Voila , Viola Is Mets' Winner by a Shutout : Dodger Offense, Limited to Three Hits, Abandons Hershiser Again, 1-0

Times Staff Writer

With Cy Young winner facing Cy Young winner, it was the score you would expect.

With the New York Mets' offense backing Frank Viola, guess who had the one run.

With the Dodger offense backing Orel Hershiser, guess who didn't.

On two third-inning singles, the Mets defeated the Dodgers, 1-0, Monday in the first meeting between defending Cy Young winners in a regular-season game.

There were no extra-base hits. There was only one walk. The game took only 2 hours 16 minutes.

But whereas the Mets scored on third-inning singles by Gregg Jefferies and Howard Johnson, the Dodgers' biggest excitement was generated by Tom Lasorda's temper tantrum.

And while the Mets broke a five-game losing streak and kept pace with the National League East-leading Chicago Cubs, who they trail by 3 1/2 games, the Dodgers were shut out for the 14th time this season. That ties Philadelphia for the league lead.

Said Hershiser, who gave up eight singles: "I've allowed six runs in my last 30 innings (1.80 earned-run average) and I'm 0-2 during that time. That's all I can say."

Said Viola, who gave up three singles in his best performance since coming to New York from Minnesota on July 31: "Every time you pitch against a pitcher like Hershiser, it's an added incentive to do a good job. It was a lot of fun out there."

The most fun for the 38,820 fans at Dodger Stadium came in the seventh inning, on a one-out grounder by Mike Marshall that was bobbled by Jefferies, the second baseman. Marshall hustled down the first-base line, only to be called out by first-base umpire Gerry Davis on a close play. The replays showed that Jefferies throw beat Marshall. But neither Marshall, who jumped in Davis' face and waved his arms, or a charging Lasorda saw the replay.

After Marshall was pulled aside, Lasorda stood cheek-to-cheek with Davis behind first base, screaming and gesturing before finally stalking away. But he was not done yet.

First, he threw his gum in Davis' direction. Then, as he crossed the pitchers mound, he grabbed and flung the resin bag. At this point, Davis ejected him from the game, which only resulted in Lasorda running back to Davis and yelling some more. When he finally settled down enough to leave the field, Lasorda added one last zinger by throwing his cap.

It was Lasorda's third ejection, his first since June 17, and the maddest anyone has seen him in a couple of seasons.

To top it off, Lasorda admitted later that Davis made a good call.

"He made the right call, I saw that later," Lasorda said. "What confused me was those guys (Marshall, first base coach Manny Mota) arguing with him over at first base. I figured they had a better view of it than I did.

"I was wrong, I admit it."

Said Viola: "Tommy is a show in himself. I figured when the argument was over and he kicked the resin bag, he was just trying to mess up my concentration. I knew what he was doing. It just didn't work."

No indeed, as Viola retired the final eight batters after the tantrum. Facing a team with only a couple of players who had seen him before, he fooled the Dodgers into many first-pitch outs and easy grounders and popups.

"He didn't give us anything," Marshall said. "He's the kind of guy you would like to see a few times."

Said Dave Anderson: "He didn't give us any chances."

Hershiser entered with the league's best ERA (2.36), tied for the league lead in complete games (eight) and tied for third with 14 victories.

Viola was mostly confused. He was 1-3 with a 3.34 ERA in five starts for the Mets. During his starts the Mets had scored seven runs, an average of 1.4 per start.

But the Dodgers weren't close to scoring. They blew their first opportunity in the third after Mike Scioscia led off with a single to left. Hershiser bunted him to second. But then the next two batters couldn't get the ball out of the infield, with Jose Gonzalez popping to second and Willie Randolph grounding to third.

Two innings later they blew their best opportunity, after Jeff Hamilton led off with a bouncer to center field that Juan Samuel overran. The ball rolled nearly to the fence, and Hamilton ended up on second base on a single and an error.

On an ensuing hit and run by Anderson, his grounder was grabbed by first baseman Keith Hernandez. He threw to third baseman Howard Johnson, who tagged a sliding Hamilton. Anderson was stranded on first by fly outs from Scioscia and Hershiser.

Dodger Notes

Orel Hershiser and Frank Viola had almost identical pitch counts. Hershiser threw 94 pitches--67 strikes and 27 balls. Viola threw 89 pitches--64 strikes and 25 balls. . . ..Viola, who recorded his first National League complete game and shutout, also had his first professional hit, a leadoff single in the eight inning. But it only led to a baserunning blunder. After he moved to second on Gregg Jefferies' infield single, he was caught straying off second base and was picked off by catcher Mike Scioscia. . . . Jefferies, recovering from a slow early season, has hit in 11 consecutive games . . . This was the Dodgers fifth 1-0 loss this season.

Kirk Gibson will undergo exploratory knee surgery today at 7:30 a.m. at Centinela Hospital Medical Center. While packing up equipment at the Dodger clubhouse Monday, Gibson said, "I just hope their findings are clear-cut, so next spring you'll see a difference." . . . Infielder Mike Sharperson is being groomed to be the Dodgers' third catcher. He worked on squatting and catching during the recent trip, and spent early Monday afternoon blocking balls in the bullpen. "Fred Claire, Dodger vice president) decided we needed a third catcher who was a catcher," coach Joe Ferguson said. "In the past, it's always been a guy who you didn't really feel comfortable with, who was just filling in. We want somebody we can feel good about using there." Sharperson, who has not caught since Little League, said his biggest problem is sore legs. "All the crouching and getting up and crouching again, after my first couple of days I could barely walk," he said. The Dodgers' third catcher is Mickey Hatcher.


IP H R ER BB SO FRANK VIOLA 9 3 0 0 0 5 OREL HERSHISER 8 8 1 1 1 4

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