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Wednesday, October 3, 2001
Updated: October 9, 1:13 PM ET

Revisit the '86 NLCS


Page 2 staff

A game-by-game recap of the 1986 National League Championship Series between the East champion New York Mets and the West champion Houston Astros.

Game 1: Astros 1, Mets 0
At the Astrodome, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 1986
The Mets claimed that Houston starter Mike Scott -- who had clinched the NL West with a no-hitter against San Francisco -- was scuffing the ball, but it would have been hard to hear those complaints over the grumbles of the Mets walking back from the plate. Scott struck out an NLCS-record 14 batters as the Astros took the series opener 1-0 in Houston. Astros first baseman Glenn Davis launched a second-inning homer to make a hard-luck loser of Dwight Gooden.

NY Mets       ab r h rbi     Houston    ab r h rbi
Dykstra cf     3 0 1 0       Hatcher cf  3 0 0 0
Backman 2b     4 0 0 0       Doran 2b    4 0 0 0
Hernandez 1b   4 0 1 0       Walling 3b  4 0 0 0
Carter c       4 0 0 0       Davis 1b    4 1 1 1
Strawberry rf  4 0 1 0       Bass rf     4 0 2 0
Wilson lf      4 0 0 0       Cruz lf     4 0 1 0
Knight 3b      4 0 0 0       Ashby c     1 0 1 0
Santana ss     2 0 1 0       Reynolds ss 3 0 2 0
 Mazzilli ph   1 0 0 0        Thon ss    0 0 0 0
 Orosco p      0 0 0 0       Scott p     3 0 0 0
Gooden p       2 0 0 0  
 Heep ph       1 0 1 0   
 Elster pr-ss  0 0 0 0 
TOTALS        33 0 5 0       TOTALS     30 1 7 1

NY Mets 000 000 000 -- 0 5 0 Houston 010 000 00x -- 1 7 1 E-Reynolds. DP-New York 1, Houston 0. 2B-Bass. HR-Davis (1). SB-Hatcher (1), Dykstra (1), Bass (1), Strawberry (1). Time-2:56. Att.-44,131. NY METS ip h r er bb k Gooden L, 0-1 7.0 7 1 1 3 5 Orosco 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 HOUSTON ip h r er bb k Scott W, 1-0 9.0 5 0 0 1 14 Umpires - Harvey (HP), Weyer (1b), Pulli (2b), Rennert (3b), West (LF), Brocklander (RF).

Game 2: Mets 5, Astros 1
At the Astrodome, Thursday, Oct. 9, 1986
Houston fireballer Nolan Ryan started the game by retiring 10 straight Mets, but three hits and a sacrifice fly in the fourth led to two New York runs. Lenny Dykstra started another Mets rally in the fifth, and Keith Hernandez capped it off with a two-out, three-run triple. The five runs were more than Bob Ojeda needed to earn the win despite scattering 10 hits.

NY Mets       ab r h rbi     Houston    ab r h rbi
Dykstra cf     5 1 2 0       Hatcher cf  5 1 1 0
Backman 2b     5 2 2 1       Doran 2b    4 0 1 0
Hernandez 1b   3 1 2 2       Garner 3b   3 0 1 1
Carter c       5 0 1 1       Davis 1b    4 0 1 0
Strawberry rf  3 0 0 1       Bass rf     3 0 2 0
Wilson lf      4 0 1 0       Cruz lf     4 0 1 0
Knight 3b      3 0 1 0       Ashby c     4 0 0 0
Santana ss     4 0 1 0       Thon ss     4 0 2 0
Ojeda p        4 1 0 0       Ryan p      1 0 0 0
                              Pankvts ph 1 0 0 0
                              Anderson p 0 0 0 0
                              Puhl ph    1 0 1 0
                              Lopez p    0 0 0 0
                              Kerfeld p  0 0 0 0
                              Lopes ph   1 0 0 0
TOTALS        36 5 10 5      TOTALS     35 1 10 1

NY Mets 000 230 000 -- 5 10 0 Houston 000 000 100 -- 1 10 2 E-Hatcher, Davis. DP-New York 2, Houston 1. 2B-Bass, Carter, Dykstra. 3B-Hernandez. SB-Wilson (1). SF-Strawberry. Time-2:40. Att.-43,391. NY METS ip h r er bb k Ojeda W, 1-0 9.0 10 1 1 2 5 HOUSTON ip h r er bb k Ryan L, 0-1 5.0 7 5 5 0 5 Anderson 2.0 1 0 0 1 2 Lopez 1.1 2 0 0 2 1 Kerfeld 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 Umpires - Weyer (HP), Pulli (1b), Rennert (2b), West (3b), Brocklander (LF), Harvey (RF).

