1986 New York Mets season

1986 New York Mets
World Series Champions
NL Champions
NL East Champions
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record 108-54 (.667)
Divisional place 1st
Other information
Owner(s) Fred Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday, Jr.
General manager(s) Frank Cashen
Manager(s) Davey Johnson
Local television WOR-TV 9
(Ralph Kiner, Tim McCarver, Steve Zabriskie, Rusty Staub)
SportsChannel New York
(Ralph Kiner, Tim McCarver, Fran Healy, Rusty Staub)
Local radio WHNAM 1050
(Bob Murphy, Gary Thorne, Juan Alicea (SP))
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The 1986 New York Mets season was the Mets' 25th season in the National League. They improved from a 98–64 record in 1985 to finish the season with a franchise record 108–54 record, giving them 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. This is their last championship to date.

Background

Darryl Strawberry and Ron Darling made their debuts in 1983, followed by Dwight Gooden and Sid Fernandez in 1984, and Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell in 1985. The Mets hired Davey Johnson to manage the ballclub in 1984, resulting in a solid season with 90 victories and a second-place finish. The rise continued in 1985, as they netted 98 wins and finished the season only 3 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

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.

With these acquisitions, many predicted an easy dominance within the division. For once, the pundits were right. During 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. The Mets concluded the season winning a club record 108 games, two out of every three, and finishing the season 21 1/2 games in front of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Offseason

Spring training

The 1986 New York Mets held Spring training at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida for the 25th season.

Regular season

Season standings

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Mets 10854 0.667 55–26 53–28
Philadelphia Phillies 8675 0.534 21½ 49–31 37–44
St. Louis Cardinals 7982 0.491 28½ 42–39 37–43
Montreal Expos 7883 0.484 29½ 36–44 42–39
Chicago Cubs 7090 0.438 37 42–38 28–52
Pittsburgh Pirates 6498 0.395 44 31–50 33–48

Record vs. opponents

1986 National League Records

Sources:
Team ATL CHC CIN HOU LAD MON NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL
Atlanta 9–36–125–1310–84–74–84–85–712–67–116–6
Chicago 3–95–74–86–68–106–129–87–116–66–610–7
Cincinnati 12–67–54–1410–87–54–87–510–29–99–97–5
Houston 13–58–414–410–88–45–76–66–610–89–97–5
Los Angeles 8–106–68–108–105–73–95–78–46–128–108–4
Montreal 7–410–85–74–85–78–108–1011–74–85–79–9
New York 8–412–68–47–59–310–88–1017–110–27–512–6
Philadelphia 8-48–95–76–67–510–810–811–76–69–36–12
Pittsburgh 7–511–72–106–64–87–111–177–118–44–87–11
San Diego 6–126–69–98–1012–68–42–106–64–88–105–7
San Francisco 11–76–69–99–910–87–55–73–98–410–85–7
St. Louis 6–67–105–75–74–89–96–1212–611–77–57–5
Record Games Left
OpponentHomeRoadTotalHomeRoadTotal
NL East
Chicago Cubs6–36–312–6
Montreal Expos5–45–410–8
Philadelphia Phillies6–32–78–10
Pittsburgh Pirates9–08–117–1
St. Louis Cardinals4–58–112–6
NL West
Atlanta Braves5–13–38–4
Cincinnati Reds2–46–08–4
Houston Astros5–12–47–5
Los Angeles Dodgers5–14–29–3
San Diego Padres5–15–110–2
San Francisco Giants3–34–27–5
Grand Totals55–2653–28108–54
Month Games Won Lost Pct.
April16133.813
May27189.667
June28199.679
July271611.593
August322111.656
September271611.593
October5501.000
Totals16210854.667

Notable transactions

  • April 1, 1986: Tom Gorman was released by the Mets.[7]
  • April 5, 1986: Doug Frobel was traded by the Montreal Expos to the New York Mets for Joe Graves (minors) and Rodger Cole (minors).[8]
  • June 2, 1986: 1986 Major League Baseball draft
    • Curtis Pride was drafted by the Mets in the 10th round. Player signed June 12, 1986.[9]
    • John Olerud was drafted by the Mets in the 27th round of the 1986 amateur draft, but did not sign.[10]
  • June 9, 1986: Tim Corcoran was released by the Mets.[6]
  • August 3, 1986: Lee Mazzilli was signed as a free agent by the Mets.[11]
  • August 7, 1986: George Foster was released by the Mets.[12]
  • August 24, 1986: Alex Diaz was signed as an amateur free agent by the Mets.[13]

Month by Month

April

The Mets had a rocky start with a 2-3 record (including two extra-inning losses to the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies respectively).[14] But when the Mets hosted Philadelphia at Shea Stadium a few days later, they kicked off 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 made a series-saving double-play. The Mets finished the month 13-3.

