The 1986 National League Championship Series was a best-of-the seven Major League Baseball postseason series between the NL East champion New York Mets and NL West champion Houston Astros. It is the lone MLB playoff series in which the opponents were two "expansion" teams that had begun play in the same season (1962) and was won by the Mets, four games to two, culminating with their 7–6, 16-inning triumph at Houston in Game 6. New York then defeated the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 World Series, four games to three.
|1986 National League Championship Series|
|MVP||Mike Scott (Houston)|
|Umpires||Doug Harvey, Lee Weyer, Frank Pulli, Dutch Rennert, Joe West, Fred Brocklander|
|TV announcers||Keith Jackson and Tim McCarver|
|Radio||CBS (National) |
|Radio announcers||Brent Musburger and Johnny Bench (CBS) |
Bob Murphy and Gary Thorne (WHN)
After falling short of the NL East title in 1984 and 1985, the Mets, managed by Davey Johnson, captured first place in 1986 by posting a 108–54 record, 21 1⁄2 games ahead of the second-place rival Philadelphia Phillies. The title was the third in Mets' history and first since winning the 1973 NL pennant.
Meanwhile, Houston recorded a mark of 96–66 to capture the NL West title, clinching the crown when staff ace Mike Scott threw a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants, marking the first time any team had nailed down a division championship with a no-hitter. It was also the first time the Astros had won a division in six seasons. Houston was managed by Hal Lanier.
The Mets won seven of their 12 regular-season contests against the Astros, taking five of six at home and losing four of six in Houston, including a three-game sweep in July during which New York's Bob Ojeda, Ron Darling, Tim Teufel, and Rick Aguilera were arrested for a scuffle with off-duty cops working as bouncers. Home field advantage, from 1969 to 1993, alternated between division winners, regardless of record. The Mets were to have home field advantage for this series, as the Dodgers (the 1985 NL West Champions) had it the previous year, however, a regular season NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Houston Oilers made the Astrodome unavailable for October 12. Consequently, Games 1, 2, 6, and 7, were scheduled for the Astrodome to avoid conflicts.
New York won the series, 4–2.
|1||October 8||New York Mets – 0, Houston Astros – 1||Astrodome||2:56||44,131|
|2||October 9||New York Mets – 5, Houston Astros – 1||Astrodome||2:40||44,391|
|3||October 11||Houston Astros – 5, New York Mets – 6||Shea Stadium||2:55||55,052|
|4||October 12||Houston Astros – 3, New York Mets – 1||Shea Stadium||2:23||55,038|
|5||October 14||Houston Astros – 1, New York Mets – 2 (12 innings)||Shea Stadium||3:45||54,986|
|6||October 15||New York Mets – 7, Houston Astros – 6 (16 innings)||Astrodome||4:42||45,718|
|WP: Mike Scott (1–0) LP: Dwight Gooden (0–1)|
HOU: Glenn Davis (1)
Game 1 featured a pitching duel between eventual NLCS Most Valuable Player Mike Scott and Dwight Gooden. Scott allowed just five hits and walked one while striking out 14 in a complete-game effort as the host Astros prevailed 1–0. Gooden allowed one run in his seven innings, getting Scott to ground into a double play to end an Astros threat in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Houston first baseman Glenn Davis hit a long home run leading off the second inning, producing the game's lone run. Scott struck out Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez to escape a jam in the top of the eighth. With one out in the top of the ninth, Darryl Strawberry singled, stole second and reached third on a Mookie Wilson groundout. However, Scott struck out Ray Knight to end it.
|WP: Bob Ojeda (1–0) LP: Nolan Ryan (0–1)|
Game 2 saw the Mets knot the series at one game apiece as New York scored two runs in the fourth inning and then got three more in the fifth against Astros' starter Nolan Ryan en route to a 5–1 victory.
Lefty Bob Ojeda went the distance on a ten-hitter for the Mets, who were aided by an RBI double by Gary Carter and a sacrifice fly by Darryl Strawberry in the fourth inning. Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez combined for three RBIs in the fifth inning. The only Astros run came on a Phil Garner single in the seventh inning.
|WP: Jesse Orosco (1–0) LP: Dave Smith (0–1)|
HOU: Bill Doran (1)
NYM: Darryl Strawberry (1), Lenny Dykstra (1)
Game 3 was a back-and-forth contest won by the Mets when Lenny Dykstra hit a two-run, walk-off homer against Astros' reliever Dave Smith in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving New York a 6–5 victory and 2–1 series lead on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium.
