1986 New York Mets season: Wikis

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1986 New York Mets
World Series Champions
Major league affiliations
Location
1986 information
Owner(s) Fred Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday, Jr.
General manager(s) Frank Cashen
Manager(s) Davey Johnson
Local television WOR-TV/SportsChannel New York
(Ralph Kiner, Steve Zabriskie, Tim McCarver, Fran Healy, Rusty Staub)
Local radio WHN
(Bob Murphy, Gary Thorne, Juan Alicea (SP))

The 1986 New York Mets season was the Mets 25th season in the National League. They began the season looking to equal or improve upon their 98–64 record from 1985 and to try to win the National League East Division. They finished the season with a 108–54 record, cruising to the division title. They went on to defeat the Houston Astros in six games in the NLCS and the American League champion Boston Red Sox in seven games in the World Series.

Contents

Background

Darryl Strawberry made his debut in 1983, followed by Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez and Lenny Dykstra in 1984. That was the year that the Mets hired Davey Johnson to manage the ballclub. The Mets would finish in 2nd-place for two years in a row.

In the 1985-86 offseason, general manager Frank Cashen brought in Tim Teufel, a right-handed hitting infielder from the Minnesota Twins and Bob Ojeda, a left-handed pitcher from the Boston Red Sox. The Mets added them to an existing veteran core including along with former MVPs George Foster and Keith Hernandez, veteran catcher Gary Carter and speedsters Wally Backman, and Mookie Wilson.

In their Spring Training, Davey Johnson said, to his players, that they were not only going to win but that they would dominate. That meant winning the division by double-digits.

Offseason

Regular season

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Season standings

NL East W L Pct. GB
New York Mets 108 54 .667 --
Philadelphia Phillies 86 75 .534 21.5
St. Louis Cardinals 79 82 .491 28.5
Montreal Expos 78 83 .484 29.5
Chicago Cubs 70 90 .438 37
Pittsburgh Pirates 64 98 .395 44

Notable transactions

Month by Month

April

The Mets would have a rocky start with a 2-3 record (including two extra-inning losses to the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies respectively). But when the Mets hosted the Phils in Shea Stadium, they would embark on an 11-game winning streak. Their toughest test in this stretch happened in St. Louis. On April 24, Howard Johnson hit a game-tying homer. A few games later, Wally Backman would make a series-saving double-play. The Mets would finish the month 20-4.

May

The Mets would continue dominating in May. On May 23, 1986, Mookie Wilson got 5 hits in one game versus the San Diego Padres. The turning point for the Mets season came on May 27 when third baseman Ray Knight brawled with Dodgers' pitcher Tom Niedenfuer. This gave the Mets a reputation for playing hard and fighting. Many other teams hated their curtain calls.

June

This month, the shining light came on June 10 against the Phillies when Tim Teufel hit a pinch-hit, game-winning grand slam.

July

On July 3 against Houston, Darryl Strawberry would hit a game-tying home run. But it would be Ray Knight who won the game with a homer of his own. Dwight Gooden's first half performance was good enough for him to earn the honor of being named starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game in the Astrodome. This game marked the end of a streak where the NL won 13 of the previous 14 games and served as foreshadowing for what would happen next. Later in the month, the Mets were swept by the Astros in convincing fashion (including two losses at the final at-bat). During this series, four Mets would get arrested in a popular nightclub in Houston. Their fortunes improved in a bizarre game in Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium on July 22. In the top of the ninth, Dave Parker dropped the ball that could have been the final out for the Reds, allowing the Mets to tie the game. In the bottom of the tenth, Eric Davis got to third and brawled with Ray Knight. Both men, along with Kevin Mitchell and Mario Soto, got ejected. Johnson was forced to alternate Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell in the outfield. In the bottom of the twelfth, Carl Willis bunted into a double-play. In the top of the fourteenth, Howard Johnson hit a home run to put the Mets on top.

August

Former MVP George Foster was released. Former Mets favorite Lee Mazzilli would return. Gary Carter would be injured. While he was gone, the Mets would win 8 of 11 games. The highlight came on August 27 in Jack Murphy Stadium against the Padres when Tim Flannery would hit one into the outfield. However, it was thrown to get the runner out and eventually Flannery.

September-October

In an exhibition game against the Red Sox, Gary Carter would hit a double to test out the Green Monster. When they got to Philadelphia, droves of Mets fans were there to see if they would clinch the NL East. However, they wouldn't win a game until September 17. That day, they faced Dennis Eckersley and the Chicago Cubs. With a flu-ridden Keith Hernandez, Dave Magadan would be the offensive source of the day. Hernandez would return in the 9th to get the final out. The champagne would be popped immediately while the fans invaded the field quickly. The Mets would win a team-record 108 games after defeating the Pirates.