Game 3: Mets 6, Astros 5
At Shea Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 11, 1986
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The Astros offense built a 4-0 lead against Ron Darling, while Bob Knepper allowed just one runner as far as second base in the first five innings. Following a pair of singles and an error, Mets slugger Darryl Strawberry evened the score in the sixth, drilling the Mets first home run of the series.

Houston rallied in the seventh, pushing a run across for a 5-4 lead that stood until the ninth inning. Two outs from a 2-1 series deficit, Lenny Dykstra, the Mets gritty center fielder, launched a two-run homer off Astros relief ace Dave Smith to give New York a comeback victory.

Houston       ab r h rbi     NY Mets      ab r h rbi
Doran 2b       4 2 2 2       Wilson cf-lf  4 0 0 0
Hatcher cf     3 1 2 0       Mitchell lf   4 1 2 0
Walling 3b     5 1 1 2        Orosco p     0 0 0 0
Davis 1b       3 0 1 0       Hernandez 1b  4 1 2 0
Bass rf        3 0 0 0       Carter c      4 1 0 0
Cruz lf        3 0 1 1       Strawberry rf 4 1 2 3
Ashby c        4 0 0 0       Knight 3b     4 0 1 0
Reynolds ss    2 1 1 0       Teufel 2b     3 0 0 0
 Lopes ph      1 0 0 0        Backman 2b   1 1 1 0
 Kerfeld p     0 0 0 0       Santana ss    3 0 0 0
 Smith p       0 0 0 0        Heep ph      1 0 0 0
Knepper p      3 0 0 0       Darling p     1 0 0 0
 Thon ss       1 0 0 0        Mazzilli ph  1 0 1 0
                              Aguilera p   0 0 0 0
                              Dykstra ph-c 2 1 1 2
TOTALS        32 5 8 5       TOTALS       36 6 10 5

Houston 220 000 100 -- 5 8 1 NY Mets 000 004 002 -- 6 10 1 E-Reynolds, Knight. DP-Houston 0, New York 1. HR-Doran (1), Strawberry (1), Dykstra (1). SB-Hatcher 2 (3), Bass (2). S-Hatcher. Time-2:55. Att.-55,052. HOUSTON ip h r er bb k Knepper 7.0 8 4 3 0 3 Kerfeld 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 Smith L, 0-1 0.1 2 2 2 0 0 NY METS ip h r er bb k Darling 5.0 6 4 4 2 5 Aguilera 2.0 1 1 0 2 1 Orosco W, 1-0 2.0 1 0 0 1 2 Umpires - Pulli (HP), Rennert (1b), West (2b), Brocklander (3b), Harvey (LF), Weyer (RF).

Game 4: Astros 3, Mets 1
At Shea Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 12, 1986
Mike Scott said he could tell a difference between his performance in Game 4 and his 14-strikeout effort in Game 1. He was the only one. Though he struck out only five batters in Game 4, Scott again dominated the Mets, retiring the first 10 batters and 20 of the first 22.

Danny Heep sacrificed in Mookie Wilson in the eighth to score the Mets only run of the series against Scott.

Alan Ashby drove in the first runs of the game in the second inning, drilling a two-run homer after Mets third baseman Ray Knight and shortstop Rafael Santana let his pop foul drop untouched. Dickie Thon scored the Astros' other run, launching a solo shot off Sid Fernandez in the fifth inning.

Houston       ab r h rbi     NY Mets      ab r h rbi
Doran 2b       4 0 0 0       Dykstra cf    4 0 1 0
Hatcher cf     4 0 0 0       Backman 2b    4 0 0 0
Garner 3b      3 0 0 0       Hernandez 1b  4 0 0 0
 Walling ph-3b 1 0 1 0       Carter c      4 0 0 0
Davis 1b       3 1 1 0       Strawberry rf 3 0 0 0
Bass rf        3 0 0 0       Wilson lf     3 1 1 0
Cruz lf        4 0 0 0       Knight 3b     3 0 1 0
Ashby c        3 1 1 2       Santana ss    2 0 0 0
Thon ss        3 1 1 1        Heep ph      0 0 0 1
Scott p        3 0 0 0        Sisk p       0 0 0 0
                             Fernandez     1 0 0 0
                              Mazzilli ph  1 0 0 0
                              McDowell p   0 0 0 0
                              Johnson ph   1 0 0 0
                              Elster ss    0 0 0 0
TOTALS        31 3 4 3       TOTALS       30 1 3 1