Darling then threw three scoreless frames and the Mets came back by scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth as Darryl Strawberry's three-run homer off Houston starter Bob Knepper tied the game 4–4.
However, the Astros struck back against reliever Rick Aguilera in the top of the seventh as a throwing error by Ray Knight led to an unearned run that came home when Denny Walling's fielder's choice plated Doran for a 5–4 lead. It was the only error committed by the Mets in the series.
With the Astros still leading in the bottom of the ninth, closer Smith allowed a lead-off bunt single to Wally Backman, who appeared to have run out of the first-base line to avoid the tag of first baseman Glenn Davis, but was called safe by umpire Dutch Rennert despite an argument from Houston manager Hal Lanier. Backman advanced to second on a passed ball, and Danny Heep then flew out to the centerfield for the inning's first out. The next batter was Dykstra, who won it for New York by lacing a Smith pitch over the right-field fence for a two-run homer.
|WP: Mike Scott (2–0) LP: Sid Fernandez (0–1)|
HOU: Alan Ashby (1), Dickie Thon (1)
Astros' ace Mike Scott, pitching on three days rest, was dominant once again in Game 4. The right-hander went the distance on a three-hitter to earn his second victory of the series in Houston's 3–1 triumph.
|WP: Jesse Orosco (2–0) LP: Charlie Kerfeld (0–1)|
NYM: Darryl Strawberry (2)
After rain postponed Game 5 to a noon start on October 14, the Mets took a 3–2 series lead as Gary Carter's single off Charlie Kerfeld in the bottom of the 12th scored Wally Backman with the winning run for a 2–1 victory.
Game 5 was a pitching duel between Dwight Gooden and Nolan Ryan as Gooden allowed just one run in 10 innings with Ryan also surrendering a single run on two hits while striking out 12 in nine innings.
With no score in the top of the second, Gooden surrendered consecutive singles to Kevin Bass and José Cruz, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. He then caught Alan Ashby looking on a full count, and induced Craig Reynolds to ground into a double play to escape the jam. However, Reynolds appeared to clearly beat out a double-play ball, thanks to a slow pivot by shortstop Rafael Santana. First base umpire Fred Brocklander called Reynolds out, negating a run from Kevin Bass. Brocklander ruled that Reynolds' foot was above the bag and not on it when Santana's relay arrived to Keith Hernandez.
Surrounded by reporters after the game the umpire Brocklander said "I saw the replay, I go with my call. It was a bang-bang play, as close to a tie as you'll get."
Reynolds criticized Brocklander's response, saying, "If he said he saw the replay, then all I can say is that he missed it twice."
Said Astros manager Hal Lanier: "If it goes our way, we would have won in nine."
Hernandez would reveal in 2011 that he had stepped off the bag as the first baseman in that play. Hernandez would say, "[Reynolds] clearly beat it, but I cheated and we got the call." Had Reynolds correctly been called safe, Bass would have scored from third and the Astros would have taken an early 1–0 lead.
The Astros eventually did take 1–0 lead in the fifth when Ashby doubled, took third on a single by Reynolds, and then scored on Bill Doran's ground-out. However, the Mets came right back and tied it in the bottom half when Darryl Strawberry took Ryan deep for the Mets' first hit of the game and his second homer of the series.
The Astros had a runner reach second base in the eighth and tenth innings. However, in the eighth, Gooden got Denny Walling to fly out to Mookie Wilson in left field, where Wilson doubled off Doran from second base to end the inning. In the 10th inning, Gooden gave up a single to pinch hitter Terry Puhl, who then stole second base, and walked Doran. He got Billy Hatcher to fly out to right field to end the inning with no damage done.
The game stayed tied until the 12th when with one out Backman got an infield single off Kerfeld. Backman then took second on Kerfeld's errant throw on a pick-off attempt. Houston manager Lanier opted to intentionally walk Hernandez and pitch to Carter, who had been just 1-for-21 in the series, but the catcher came through, lashing a single to center to give the Mets the win and a one-game lead as the series shifted back to Houston.
