The Houston Astros' 1986 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League West, which they did for their third time in seven seasons.
|1986 Houston Astros|
|1986 NL West Champions|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Dick Wagner|
(Gene Elston, Milo Hamilton, Larry Dierker, Jerry Trupiano, Bill Worrell)
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Scott was the first pitcher in the National League and the second overall to throw a no-hitter to clinch a pennant. The first was New York Yankees pitcher Allie Reynolds, who accomplished the feat on September 18, 1951.
The 1986 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 57th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 15, 1986, at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, the home of the Astros. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 3-2.
|San Francisco Giants||83||79||0.512||13||46–35||37–44|
|San Diego Padres||74||88||0.457||22||43–38||31–50|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||73||89||0.451||23||46–35||27–54|
1986 National League Records
Sources:            
|1986 Houston Astros|
|1986 Game Log|
|Legend: = Win = Loss = Postponement|
Bold = Astros team member
Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
|WP: Mike Scott (1-0) LP: Dwight Gooden (0-1)|
|HR: NYM – None.; HOU – Glenn Davis (1)|
|WP: Bob Ojeda (1-0) LP: Nolan Ryan (0-1)|
|HR: NYM – None.; HOU – None.|
|WP: Jesse Orosco (1-0) LP: Dave Smith (0-1)|
|HR: HOU – Bill Doran (1); NYM – Darryl Strawberry (1), Lenny Dykstra (1)|
|WP: Mike Scott (2-0) LP: Sid Fernandez (0-1)|
|HR: HOU – Alan Ashby (1), Dickie Thon (1); NYM – None.|
|WP: Jesse Orosco (2-0) LP: Charlie Kerfeld (0-1)|
|HRs: HOU – None. NYM – Darryl Strawberry (2)|
|WP: Jesse Orosco (3-0) LP: Aurelio López (0-1)|
|HRs: NYM – None. HOU – Billy Hatcher (1)|
Game 6 was one for the ages, in more ways than one. The game went 16 innings with the Mets coming out on top 7-6. It was the highest scoring game of the series; in fact, the 16th inning alone featured more runs than three of the previous five games had in their entirety.
The Astrodome hosted what some consider to be one of the greatest games of all time that October and it will forever be remembered.
The big story of Game 6 was that it was most nearly a must-win for both teams. The Astros obviously had to have it because they were facing elimination. Even though they were up 3-2 in the series, the Mets regarded it as a must-win because they were scheduled to face Mike Scott again in Game 7. Scott had given up a grand total of 1 run in his first two starts of the series, and had dominated the Mets so completely that even the most optimistic Mets fans knew their chances of beating him in a potential Game 7 were small. The end result was one of the greatest games in baseball history.
The Astros broke through first, and for a low scoring series like this, they broke through big, scoring three runs off a possibly tired Bob Ojeda in the bottom of the first. He settled down after that, however, and the Astros wouldn't score again for the next 12 innings. Meanwhile, Astros starter Bob Knepper was brilliant from the very first pitch, and the game headed to the 9th still 3-0.
Just when it looked like the Mets would have to face the mighty Scott, however, their bats suddenly came to life. After pitching almost perfectly for the first eight innings, Knepper clearly tired in the 9th. He allowed three hits and recorded only one out, and left with the Astros clinging to a 3-2 lead. The decision by Lanier not to bring in Smith to start the inning was talked about for years to come. Smith was their closer, but had blown a save earlier in the series. When Smith finally did appear, he was ineffective, walking two batters to load the bases and then allowing the tying run to score on a sacrifice fly by Ray Knight. In a matter of minutes, the previously raucous crowd of 45,718 had been almost completely silenced and extra innings had soon begun.
In the 14th, the Mets made their first bid to win. After Gary Carter opened with a single, a walk to Darryl Strawberry put two runners on with nobody out. After Knight forced Carter at third, Wally Backman drove a single to right. When Kevin Bass' throw to the plate sailed high over Alan Ashby's head to the screen, Strawberry scored. It looked like the end for the Astros, as Orosco came in to close them down.
With one out in the bottom of the 14th and the Houston fans with their heads in their hands, Billy Hatcher shocked everyone with a line drive home run off the left field foul pole. It was the first earned run allowed by the Mets bullpen in the entire series. Hatcher went 3 for 7 in the game, and his homer meant the Astros would be kept alive for at least one more inning. Both teams failed to score in the 15th, and the game went to the 16th inning, the most innings in playoff history at that time.
The 16th inning would be the deciding factor, and it was not an easy 16th for either pitching staff. The Mets appeared to take control of the game once again, this time coming up with 3 runs in the top half of the inning. The rally began with Strawberry receiving a gift double when Billy Hatcher and Bill Doran misplayed his towering fly ball with one out. When Knight followed with a single to right, a poor throw to the plate by Kevin Bass allowed the tiebreaking run to score, just as it had in the 14th. A walk, two wild pitches, and a single by Lenny Dykstra brought in two more runs, putting the Mets up 7-4. This sent some of the Houston faithful for the exits; those who stayed, however, almost witnessed the unthinkable.
Orosco struck out Craig Reynolds to open the inning, but a walk and two singles later, Houston had a run in and the tying run on base. Orosco induced Denny Walling to hit into a force play at second for the second out, but Glenn Davis singled home another run, bringing the Astros within a run. People everywhere were quiet as they watched Orosco face right fielder Kevin Bass with two outs and the tying run on second, and the winning run on first.
It was all up to Bass to drive in a run and tie the game. Orosco threw Bass six straight sliders; when Bass swung and missed the last of them, the epic series was over. Orosco was awarded the victory, marking the first time in postseason history a reliever won three games in a series. It would be a long winter for the Astros, but for the Mets, an even bigger trial awaited them. After taking two days off to recover from the exhausting series against Houston, the Mets began a legendary World Series against the Boston Red Sox, a series in which they would pull off one of the greatest comebacks of all time.
The Mets had won the series with a .189 batting average, the lowest average recorded by a winning team in a postseason series. Their pitching had been the key.
|AAA||Tucson Toros||Pacific Coast League||Carlos Alfonso|
|AA||Columbus Astros||Southern League||Dave Cripe, Chuck Taylor and Gary Tuck|
|A||Osceola Astros||Florida State League||Tom Wiedenbauer|
|A||Asheville Tourists||South Atlantic League||Ken Bolek|
|A-Short Season||Auburn Astros||New York–Penn League||Keith Bodie|
|Rookie||GCL Astros||Gulf Coast League||Julio Linares|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Columbus
1986 MLB season by team
|League pennants (2)|
|Division titles (9)|
|Wild card titles (3)|