New York Mets: Five great pitching performances in home opener through the years

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Citi Field (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Citi Field (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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1993: The Doctor is In

Dwight Gooden is a guy that inspires a lot of passionate opinions from Mets fans. It’s understandable. He came up and was an all-world pitcher and went on to have his well-documented problems. He was suspended on multiple occasions but still wasn’t a horrible pitcher. Even with the problems he had, Gooden managed a 157-85 record during his 11 years with the Mets. Imagine if he had never…that’s a discussion for another day.

53,127 packed into Shea Stadium on April 5, 1993 to see the Doc pitch against the Colorado Rockies. The two teams were scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning. Gooden helped himself with a single, followed by a Vince Coleman single that moved Gooden to third. Tony Fernandez grounded out to second base, bringing Gooden home for a 1-0 lead. The Mets added one in the bottom of the fifth on a Bobby Bonilla (yes that guy) home run and in the bottom of the sixth on an Eddie Murray single that drove in Vince Coleman.

Three runs were all that Dwight Gooden needed in this one. He didn’t strike guys out like he did in earlier days, but he did go the distance, scattering only four hits. He walked one and struck out four. The Mets only won 59 games that season during an era that became known as “The Worst Team Money Can Buy”. On this date, it was like old times with Gooden on the hill.

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Those were some terrific performances. It’s fascinating to note that even when the team was bad they have been very good on opening day. If only they were able to translate it through the season more often, the Mets wouldn’t be taking a back seat to the Yankees as much. Do you remember these performances? Can you think of other memorable ones? Sound off in the comments.