Jesse Orosco again earned the win for New York by hurling two perfect innings.
|WP: Jesse Orosco (3–0) LP: Aurelio López (0–1)|
HOU: Billy Hatcher (1)
In one of the most famous games in baseball history, the Mets defeated Houston at the Astrodome 7–6 in 16 innings as Jesse Orosco struck out Kevin Bass on a curveball for the final out with runners at first and second and New York advanced to its third World Series in franchise history.
Houston took a 3–0 lead in the first inning against Bob Ojeda with an RBI double by Phil Garner, plus RBI singles from Glenn Davis and Jose Cruz, giving Astros' starter Bob Knepper an early advantage. They were unable to add more runs as Bass was thrown out at third base following Alan Ashby's botched attempt to lay down a suicide-squeeze bunt and then Ashby lined out to shortstop to end the inning.
That lead held up for most of the game as Knepper was dominant, allowing no runs through the first eight innings. Meanwhile, Ojeda allowed nothing more through his next four frames, after which Rick Aguilera tossed three scoreless innings.
This set the stage for a Mets' comeback in the top of the ninth that started when Lenny Dykstra tripled against Knepper to lead off. Mookie Wilson singled in Dykstra to cut it to 3–1 and then with one out, Keith Hernandez doubled to score Wilson and end Knepper's night as the southpaw was replaced by Dave Smith, who walked Gary Carter and Darryl Strawberry to load the bases. Ray Knight then hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Hernandez and tie the game before Danny Heep struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Roger McDowell then came in to pitch for New York and allowed just one hit through five scoreless innings. Meanwhile, Houston pitchers Smith and Larry Andersen held the Mets hitless until the top of the 14th when Carter singled, Strawberry walked, and with one out Wally Backman singled off Aurelio López to plate Strawberry with the go-ahead run as Bass' throw home sailed high. The Mets still had the bases loaded before Wilson struck out to end the threat.
The Mets were now three outs away from going to the World Series, but with one out in the bottom of the 14th, Billy Hatcher homered off the left-field foul pole against Orosco to tie the game 4–4.
However, in the top of the 16th, Strawberry doubled to lead off against López, followed by Knight's single that scored Strawberry to put the Mets ahead again. Jeff Calhoun then replaced López and threw two wild pitches, the second scoring Knight to put New York up by two. Dykstra then singled in Backman, who had walked, for a 7–4 Mets' advantage.
The Mets needed each of those three runs as Houston rallied once again when with one out, Davey Lopes drew a pinch-hit walk, followed by Bill Doran's single. Hatcher then singled in Lopes to make it 7–5, after which Denny Walling hit into a fielder's choice for the second out. Davis followed with a single to centerfield that landed in front of a charging Dykstra, that brought home Doran to cut it to 7–6. Now with the tying run in scoring position and the winning run at first base, would-be Game 7 starter Mike Scott looming in the dugout, and Orosco on a full count, Orosco fanned Bass to end the series and send the Mets to a World Series duel with the Boston Red Sox. It was their first pennant in 13 years.
Orosco pitched three innings for his third win of the series, marking the first time a reliever had ever won three games in a postseason series. The time of the game was 4 hours and 42 minutes and the 16 innings was the most that had ever been played in a postseason contest at that time. The Mets and Astros had also played a 15-inning contest that lasted 5 hours and 29 minutes during the regular season, which Houston won 9–8.
This was the last game in which the Astros wore their "tequila sunrise" uniform top, which the franchise introduced in 1975 and became one of the most iconic, if infamous, uniforms in MLB history.
|New York Mets||0||0||0||2||4||4||0||1||5||0||0||1||0||1||0||3||21||43||1|
|Total attendance: 299,316 Average attendance: 49,886|
Astros' pitcher Mike Scott was named the series' Most Valuable Player by going 2–0 with a 0.50 earned-run average, allowing just one earned run on eight hits and one walk in 18 innings. If there was a seventh game, Scott would have been the Astros starting pitcher. Also for Houston, Nolan Ryan went 0–1 with a 3.86 ERA, striking out 17 through 14 innings, and Bob Knepper posted an ERA of 3.52 with no decisions in his two starts. The Astros' bullpen allowed seven runs and took three of the losses in the series as Dave Smith (9.00 ERA), Charlie Kerfeld (8.10), and Aurelio López (2.25) dropped decisions.