Houston 002 010 000 -- 3 4 1 NY Mets 000 000 010 -- 1 3 0 E-Scott. 2B-Walling. HR-Ashby (1), Thon (1). SB-Backman (1). SF-Heep. Time-2:23. Att.-55,038. HOUSTON ip h r er bb k Scott W, 2-0 9.0 3 1 1 0 5 NY METS ip h r er bb k Fernandez L, 0-1 6.0 3 3 3 1 5 McDowell 2.0 0 0 0 0 1 Sisk 1.0 1 0 0 1 0 Umpires - Rennert (HP), West (1b), Brocklander (2b), Harvey (3b), Weyer (LF), Pulli (RF).

Game 5: Mets 2, Astros 1 (12 innings)
At Shea Stadium, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 1986
Baseball's all-time strikeout king met the new kid on the block in Game 5, when Nolan Ryan, who would retire with seven no-hitters and 5,714 strikeouts, squared off against Doc Gooden.

Ryan struck out 12 and allowed just two hits and one run through nine innings, but Gooden met him pitch for pitch and the game moved into the 10th knotted 1-1. Houston reliever Charlie Kerfeld retired the first six Mets he faced, but ran into trouble in the 12th. An infield single by Wally Backman, a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and an intentional walk put runners on first and second. Gary Carter, who had carried an anemic .048 batting average into the game, singled in Backman to give the Mets a 2-1 victory and a 3-2 series advantage.

Jesse Orosco picked up the win after entering in the 11th. Orosco and Gooden combined to retire 20 of the Astros' final 22 batters.

Houston       ab r h rbi     NY Mets      ab r h rbi
Doran 2b       4 0 1 1       Dykstra cf    5 0 0 0
Hatcher cf     3 0 1 0       Backman 2b    5 1 1 0
Walling 3b     5 0 1 0       Hernandez 1b  4 0 1 0
Davis 1b       5 0 0 0       Carter c      5 0 1 1
Bass rf        5 0 2 0       Strawberry rf 3 1 1 1
Cruz lf        5 0 1 0       Wilson lf     4 0 0 0
Ashby c        5 1 1 0        Orosco p     0 0 0 0
Reynolds ss    4 0 1 0       Knight 3b     4 0 0 0
 Thon ph-ss    1 0 0 0       Santana ss    3 0 0 0
Ryan p         3 0 0 0        Mazzilli ph  1 0 0 0
 Puhl ph       1 0 1 0        Elster ss    0 0 0 0
 Kerfeld p     0 0 0 0       Gooden p      3 0 0 0
                              Heep lf      1 0 0 0
TOTALS        41 1 9 1       TOTALS       38 2 4 2

Houston 000 010 000 000 -- 1 9 1 NY Mets 000 010 000 001 -- 2 4 0 E-Kerfeld. DP-Houston 0, New York 2. 2B-Ashby. HR-Strawberry (2). SB-Hatcher. Time-3:45. Att.-54,986. HOUSTON ip h r er bb k Ryan 9.0 2 1 1 1 12 Kerfeld L, 0-1 2.1 2 1 1 1 3 NY METS ip h r er bb k Gooden 10.0 9 1 1 2 4 Orosco W, 2-0 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 Sisk 1.0 1 0 0 1 0 Umpires - West (HP), Brocklander (1b), Harvey (2b), Weyer (3b), Pulli (LF), Rennert (RF).

Game 6: Mets 7, Astros 6 (16 innings)
At the Astrodome, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 1986
The Mets led the series 3-2, but with the unhittable Mike Scott ready to go in Game 7, it was do or die time for both teams. "Scotty tomorrow," was the Astros rallying cry, but tomorrow would be a lot farther than just a baseball game away.

The Astros struck first, scoring three runs in the first off Bob Ojeda. Meanwhile, Houston starter Bob Knepper kept the Mets off-balance, twirling eight shutout innings.

But in the top of the ninth, the game that wouldn't end had just begun.

