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Previous Game:
October 11, 1988
Mets 5, Dodgers 1
1988 League Championship Series Game 7
October 12, 1988
Dodgers 6, Mets 0
Next Game:
April 3, 1989
Mets 8, Cardinals 4
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Thru This Game


jj kennedy
February 22, 2001
got a stack of pizzas for this one. delicious. went to my sisters house it was packed. A very long night. The World Series tickets were in my hands. Oh what should have been. To this day I don't wanna talk about. So i'll leave it at that.

Bob Mercier
November 24, 2001
I must say this was indeed a great upset. I say that because the Mets should have been in the World Series in 1988 against the A's and not the Dodgers. It also seemed like when the dodgers got the 5 runs in the bottom of the 2nd that made this upset become official. That could have been a great World Series the A's and the Mets but it was not to be here in 1988. It seems like the Mets going 100-60 in the regular season was not official all the way. well what do I mean by that? I mean they did not win the World Series for the icing on the cake. It was that old saying of 100 wins means nothing without the title showed up in this year of 1988 for the Mets.

Joe Lanzisera
July 22, 2002
I remember that my Dad and I used to argue all the time over Ron Darling. I loved him and he hated him. I remember the double kick-in-the-gut that this game became when Ron blew up early. Watching the final seven innings was almost like having a root canal. I was almost relieved when HoJo struck out to end it. What a shame.

Jeff In Florida
December 31, 2004
I remember this game as a sad lesson in life. I was not quite 13 at the time and to me, the Mets were the best. They had won the series in 1986 and I believed that they only lost in 1987 because of injuries. This game taught me that the Mets (The team that I still love) were human and were capible of losing. Ron Darling (my second favorite Mets pitcher at the time) was in fact not a big game pitcher (remember his start in WS game 7) and I had the accept the fact the Orel was actually just a better pitcher. Sad game. Hard lesson. I held out hope even after falling behind 6-0. The Mets did have some explosive hitters. However, Orel's strike out of HOJO was a symbol of thigs to come. Johnson was a fastball hitter and he struck out on a fastball.

Cat in Albany
February 7, 2005
My dorm room at SUNY Buffalo was packed at the start. It was a very festive atmosphere and there was even talk of a World Series Road Trip to Shea.

After the Jeffries error in the bottom of the second, the dorm emptied out. Knowing the Mets and their propensity for crazy memorable games (think Atlanta game 6 in 1999), I stayed alone, in my dorm in Buffalo, watching every painful out as Orel mowed the Mutts down.

I remember thinking that watching this till the end would make it that much sweeter when the Mets came back the next year. Too bad it was going to be a decade before the Mutts would rise again.

Still, on the positive side, without Ron Darling's implosion and this loss, there would be no Gibson gimpy, walk-off, pinch-hit dinger in game 1 of the World Series. That is arguably in the top 5 hits in World Series history!

Professor G
June 10, 2005
Davey's managerial decision still sticks in my craw: If Doc Gooden - clearly our best pitcher that year - was OK to come in in relief, then he was healthy enough to start. He should've gotten the ball in this must-win against Hershiser.

Jeff In Florida
September 23, 2005
That's a manager's curse. Had Gooden been bombed in the game everyone would have said, why didn't they start Darling, a 17 game winner on regular rest? Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Peter P
September 11, 2005
The other comments reflect the absolute destruction of hope this game produced. I was so bummed I went out for a three-mile run after it was over. The next day I looked forward to the second Presidential debate, but my man, Dukakis, screwed himself with a lousy response to the very first question! I was devastated, two 'body blows' in two days.

Mike A.
December 17, 2007
Watched this game in my dorm during my freshman year at college, deep in the heart of Phillies country. Let's just say that nobody played any violins for me after the game, ha-ha!

This game to me, was the end of Davey Johnson's career with the Mets. Until then, he had kept a loose grip on the team, making sure they disciplined themselves on and off the field.

But this painful game showed that Davey's policy had run its course. Not just the brutal pitching, but the absolute lack of fundamentals in the field, as shown by the Jefferies error.

The Mets basically played as 9 separate individuals rather than 9 player team... and it was going to get worse in the future.

May 13, 2008
Without question, considering the magnitude of the game, the 2nd inning of this game was by far the worst inning in team history. It included a botched bunt, 2 errors, and 4 hits.

May 13, 2008
One more note... I just watched this game again (please don't ask why, I really have no idea!) and as painful as 2006 was to us, this game was BY FAR the worst loss in the history of the franchise.

Stu Baron
July 13, 2008
I just remember knowing the Stems were going to lose, seemingly before the game started, but certainly from the 2nd inning on, but for some reason forcing myself to watch the whole game, all the way to the bitter end, my eyes welling up with tears the whole time.

December 23, 2009
This 1988 NLCS game 7 is one you would like to forget for a Mets fan like me but it's hard to do that.

To me it wasn't that the Mets lost this game but how they lost. Only 24 hours before David Cone pitches a terrific game 6 to force game 7.

It's always said anything can happen in a game 7 no matter who the starters are and the game 6 winner a lot of times has that momentum and mental edge going into the 7th game. Not so on this night as the Mets came out so flat and uninspired that it seemed as the Dodgers won game 6 to force this game even though that was not the case.

I know Orel Hershiser was on the hill for the Dodgers but that was no excuse for the Mets to come out so flat. Even 20+ years later I still can't understand why they played with no emotion or spark with a trip to the World Series on the line. To me if a team should lose a game 7, I prefer it to come down to the final pitch just like in 2006 to St. Louis. This 1988 version was over before the first inning ended.

December 23, 2009
Another note I want to add about this 1988 NLCS game 7 is that it should have been at Shea Stadium. The Mets would have had this game at home if home field advantage which was not already determined even before spring training camps opened. It was alternated each year which division winner got home field advantage regardless of who had the most wins. It did not make sense.

In 1988 the Mets had way more wins than the Dodgers and were 10-1 against them in the regular season. The Mets for this should have had game 7 at home and maybe the NLCS results might have been a lot different and the Mets might have 3 World Championships right now.

The same thing could have happened in 1986 if the Mets did not win game 6 and had to face Mike Scott in the AstroDome for game 7.

It was not until 10 years later in 1998 that MLB office finally changed the rule that home field advantage goes to the team with the best record in their league, that was 10 years too late for the 1988 Mets.

Hot Foot
October 28, 2015
This game is the only time I've ever cried because of sports. I distinctly remember when Howard Johnson struck out to end the series- I started crying and I couldn't stop. I ran into my room and my dad knocked on my door and said something like "just wait 'till next year."

Well, the next year, in spring training, Darryl Strawberry punched Keith Hernandez on photo day and nothing was ever the same.

Irrationally, for many years, I harbored resentment against Howard Johnson for striking out to end the game. No matter how many home runs he hit or bases he stole, I would always think, "yeah, but he still struck out to end the '88 series." Even after he retired, I still defined him by this moment. He was never HoJo to me after this game, he was the guy who killed my dreams. It was only in the 2000s that I looked at the box score and was reminded that the score was 6-0.

Hot Foot
August 11, 2015
This game is the only time I've ever cried because of sports. I distinctly remember when Howard Johnson struck out to end the series- I started crying and I couldn't stop.

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