in seven days when he spanked a run-scoring single to left that accounted for the Mets' other run.
"Nolan waited a long time to get that 100th victory," Lanier said. "This was the first time in a few games we've scored some runs for him, which was a big plus."
Just one of many pluses for an Astros team which has had more than its share of minuses recently.
Game of 7/9/1988 -- New York at Houston
Courtesy of Retrosheet
New York AB R H RBI Houston AB R H RBI
Dykstra L, cf 3 0 1 0 Young G, cf 2 2 0 0
Walter G, p 0 0 0 0 Doran B, 2b 5 0 2 0
McDowell R, p 0 0 0 0 Bass K, rf 3 1 1 0
Carter G, ph 1 0 0 0 Davis G, 1b 4 2 2 1
Backman W, 2b 3 1 1 0 Bell B, 3b 4 1 2 1
McReynolds K, lf 4 0 2 1 Hatcher B, lf 4 0 2 2
Strawberry D, rf 4 0 0 0 Ramirez R, ss 3 0 0 0
Johnson H, 3b 3 1 1 0 Biggio C, c 3 0 0 1
Magadan D, 1b 4 1 2 0 Ryan N, p 3 0 0 0
Sasser M, c 3 0 0 1 Agosto J, p 1 0 0 0
Miller K, ph 1 0 0 0
Elster K, ss 4 0 0 0
Fernandez S, p 1 0 1 1
Aguilera R, p 1 0 0 0
Leach T, p 0 0 0 0
Wilson M, ph-cf 2 0 1 0
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
34 3 9 3 32 6 9 5
New York 120 000 000 -- 3
Houston 011 040 00x -- 6
New York IP H R ER BB SO
Fernandez S 3.0 4 2 2 2 2
Aguilera R (L) 1.2 3 4 4 4 1
Leach T 1.1 1 0 0 1 1
Walter G 1.1 1 0 0 1 1
McDowell R 0.2 0 0 0 0 0
Houston IP H R ER BB SO
Ryan N (W) 7.1 8 3 3 3 5
Agosto J (S) 1.2 1 0 0 0 0
Game winning RBI -- Bell B
E -- Sasser M
DP -- New York 1, Houston 1
LOB -- New York 7, Houston 10
2B -- Hatcher B, Bass K, Dykstra L, McReynolds K
3B -- Wilson M
SB -- Backman W 2, Young G 2, Dykstra L
CS -- Strawberry D
WP -- Fernandez S
T -- 2:52
A -- 36652
Play by Play
Game of Saturday, 7/9/1988 -- New York Mets at Houston Astros
Courtesy of Retrosheet
New York Houston
1. cf Len Dykstra cf Gerald Young
2. 2b Wally Backman 2b Bill Doran
3. lf Kevin McReynolds rf Kevin Bass
4. rf Darryl Strawberry 1b Glenn Davis
5. 3b Howard Johnson 3b Buddy Bell
6. 1b Dave Magadan lf Billy Hatcher
7. c Mackey Sasser ss Rafael Ramirez
8. ss Kevin Elster c Craig Biggio
9. p Sid Fernandez p Nolan Ryan
METS 1ST: L.Dykstra popped to B.Bell-3b in foul territory;
W.Backman walked; W.Backman stole second (it was the first
pitch); K.McReynolds singled to center field (it was the 1-2
pitch) [W.Backman scored]; D.Strawberry forced K.McReynolds
(B.Doran-2b to R.Ramirez-ss) [D.Strawberry to first];
D.Strawberry was caught stealing second (it was the 1-0 pitch)
(C.Biggio-c to R.Ramirez-ss); 1 R, 1 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Mets 1,
ASTROS 1ST: G.Young flied to L.Dykstra-cf; B.Doran singled to
center field (it was the 2-1 pitch); K.Bass grounded into a
double play (W.Backman-2b to K.Elster-ss to D.Magadan-1b)
[B.Doran out at second]; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Mets 1, Astros 0.
METS 2ND: H.Johnson walked; D.Magadan singled to left field (it
was the first pitch) [H.Johnson to third]; M.Sasser grounded out
(B.Doran-2b to G.Davis-1b) [H.Johnson scored, D.Magadan to
second]; K.Elster popped to C.Biggio-c in foul territory;
S.Fernandez singled to left field (it was the first pitch)
[D.Magadan scored]; L.Dykstra flied to G.Young-cf; 2 R, 2 H, 0
E, 1 LOB. Mets 3, Astros 0.
ASTROS 2ND: G.Davis singled to left field (it was the first
pitch); B.Bell singled to left field (it was the 3-2 pitch)
[G.Davis to third]; B.Hatcher hit a ground rule double to deep
centerfield (it was the 0-1 pitch) [G.Davis scored, B.Bell to
third]; R.Ramirez popped to M.Sasser-c in foul territory;
C.Biggio struck out; N.Ryan struck out; 1 R, 3 H, 0 E, 2 LOB.
Mets 3, Astros 1.
