Legends of Yesteryear: Mets 1986 World Series Game 6 Victory, What A Game!
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I sit here in 2023 and I am amazed on how much the game has evolved, some good things and some bad, but all in all, the game of baseball is just that, still a game.
In 1986, I was 13 years old and as I am still today, a huge New York Mets fan. But back then I could not appreciate the game and all that it gives its fans as I do today, because all I cared for was that I wanted the Mets to win another World Series Title in my lifetime.
The journey to the title series seemed inevitable throughout the whole 1986 season as the Mets, who won 108 regular season games and the NL East Crown, played some amazing baseball, and it rolled over into the postseason, as they continued to amaze by winning the unwinnable games.
As for the Boston Red Sox, they won 95 games and also the AL East division crown but had to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the ALCS to defeat the California Angels 4-3. The Mets overcame a 16 inning Game 6 in the NLCS against the Houston Astros and it was destiny as the Stros had the best pitchers in the game.
The World Series began with Boston taking the first two in NY, then the Mets responded by stealing two of the three games in Boston to Retrun to NY down 3-2. The stage is set:
The Match Up:
Mets – Bob Ojeda
Red Sox – Roger Clemens
Staring Line Ups
In the top of the 1st, Wade Boggs opened up the game with a single to the left side of the field. After Ojeda retired the next two batters, Jim Rice walked and Dwight Evans doubled home Boggs with the first run of the game. Rich Gedman then flied out to Darryl Strawberry in right field to end the inning.
In the bottom of the first, the Mets went down without a fight as Roger Clemens struck out the first two batters and then induced a fly ball off the bat of Keith Hernandez, as he flew out to center field.
The Red Sox scored again in the top of the second to take a 2-0 lead, on an RBI single off the bat of Marty Barrett.
For the next four innings, Ojeda kept the Red Sox off the board, which allowed the Mets to crawl back in the game in the bottom of the fifth with two runs. Strawberry started the inning with a walk and quickly stole second base. Then Ray Knight singled to center and the straw man scored to pull the Mets within 2-1. Mookie Wilson then followed with a single of his own, moving Knight to third base. Manager Dave Johnson, replaced Rafael Santana with Danny Heap and Heap grounded into a double play, but Knight scored to tie the game at 2-2.
Moving to the top of the seventh, the Mets removed Ojeda from the game and replaced him with relief pitcher Roger McDowell. The right hander from Cincinnati, OH had saved 22 games in 22 chances in 1986, and at this point in the game, the Mets were hoping he would shut down the Red Sox potent offense and keep the game tied. But Boston had other plans, as Barrett led off with a walk, then after Bill Buckner grounded out to second baseman Wally Backman, Barrett moved over to second base. Next batter Rice reached on base after an errant throw from third baseman Ray Knight, moving Barrett to third base. Next Evans hit into what would haven been an inning ending double play, but Rice was running on the play and he beat it out, allowing Barrett to score the go ahead run, while Evans was thrown out at first.
After a scoreless bott0m of the seventh and top of the eighth, the Mets broke through in the bottom of the eighth with a run to tie the game at 3-3. Pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli led off with a single, then Lenny Dykstra put down a sac bunt to move Mazilli to second base, but the pitcher picked up the ball and attemptd to get Mazzilli out at second, but the throw bounced off Barrett’s glove and everyone was safe. Backman then put down a successful bunt moving both runners up a base, with one out. Hernandez was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Gary Carter hit a sac fly to left field scoring Mazzilli with the tying run.
With the game tied 3-3, no one would score in the ninth, sending the game to extra innings. The Red Sox quickly put up two runs in the top of the 10th, on a solo shot from Dave Henderson and an RBI single from Barrett, scoring Wade Boggs who doubled in the prior at bat.
Now with the Red Sox just three outs away from their first World Series title since 1918, they quickly retired the first two batters in Backman and Hernandez.
One out left to secure the victory, but it never came as the Mets made one of the most Iconic comebacks in World Series History.
First Carter hit a single to left on a 2-1 count, then pinch hitter Kevin Mitchell hit a single to center on an 0-1 count, moving Carter to second. Knight then hit a line drive single to center field scoring Carter and moving Mitchell to third base. After a Red Sox pitching chance, Mookie Wilson stepped to the plate. In one of the most epic at bats in Mets history, Wilson battled fouling off three straight pitches keeping the count at 2-2, then one errant pitch under his legs, went to the backstop allowing Mitchell to score the tying run, and Shea Stadium was rocking. After two more foul balls, Wilson hit a ground ball down the first base line and a call that will forever live in infamy, went through Buckner’s legs allowing Knight to score the winning run in an improbably comeback Mets victory.
“A little Roller up along first, BEHIND THE BAG, IT GETS THROUGH BUCKNER, HERE COMES KNIGHT AND THE METS WIN IT!!!!” ~ Vin Scully.