For the Mets' pitching staff, lefty reliever Jesse Orosco went 3–0 with an ERA of 3.38 in the series, allowing three earned runs on five hits and two walks in eight innings. Ojeda notched New York's other victory and was 1–0 with a 2.57 ERA in his 14 innings of work. Dwight Gooden went 0–1 with an ERA of 1.06 in 17 innings and Ron Darling had no decisions with a 7.20 ERA with Sid Fernandez going 0–1 with a 4.50 ERA as they each made one start. Right-hander Roger McDowell allowed no earned runs and one hit in seven innings of relief work.
The Astros' offense saw Billy Hatcher bat .280 with three walks, a home run, and two RBI and three stolen bases for the series. Glenn Davis hit .269 with a home run and three RBI, Kevin Bass batted .292 with two doubles and four walks, and Bill Doran had a homer with three RBI. Houston hit .218 with five home runs in the six games.
For New York, Lenny Dykstra batted .304 with a of double, triple, home run, and three RBI. Keith Hernandez hit .269 with three RBI and Strawberry homered twice with five RBI to go with 12 strikeouts. The Mets batted .189 with three homers for the series.
The 1986 American League Championship Series was a back-and-forth battle between the Boston Red Sox and the California Angels for the right to advance to the 1986 World Series to face the winner of the 1986 National League Championship Series. The Red Sox came in with a 95–66 record and the AL East division title, while the Angels went 92–70 during the regular season to win the AL West.1997 National League Division Series
The 1997 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 1997 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, September 30, and ended on Friday, October 3, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:
(1) San Francisco Giants (Western Division champions, 90–72) vs. (4) Florida Marlins (Wild Card, 92–70): Marlins win series, 3–0.
(2) Houston Astros (Central Division champions, 84–78) vs. (3) Atlanta Braves (Eastern Division champions, 101–61): Braves win series, 3–0.The Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Marlins became the National League champions, and defeated the American League champion Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series.Bill Doran (second baseman)
William Donald Doran (born May 28, 1958) is a former second baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1982 to 1993 with the Houston Astros (drafted in 6th round of 1979), Cincinnati Reds, and Milwaukee Brewers. He was the bench coach for the Kansas City Royals from 2005 to 2007 and posted a 4-6 record as the Royals' interim manager to close the 2006 season. Doran rejoined the Cincinnati Reds on November 2, 2007, as the minor league infielding/baserunning coordinator. After previously serving as the minor league field coordinator, Doran moved into the role of special assistant to the general manager, player performance role for the Reds for the 2019 season.Billy Hatcher
William Augustus Hatcher (born October 4, 1960) is a former left and center fielder in Major League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers, and former first base coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Hatcher was most recently the third base coach for the Reds.Bob Ojeda
Robert Michael Ojeda (born December 17, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. Ojeda is best remembered as an anchor in the 1986 World Series Champion New York Mets starting rotation (along with Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling), and for being the lone survivor of a March 22, 1993 boating accident that killed fellow Cleveland Indians pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews. He is also a former pre- and post-game studio analyst for Mets broadcasts.Corey McPherrin
Corey B. McPherrin (born March 10, 1955), known professionally as Corey McPherrin, is the morning news anchor for WFLD-TV in Chicago.Dwight Gooden
Dwight Eugene "Doc" Gooden (born November 16, 1964), nicknamed "Dr. K", is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Gooden pitched from 1984 to 1994 and from 1996 to 2000 for the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In a career spanning 430 games, he pitched 2,800 2⁄3 innings and posted a win–loss record of 194–112, with a 3.51 earned run average (ERA), and 2,293 strikeouts.
Gooden made his MLB debut in 1984 for the Mets and quickly established himself as one of the league's most talented pitchers; as a 19-year-old rookie, he earned the first of four All-Star selections, won the National League (NL) Rookie of the Year Award, and led the league in strikeouts. In 1985, he won the NL Cy Young Award and achieved the pitching Triple Crown, compiling a 24–4 record and a league-leading 1.53 ERA, 268 strikeouts, and 16 complete games. The following season, he helped the Mets win the 1986 World Series. Gooden remained an effective pitcher in subsequent years, but his career was ultimately derailed by cocaine and alcohol addiction. After posting a losing record in each season from 1992 to 1994, Gooden was suspended for the 1995 season after a positive drug test while serving a prior suspension. As a member of the Yankees in 1996, Gooden pitched a no-hitter and helped the team on its path to a World Series championship. He pitched four additional years for as many teams, but never approached the success of his peak years with his Mets. In 2010, Gooden was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame.