May

The Mets continued dominating in May. On May 23, 1986, Mookie Wilson had 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.[15][16]

July

On July 3 against Houston, Darryl Strawberry hit a game-tying home run. But it was 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 lost three of four to the Astros. During this series, four Mets were arrested at 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, were 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.[17] However, it was thrown to home plate to get the runner out at home and eventually Flannery out at third.[17]

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.[18] In fact, they seemed to take up half of Veterans Stadium.[19] Given what had happened to them when they got swept in a three-game series in Philadelphia preceding the series and not wanting to see visiting teams win a division title on their field,[18] the Phillies swept the Mets. During the series, Mets fans at Veterans Stadium became unruly and damaged seats in the upper deck (the 700 level).[20] One Mets fan was arrested after striking at two Philadelphia police officers.[20] The Phillie Phanatic summed up the Mets being swept by crushing three Mets helmets in front of the Mets dugout during the final game of the series.[20] The Phillies ended up being the only team in the league to post a winning record against the Mets, going 10-8, with a 7-2 mark at Veterans Stadium. During the post-season awards, the Mets rivalry with the Phillies and that series was played out again, as it was Mike Schmidt of the Phillies who won the National League MVP Award, ahead of the Carter, who finished third, and Keith Hernandez, who finished fourth. It was Schmidt's third career MVP.[21]

The Mets then split a two-game series St. Louis, trimming the magic number to clinch to 1 on September 16. The following day, they faced Dennis Eckersley and the Chicago Cubs. With a flu-ridden Hernandez, Dave Magadan would be the offensive source of the day. Hernandez would return in the 9th to get the final out.[22] The champagne would be popped immediately while the fans invaded the field quickly.[23] The Mets would win a team-record 108 games after defeating the Pirates.[24]

Schedule and results

Regular season

1986 Regular Season Game Log (108–54) (Home: 55–26; Road: 53–28)
Legend
Mets win Mets loss All-Star Game Game postponed Clinched
"GB" legend
1st (NL East) Not in playoff berth Tied for 1st (NL East)

All times are EASTERN time

Postseason

1986 Postseason Game Log
Legend
Mets Win Mets Loss

All times are EASTERN time

Attendance

Attendance Rank
2,767,601 2

Roster

1986 New York Mets
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Player stats

= Indicates team leader

Batting

Starters by position[25]

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
CGary Carter132490125.255241051
1BKeith Hernandez149551171.31013832
2BWally Backman124387124.32012713
3BRay Knight137486145.29811762
SSRafael Santana13939486.2181280
LFGeorge Foster7223353.22713381
CFLenny Dykstra147431127.29584531
RFDarryl Strawberry136475123.259279328

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI SB
Mookie Wilson123381110.28994525
Kevin Mitchell10832891.27712433
Tim Teufel9327969.2474311
Howard Johnson8822054.24510398
Danny Heep8619555.2825331
Ed Hearn4913636.2654100
Lee Mazzilli395816.276271
Kevin Elster19305.167000
Stan Jefferson14245.208130
John Gibbons8199.474110
Dave Magadan10188.444030
Barry Lyons690.000020
Tim Corcoran670.000000

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Ron Darling34237.01562.81184
Dwight Gooden33250.11762.84200
Sid Fernandez33204.11663.52200
Bob Ojeda32217.11852.57148
Rick Aguilera28141.21073.88105

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Bruce Berenyi1439.2226.3530
Randy Myers1010.2004.2213
John Mitchell410.0013.602
Terry Leach66.2002.704
Ed Lynch11.2000.001

Relief pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO SV
Roger McDowell76128.01493.026523
Jesse Orosco5981.0862.336221
Doug Sisk4170.2423.06311
Randy Niemann3135.2233.79180
Rick Anderson1549.2212.72211

NLCS

Game 1

October 8 (Astrodome, Houston)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 000 000 000 050
Houston 010 000 00X 171
WP: Mike Scott (1-0)  LP: Dwight Gooden (0-1)
HR: NYM – None.; HOUGlenn Davis (1)

Game 2

October 9 (Astrodome, Houston)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 000 230 000 5100
Houston 000 000 100 1102
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 220 000 100 581
New York 000 004 002 6101
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 020 010 000 341
New York 000 000 010 130
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 000 010 000 000 191
New York 000 010 000 001 240
WP: Jesse Orosco (2-0)  LP: Charlie Kerfeld (0-1)
HRs: HOU – None. NYMDarryl Strawberry (2)

Game 6

October 15 (Astrodome, Houston)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 R H E
New York 000 000 003 000 0103 7110
Houston 300 000 000 000 0102 6111
WP: Jesse Orosco (3-0)  LP: Aurelio López (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
1Red Sox – 1, Mets – 0October 18Shea Stadium (New York)57,9083:18
2Red Sox – 9, Mets – 3October 19Shea Stadium (New York)57,9112:44
3Mets – 7, Red Sox – 1October 21Fenway Park (Boston)33,5953:09
4Mets – 6, Red Sox – 2October 22Fenway Park (Boston)33,9203:22
5Mets – 2, Red Sox – 4October 23Fenway Park (Boston)34,0102:55
6Red Sox – 5, Mets – 6 (10 inn.)October 25Shea Stadium (New York City)57,9083:18
7Red Sox – 5, Mets – 8October 27Shea Stadium (New York City)55,0322:44

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 9th 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, opened a beer and watched the rest of the game on the clubhouse TV, thinking the game and the Series would be over soon. Hernandez, who is superstitious, never left that spot until the game ended.

