Voice of '86: Astros pitcher Mike Scott
Page 2 staff
In 1986, Mike Scott was the dominant pitcher in the majors -- he was
18-10, with a 2.22 ERA, and captured the Cy Young Award. Armed with a wicked
split-finger fastball, he pitched a no-hitter against San Francisco on
Sept. 25 to clinch the division title. In the NLCS, he won Games 1 and 4,
pitching 18 innings and striking out 19, while giving up only one earned run
and eight hits.
Mike Scott always got the last laugh on allegations he scuffed the ball.
"We had a great year, and I don't remember us going into any prolonged slumps
throughout the year. We didn't have a lot of superstars -- everyone
contributed. When I pitched the no-hitter, I remember that even though we
were playing a day game, Cincinnati was playing earlier, and if they had
lost, we would have won the pennant just by showing up.
"I didn't want that to happen. I wanted to win the game while winning the
pennant, and I wanted to do it at home -- we were going on the road the next
day. The first pitch I threw, I hit Dan Gladden in the back. I was trying to
throw as hard as I could, and you don't do that. It was a wake-up call to settle down.
"The Mets series was the most intense series I've ever been involved in. I've
never been in the World Series, but everyone says that the playoffs before
are even more intense. Both teams clinched pretty early, so we knew who was
playing who. There was a lot of buildup. I knew the Mets were a good team.
They had power, (Wally) Backman and (Lenny) Dykstra were tough and pesky in the one and two
Before and during the series, some Mets accused Scott of scuffing the
"The guys who said the least were the guys who I had to be most careful
against. I never heard a word out of Strawberry or Hernandez. I think, if
anything, it worked in my favor. It becomes a distraction for them, not for
"I used to run into Gary Carter sometimes during golf tournaments later, and
we'd laugh about -- we'd laugh about the whole thing."
Scott was scheduled to pitch Game 7, but the Mets won the series in the
16th inning of the sixth game.
"I was more tired after watching Game 6 than after pitching. When they got
the final out, it hit me like a brick wall that the season was over. Just
like that, you're season's over. Everyone was making a big deal about going
to the seventh game, but nobody knows what would have happened -- I could
have gotten knocked out in the first inning."
Mike Scott lives in California and roots for his daughter, who plays on the
Baylor Bears women's volleyball team.