Roster

1986 New York Mets
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Player stats

= Indicates team leader

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI SB
C Gary Carter 132 490 125 .255 24 105 1
1B Keith Hernandez 149 551 171 .310 13 83 2
2B Wally Backman 124 387 124 .320 1 27 13
3B Ray Knight 137 486 145 .298 11 76 2
SS Rafael Santana 139 394 86 .218 1 28 0
LF George Foster 72 233 53 .227 13 38 1
CF Len Dykstra 147 431 127 .295 8 45 31
RF Darryl Strawberry 136 475 123 .259 27 93 28

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI SB
Mookie Wilson 123 381 110 .289 9 45 25
Kevin Mitchell 108 328 91 .277 12 43 3
Tim Teufel 93 279 69 .247 4 31 1
Howard Johnson 88 220 54 .245 10 39 8
Danny Heep 86 195 55 .282 5 33 1
Ed Hearn 49 136 36 .265 4 10 0
Lee Mazzilli 39 58 16 .276 2 7 1
Kevin Elster 19 30 5 .167 0 0 0
Stan Jefferson 14 24 5 .208 1 3 0
John Gibbons 8 19 9 .474 1 1 0
Dave Magadan 10 18 8 .444 0 3 0
Barry Lyons 6 9 0 .000 0 2 0
Tim Corcoran 6 7 0 .000 0 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Ron Darling 34 237.0 15 6 2.81 184
Dwight Gooden 33 250.0 17 6 2.84 200
Sid Fernandez 33 204.1 16 6 3.52 200
Bob Ojeda 32 217.1 18 5 2.57 148
Rick Aguilera 28 141.2 10 7 3.88 104

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Bruce Berenyi 14 39.2 2 2 6.35 30
Randy Myers 10 10.2 0 0 4.22 13
John Mitchell 4 10.0 0 1 3.60 2
Terry Leach 6 6.2 0 0 2.70 4
Ed Lynch 1 1.2 0 0 0.00 1

Relief pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO SV
Roger McDowell 75 128.0 14 9 3.02 65 22
Jesse Orosco 58 81.0 8 6 2.33 62 21
Doug Sisk 41 70.2 4 2 3.06 31 1
Randy Niemann 31 35.2 2 3 3.79 18 0
Rick Anderson 15 49.2 2 1 2.72 21 1

NLCS

Game 1

October 8 (Astrodome, Houston, Texas)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Houston 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 1 7 1
WP: Mike Scott (1-0)  LP: Dwight Gooden (0-1)
HR: NYM – None.; HOUGlenn Davis (1)

Game 2

October 9 (Astrodome, Houston, Texas)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 5 10 0
Houston 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 10 2
WP: Bob Ojeda (1-0)  LP: Nolan Ryan (0-1)
HR: NYM – None.; HOU – None.

Game 3

October 11 (Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 5 8 1
New York 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 2 6 10 1
WP: Jesse Orosco (1-0)  LP: Dave Smith (0-1)
HR: HOUBill Doran (1); NYMDarryl Strawberry (1), Lenny Dykstra (1)

Game 4

October 12 (Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 4 1
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 0
WP: Mike Scott (2-0)  LP: Sid Fernandez (0-1)
HR: HOUAlan Ashby (1), Dickie Thon (1); NYM – None.

Game 5

October 14 (Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Houston 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 1
New York 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 0
WP: Jesse Orosco (2-0)  LP: Charlie Kerfeld (0-1)
HRs: HOU – None. NYMDarryl Strawberry (2)

Game 6

October 15 (Astrodome, Houston, Texas)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 7 11 0
Houston 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 6 11 1
WP: Jesse Orosco (3-0)  LP: Aurelio Lopez (0-1)
HRs: NYM – None. HOUBilly Hatcher (1)

World series

NL New York Mets (4) vs. AL Boston Red Sox (3)

Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
1 Red Sox – 1, Mets – 0 October 18 Shea Stadium (New York) 57,908 3:18
2 Red Sox – 9, Mets – 3 October 19 Shea Stadium (New York) 57,911 2:44
3 Mets – 7, Red Sox – 1 October 21 Fenway Park (Boston) 33,595 3:09
4 Mets – 6, Red Sox – 2 October 22 Fenway Park (Boston) 33,920 3:22
5 Mets – 2, Red Sox – 4 October 23 Fenway Park (Boston) 34,010 2:55
6 Red Sox – 5, Mets – 6 (10 inn.) October 25 Shea Stadium (New York) 57,908 3:18
7 Red Sox – 5, Mets – 8 October 27 Shea Stadium (New York) 57,911 2:44