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 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. the ball bounced off catcher Rich Gedman's catchers' mitt and went straight to the backstop. Mitchell scored on the wild pitch (which many thought should have been scored a passed ball) 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 earlier.

Wilson fouled off two more pitches to bring the at bat to the tenth pitch. His next hit sent a slow rolling ground ball up the first base line, which appeared to be an easy to field situation. Bill Buckner, with his chronic bad ankles and knees, moved to field the ball in an effort to beat the speedy Wilson to first base, and finish the inning. As he bent over, the ball passed between his legs, under his glove and rolled behind him into right field. Shea Stadium exploded and the Mets' players and fans screamed in excitement. Knight needed to hold his helmet on while jumping towards home plate with the winning run. Buckner and the rest of the Red Sox appeared stunned as they exited 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:

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

Had the Red Sox won the World Series, they would have won their first World Series since 1918, in addition to making Boston the first city to win both NBA and World Series championships in the same year.[note 1] As it turned out, the Celtics championship four months before would be the last championship for Boston and for Massachusetts until the New England Patriots, who lost Super Bowl XX to the Chicago Bears in January, won Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002.

Awards and honors

57th Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Infielders

Pos # Player League AB H RBI
1B17Keith HernandezNational League
Starter
400

Outfielders

Pos # Player League AB H RBI
RF18Darryl StrawberryNational League
Starter
210

Catcher

# Player League AB H RBI
8Gary CarterNational League
Starter
300

Pitchers

# Player League IP SO
50Sid FernandezNational League13
16Dwight GoodenNational League
Starter
32

Coach

# Coach League Position
5Davey JohnsonNational LeagueThird Base Coach

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
A-Short Season Little Falls Mets New York–Penn League Rich Miller
Rookie Kingsport Mets Appalachian League Chuck Hiller

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Columbia[26]

Notes

  1. This feat would twice subsequently be achieved by Los Angeles. In 1988, the Los Angeles Lakers won a second consecutive NBA Finals series, whilst the Dodgers won the World Series. In 2002, the Lakers would yet again win the NBA Finals whilst the Angels won the World Series later that year.

References

  1. "Bob Ojeda page". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  2. "Kelvin Chapman Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  3. "Clint Hurdle page". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  4. "Ronn Reynolds Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  5. "Billy Beane page". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  6. 1 2 "Tim Corcoran page". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  7. "Tom Gorman page at Baseball Reference". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  8. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/frobedo01.shtm
  9. "Curtis Pride page at Baseball Reference". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  10. "John Olerud page at Baseball Reference". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  11. "Lee Mazzilli page at Baseball Reference". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  12. "George Foster page at Baseball Reference". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  13. "Alex Diaz page at Baseball Reference". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  14. Durso, Joseph (April 15, 1986). "Johnson Error in 13th Leads to Mets' 6-2 Loss". New York Times. p. A25.
  15. Durso, Joseph (June 11, 1986). "Teufel Slams Phils; Yanks Escape; Mets win in 11th, 8-4". New York Times. p. D27.
  16. Pascarelli, Peter (June 11, 1986). "Mets Rock Phils on Grand Slam in 11th". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. F1.
  17. 1 2 Wolff, Craig (August 28, 1986). "Mets Win in 11 on Gibbons Play". New York Times. p. D19.
  18. 1 2 Pascarelli, Peter (September 12, 1986). "Mets Set to Clinch Vs. Phils". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. D1.
  19. Brehm, Mike (December 30, 2011). "Flyers, Rangers". USA Today. p. E4.
  20. 1 2 3 Terry, Robert J.; Lieber, David (September 15, 1986). "30 Vet Seats Smashed by Mets Fans". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. B8.
  21. Pascarelli, Peter (November 20, 1986). "Schmidt is National League MVP". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. A1.
  22. Durso, Joseph (September 18, 1986). "Finally, the Mets achieve the Inevitable Title". New York Times. p. B17.
  23. Yannis, Alex (September 18, 1986). "Fans Rip Up Field". New York Times. p. B17.
  24. Vecsey, George (October 6, 1986). "Mets Installing Single-Wing Offense?". New York Times. p. C4.
  25. https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYM/1986.shtml
  26. Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles (2007). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (3rd ed.). Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America.
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