Jan 22, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Fans arrive at the 2011 NFC Championship game between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

This Date in Mets History: 1994 - Saberhagen Shuts Down Giants, 4-2, at Candlestick

The 1994 New York Mets are attempting to be better through 81 games than their 1993 counterparts (25-56), and they are doing so with a 36-45 record. Managed by Dallas Green, they are coming off a July 4th 2-1, 10-inning win at Candlestick Park entering the 2nd game of a 3-game series by the San Francisco Bay.

Starting the game for the Giants is John Burkett, the 6’2” right-hander out of Beaver High School in New Brighton, PA. Leading off for the Mets on this summer’s day is shortstop Jose Vizcaino. Burkett readies, sets and pitches. Vizcaino grounds out to 2nd base. Up next is catcher Todd Hundley. He hits a long fly ball to deep left field, but it is caught for the 2nd out. Coming up next, looking to extend the inning, is right fielder Joe Orsulak, who singles on a line drive to right field. Walking up to the plate next is the 3rd baseman for the day, Mr. Bobby Bonilla, who singles into center field to move Orsulak to 2nd.  Looking to cash in with 2 out is the young 2nd baseman for the Mets, Jeff Kent. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Kent singles to center field, scoring Orsulak for the 1st run of the game. 1st baseman Rico Brogna then flies out to end the inning.

On the mound for the Mets is Bret Saberhagen, the 6’1” right-hander out of Grover Cleveland HS in Reseda, CA. Bret’s Met career hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations, but on this day, he shines. Inning after inning, he has a 1-2-3, and he enters the 7th with a perfect game intact.

Meanwhile, things are rather quiet for the Mets till the 6th, when center fielder Ryan Thompson doubles with 2 out. Saberhagen walks to the plate, looking to advance the runner. Fortunately for the Mets, Burkett does so himself with a wild pitch, sending Thompson to 3rd. Now swinging away, Bret doubles deep to right-center, scoring Ryan for the 2nd run. Up walks Vizcaino, looking to tack on at least 1 more. He sends a fly ball to deep right-center that falls in and bounces over the wall for a ground-rule double, scoring Sabey for the 3rd run of the game. Hundley then unfortunately flies out to end the threat.

Onto the 7th, where Bret will attempt to do the unbelievable. No Met has ever thrown a no-hitter, let alone a perfect game. He readies, sets, winds and throws. Center fielder Darren Lewis knocks one to deep down the right field line. Fair its outta here, it’s…..a home run. The perfect game, no-hitter and shutout are gone with one swing. Oh, well. The Mets’ll probably never get one…

Bret brushes the hit off and gets the next 3 out to keep the Mets up by 2.

Llooking to get some insurance, the Orange and Blue unfortunately go down 1-2-3 in the top 0f the 8th. In the bottom half, Bret give up yet another lead-off home run, this time to 1st baseman Dave Martinez. And once again, Sabey gets the next 3 hitters out to protect the Mets’ lead.

Leading off the 9th, Fernando Vina pinch hits for Bret, and hits a single to center field. Vizcaino comes up and is given the bunt sign. He lays a beaut, and Vina heads down to 2nd. Jose is out at 1st. Hundley, having a terrible 0-5 day, strikes out. It’s up to Orsulak to provide insurance, and he does so with a single up the middle to plate Vina for the 4th run of the day. Bonilla then flies out to end the inning.

Southpaw and Brooklyn-born John Franco enters the 9th inning to lock down the win. Uncharacteristically, he notches his 19th save with a 1-2-3 inning, and the Mets win 4-2.

The player’s strike shuts down the season after only 113 games, never giving the Metsies a chance to be anything more or less than a mediocre team (55-58).

The 1994 New York Mets.

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Tags: 1994 New York Mets 1994 Player's Strike Bobby Bonilla Bret Saberhagen Converted Mets Fan Dallas Green Jeff Kent John Franco Jose Vizcaino Perfect Through 6 Rico Brogna Todd Hundley

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