METS 3RD: W.Backman singled to left field (it was the first
pitch); K.McReynolds flied to B.Hatcher-lf; D.Strawberry flied
to G.Young-cf; W.Backman stole second (it was the 1-2 pitch);
H.Johnson struck out; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Mets 3, Astros 1.
ASTROS 3RD: G.Young walked; B.Doran flied to D.Strawberry-rf;
G.Young stole second (it was the 2-0 pitch) [G.Young to third
(error by M.Sasser-c)]; K.Bass walked; S.Fernandez threw a wild
pitch (it was the 0-1 pitch) [G.Young scored, K.Bass to second];
G.Davis flied to L.Dykstra-cf; B.Bell flied to K.McReynolds-lf;
1 R, 0 H, 1 E, 1 LOB. Mets 3, Astros 2.
METS 4TH: D.Magadan was called out on strikes; M.Sasser flied
to B.Hatcher-lf; K.Elster popped to C.Biggio-c in foul
territory; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Mets 3, Astros 2.
ASTROS 4TH: R.AGUILERA REPLACED S.FERNANDEZ (PITCHING);
B.Hatcher lined to K.McReynolds-lf; R.Ramirez lined to
L.Dykstra-cf; C.Biggio popped to K.Elster-ss in foul territory;
0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Mets 3, Astros 2.
METS 5TH: R.Aguilera struck out; L.Dykstra walked; L.Dykstra
stole second (it was the 0-1 pitch); W.Backman flied to
B.Hatcher-lf; K.McReynolds popped to B.Doran-2b; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E,
1 LOB. Mets 3, Astros 2.
ASTROS 5TH: N.Ryan struck out; G.Young walked; B.Doran popped
to H.Johnson-3b in foul territory; G.Young stole second (it was
the first pitch); K.Bass walked; G.Davis singled to center field
(it was the 1-1 pitch) [G.Young scored, K.Bass to second];
B.Bell singled to left field (it was the 1-1 pitch) [K.Bass
scored, G.Davis to second]; B.Hatcher singled to center field
(it was the first pitch) [G.Davis scored, B.Bell to third,
B.Hatcher to second (on throw)]; R.Ramirez was walked
intentionally; T.LEACH REPLACED R.AGUILERA (PITCHING); C.Biggio
walked [B.Bell scored, B.Hatcher to third, R.Ramirez to second];
N.Ryan was called out on strikes; 4 R, 3 H, 0 E, 3 LOB. Mets 3,
METS 6TH: D.Strawberry flied to G.Young-cf; H.Johnson was
called out on strikes; D.Magadan singled to right field (it was
the 1-0 pitch); M.Sasser struck out; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Mets
3, Astros 6.
ASTROS 6TH: G.Young grounded out (K.Elster-ss to D.Magadan-1b);
B.Doran lined to L.Dykstra-cf; K.Bass doubled to right field (it
was the 3-2 pitch); G.Davis was walked intentionally; B.Bell
flied to K.McReynolds-lf; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 2 LOB. Mets 3, Astros
METS 7TH: K.Elster popped to G.Davis-1b; M.WILSON BATTED FOR
T.LEACH; M.Wilson grounded out (B.Doran-2b to G.Davis-1b);
L.Dykstra doubled to right field (it was the 0-1 pitch);
W.Backman grounded out (R.Ramirez-ss to G.Davis-1b); 0 R, 1 H, 0
E, 1 LOB. Mets 3, Astros 6.
ASTROS 7TH: G.WALTER REPLACED L.DYKSTRA (PITCHING); M.WILSON
STAYED IN GAME (PLAYING CF); B.Hatcher struck out; R.Ramirez
flied to K.McReynolds-lf; C.Biggio flied to D.Strawberry-rf; 0
R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Mets 3, Astros 6.
METS 8TH: K.McReynolds doubled to right field (it was the 0-1
pitch); D.Strawberry popped to R.Ramirez-ss; H.Johnson singled
to third base (it was the 3-1 pitch); J.AGOSTO REPLACED N.RYAN
(PITCHING); D.Magadan grounded into a double play (B.Doran-2b to
R.Ramirez-ss to G.Davis-1b) [H.Johnson out at second]; 0 R, 2 H,
0 E, 1 LOB. Mets 3, Astros 6.
ASTROS 8TH: On a bunt J.Agosto popped to G.Walter-p; G.Young
walked; B.Doran singled to right field (it was the 2-2 pitch)
[G.Young to third]; R.MCDOWELL REPLACED G.WALTER (PITCHING);
K.Bass flied to K.McReynolds-lf; G.Davis grounded out
(K.Elster-ss to D.Magadan-1b); 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 2 LOB. Mets 3,
METS 9TH: K.MILLER BATTED FOR M.SASSER; K.Miller lined to
B.Hatcher-lf; K.Elster flied to K.Bass-rf; M.Wilson tripled to
center field (it was the 2-2 pitch); G.CARTER BATTED FOR
R.MCDOWELL; G.Carter grounded out (G.Davis-1b to J.Agosto-p); 0
R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Mets 3, Astros 6.
Final Totals R H E LOB
Mets 3 9 1 7
Astros 6 9 0 10