Game Six

One of the most famous games in baseball history is Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets rallied in the bottom of the 8th inning of Game 6, tying the game on a Gary Carter sacrifice fly. Reliever Calvin Schiraldi had loaded the bases with no outs and had a 3-0 count on Carter, who swung away at the next pitch to hit the fly ball. In the ninth inning, after a walk and an error put two men on with nobody out, Howard Johnson was sent to the plate to sacrifice the winning run to third. It was then, however, that Mets manager Davey Johnson made his most criticized decision of the series. After Johnson failed in his first bunt attempt, Davey took the bunt off. Johnson ended up striking out, leaving runners at first and second with one out. Lee Mazzilli followed with a deep fly to left that would have won the game had the runner been at third. Lenny Dykstra then flied out for the third out, sending the game to extra innings.

In the top of the 10th inning, Dave Henderson homered to pull the Sox within three outs of a world championship, and Barrett singled in Wade Boggs to make it a 5-3 lead. When Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez were retired to start the bottom of the 10th, the championship seemed at hand. After Hernandez made the second out, he went to the Mets' locker room, took off his uniform, and watched the rest of the game on the clubhouse TV, thinking the game and the Series would be over soon

Then, Carter singled to left. Pinch-hitter Kevin Mitchell then singled to center and Shea Stadium started to get loud. Knight went down in the count 0-2 bringing the Mets to their last strike but he hit the next pitch into center field for a single that scored Carter and advanced Mitchell to third base, making the score 5-4 and bringing Shea back to life. Before his at-bat, Mitchell was on the phone in the locker room making plane reservations to fly home to San Diego, thinking the game would be over. He had already gotten out of his uniform and was in street clothes, and, when he was told he was batting, got off the phone and hurriedly got dressed.

The Red Sox replaced pitcher Calvin Schiraldi with Bob Stanley to face left fielder Mookie Wilson. Wilson got the count to 2-1 but fouled the fourth pitch away to bring the Mets to their last strike again. He stayed alive fouling off two more Stanley pitches. Then, the seventh pitch sailed towards Wilson's knees sending him to the ground but the ball hit nothing and went straight to the backstop. Mitchell scored uncontested to tie the game and Shea Stadium erupted while Knight advanced to second base. The Red Sox were shocked to have blown the lead with the game all but over, much as the Angels had done to them in the ALCS almost two weeks prior.

At one point during Wilson's at-bat with Knight on second, Knight strayed so far off the second-base bag that Marty Barrett started yelling for Stanley to try to pick him off. However, because of the raucous Shea Stadium crowd noise, Stanley couldn't hear Barrett. When things calmed down, Wilson was still at the plate and fouled off two more pitches in a fantastic at bat. Finally, on the tenth pitch, Wilson hit a slow rolling ground ball up the first base line that appeared to be easy to field. The most pressing question in the few seconds was whether the lumbering Bill Buckner, with his chronic bad ankles and knees, would be able to beat the speedy Wilson to first base to finish the inning. The question would never be answered as the ball somehow sneaked between his legs under his glove and rolled slowly into right field. Shea Stadium exploded and the Mets' players and fans looked as though they couldn't contain themselves. Knight tried to hold his helmet on while jumping towards home plate with the winning run in a scene that many Mets fans would never forget. Buckner and the stunned Red Sox slowly walked off the field.

Vin Scully's call of the play would quickly become an iconic one to baseball fans, with the normally calm Scully growing increasingly excited:

So the winning run is at second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson. (A) little roller up along first... behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!

Scully then remained silent for more than three minutes, letting the pictures and the crowd noise tell the story. Scully resumed with:

If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words, but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets are not only alive, they are well, and they will play the Red Sox in Game 7 tomorrow!

Had the Red Sox won the World Series, not only would they have not only won their first World Series since 1918, but also given Boston its second championship in 1986, which would also be the fourth for the area teams in six years, following the Celtics third NBA championship in six years four months before.

Awards and honors

All-Star Game

  • Dwight Gooden, Pitcher, Starter
  • Darryl Strawberry, Right field, Starter
  • Keith Hernandez, First Baseman, Starter
  • Gary Carter, Catcher, Starter
  • Sid Fernandez, Pitcher

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Tidewater Tides International League Sam Perlozzo
AA Jackson Mets Texas League Mike Cubbage
A Lynchburg Mets Carolina League Bobby Floyd
A Columbia Mets South Atlantic League Tucker Ashford
Short-Season A Little Falls Mets New York-Penn League Rich Miller
Rookie Kingsport Mets Appalachian League Chuck Hiller

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Columbia[12]

References


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