Gooden's troubles with addiction continued after his retirement from baseball and resulted in several arrests. He was incarcerated for seven months in 2006 after violating the terms of his probation.Fred Brocklander
Frederick ("Fred") Brocklander (March 5, 1940 – August 13, 2009) was a Major League Baseball (MLB) umpire in the National League (NL) from 1979 to 1992. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, he umpired in the minor leagues for ten years. He was promoted to the National League during the 1979 umpire strike. He retired as an NL umpire in 1992. Throughout his National League career, he wore number 28.Glenn Davis (baseball)
Glenn Earl Davis (born March 28, 1961) is a former Major League Baseball first baseman. While a member of the Houston Astros in the late 1980s, he finished three times in the top ten in National League MVP balloting (1986, 1988, & 1989). He batted and threw right-handed.John Mizerock
John Joseph Mizerock (; born December 8, 1960 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania) is a former Major League Baseball backup catcher for the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves. He was the eighth overall pick in the 1979 Major League Baseball Draft. He later served as a coach for the Kansas City Royals and Philadelphia Phillies. He is currently the hitting coach for the Clearwater Threshers.Keith Jackson
Keith Max Jackson (October 18, 1928 – January 12, 2018) was an American sports commentator, journalist, author and radio personality, known for his career with ABC Sports (1966–2006). While he covered a variety of sports over his career, he is best known for his coverage of college football from 1952 until 2006, and his distinctive voice, "a throwback voice, deep and operatic. A voice that was to college football what Edward R. Murrow's was to war. It was the voice of ultimate authority in his profession."Larry Andersen
Larry Eugene Andersen (born May 6, 1953) is an American former relief pitcher in Major League Baseball and current radio color commentator for the Philadelphia Phillies. From 1975 through 1994, Andersen played for the Cleveland Indians (1975, 1977–1979), Seattle Mariners (1981–1982), Philadelphia Phillies (1983–1986, 1993–1994), Houston Astros (1986–1990), Boston Red Sox (1990), and San Diego Padres (1991–1992).Mike Scott (baseball)
Michael Warren Scott (born April 26, 1955) is an American former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball for the New York Mets and the Houston Astros. He won the National League Cy Young Award in 1986. Scott is part of a select group of pitchers that have thrown a no-hitter and struck out 300 batters in the same season.Mookie Wilson
William Hayward "Mookie" Wilson (born February 9, 1956) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and coach remembered as the Met who hit the ground ball that rolled through Bill Buckner's legs in the bottom of the 10th inning of game six of the 1986 World Series.A switch hitter with excellent speed, his positive attitude and hustle immediately endeared him to a New York Mets fan base with precious few stars to root for when he first came up in the early 1980s. He was enshrined in the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1996.New York Mets award winners and league leaders
This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the New York Mets professional baseball team.Ray Knight
Charles Ray Knight (born December 28, 1952) is an American former right-handed Major League Baseball corner infielder best remembered for his time with the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets. Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the tenth round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft, he is likely best remembered to Reds fans as the man who replaced Pete Rose at third base, whereas Mets fans remember Knight as the man who scored the winning run of game six of the 1986 World Series and the MVP of that series. He was most recently a studio analyst and occasional game analyst for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network's coverage of the Washington Nationals from 2007 to 2018.Roger McDowell
Roger Alan McDowell (born December 21, 1960) is an American former professional baseball right-handed relief pitcher who played in Major League Baseball from 1985 to 1996. He played for the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League and the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles of the American League. McDowell was a key component in the 1986 World Series champion New York Mets and was the winning pitcher in the deciding Game 7. His major league record of decisions was 70 wins and 70 losses. McDowell served as the Atlanta Braves pitching coach from 2006 to 2016. McDowell's family is of Scottish descent.Strat-O-Matic
Strat-O-Matic is a game company based in Glen Head, New York, that develops and publishes sports simulation games. It produces tabletop baseball, American football, basketball, and ice hockey simulations, as well as personal computer adaptations of each, but it is primarily known for its baseball game.Tim Teufel
Timothy Shawn Teufel (born July 7, 1958) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman. He is currently a New York Mets minor league instructor and club ambassador. Teufel was a member of the 1986 World Series champion New York Mets. Throughout his career, Teufel was also known for his batting stance, the "Teufel shuffle", in which he wiggled his buttocks back and forth before the pitcher's delivery.
|American League teams|
|National League teams|