Still trailing by three runs, Lenny Dykstra led off the inning with a pinch-hit triple. Mookie Wilson drove him in for the first New York run. Knepper got Kevin Mitchell to ground out, but Keith Hernandez lined a double to score Wilson and pull the Mets within one. Dave Smith, Houston's closer who had saved 33 games with a 2.73 ERA during the season, replaced Knepper, but he fared no better. Smith walked Gary Carter and Darryl Strawberry on full-count pitches. Ray Knight tied the score with a sacrifice fly to right field.

The 3-3 tie held until the 14th when Aurelio Lopez, the fourth Houston pitcher of the night, gave up a single and issued a walk to put two Mets on with no outs. One out later, Wally Backman drove home Darryl Strawberry to put the Mets ahead.

But the game wasn't over.

With one out in the bottom of the 14th, the light-hitting Billy Hatcher, who had just six home runs all season, drilled a Jesse Orosco 3-2 fastball over the left-field wall, crashing into the net on the fair side of the foul pole. The score was tied at 4-4.

Two innings later, Ray Knight drove a fastball into right field for a base hit, scoring Darryl Strawberry. Two wild pitches and a single plated another run, and one out later Dykstra singled in the Mets seventh run, putting the NL East champs ahead 7-4.

The Astros had one last comeback in them. A one-out walk to Davy Lopes brought Hatcher to the plate again, and again he responded, singling in the speedy Lopes. Denny Walling grounded into a fielder's choice for the second out, putting men on first and third with two outs and bringing the winning run to the plate in the form of Glenn Davis. The Astros slugger came through with a single into shallow right field, scoring Hatcher.

But Kevin Bass couldn't bring the Astros back another time. Bass struck out on a 3-2 slider, ending the longest game in LCS history with the winning run on first base.

Afterward, the Houston crowd applauded as the teams retired.

NY Mets       ab r h rbi     Houston    ab r h rbi
Wilson cf-lf   7 1 1 1       Doran 2b     7 1 2 0
Mitchell lf    4 0 0 0       Hatcher cf   7 2 3 2
 Elster ss     3 0 0 0       Garner 3b    3 1 1 1
Hernandez 1b   7 1 1 1        Wllng ph-3b 4 0 0 0
Carter c       5 0 2 0       Davis 1b     7 1 3 2
Strawberry rf  5 2 1 0       Bass rf      6 0 1 0
Knight 3b      6 1 1 2       Cruz lf      6 0 1 1
Teufel 2b      3 0 1 0       Ashby c      6 0 0 0
 Backman ph-2b 2 1 1 1       Thon ss      3 0 0 0
Santana ss     3 0 1 0        Reynolds ss 3 0 0 0  
 Heep ph       1 0 0 0       Knepper p    2 0 0 0
 McDowell p    1 0 0 0        Smith p     0 0 0 0
 Johnson ph    1 0 0 0        Puhl ph     1 0 0 0
 Orosco p      0 0 0 0        Anderson p  0 0 0 0
Ojeda p        1 0 0 0        Pankovts ph 1 0 0 0
 Mazzilli ph   1 0 0 0        Lopez p     0 0 0 0
 Aguilera p    0 0 0 0        Calhoun p   0 0 0 0
 Dykstra ph-cf 4 1 2 1        Lopes ph    0 1 0 0
TOTALS        54 7 11 6       TOTALS     56 6 11 6

NY Mets 000 000 003 000 010 3 -- 7 11 0 Houston 300 000 000 000 010 2 -- 6 11 1 E-Bass. DP-New York 0, Houston 2. 2B-Garner, Davis, Hernandez, Strawberry. 3B-Dykstra. HR-Hatcher (1). SB-Doran (2). S-Orosco. SF-Knight. Time-4:42. Att.-45,718. NY METS ip h r er bb k Ojeda 5.0 5 3 3 2 1 Aguilera 3.0 1 0 0 0 1 McDowell 5.0 1 0 0 0 2 Orosco W, 3-0 3.0 4 3 3 1 5 HOUSTON ip h r er bb k Knepper 8.1 5 3 3 1 6 Smith 1.2 0 0 0 3 2 Andersen 3.0 0 0 0 1 1 Lopez L, 0-1 2.0 5 3 3 2 2 Calhoun 1.0 1 1 1 1 0 Umpires - Brocklander (HP), Harvey (1b), Weyer (2b), Pulli (3b), Rennert (LF), West (RF).