On This Date in Sports: October 27, 1986: We Win

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

The New York Mets win their second World Championship, beating the Boston Red Sox 8-5 in Game 7 of the World Series at Shea Stadium. Two days after being down to their last strike, the Mets again needed to rally after falling behind 3-0. After tying the game in the sixth inning, the Mets took the lead for good on a home run by Ray Knight in the seventh. Knight, who also scored the winning run in Game 6, was named World Series MVP. 

As Spring Training began, Davey Johnson, manager of the New York Mets, boasted that his team would not just win the division, they would dominate. It was a dominant season for the Mets as they held a 20-game lead in the National League East for much of the summer, posting a record of 108-54. The NLCS was more of a struggle as they were twice frustrated by Mike Scott. With Scott looming in Game 7, the Mets beat the Houston Astros 7-6 in 16 innings to win the series in six games. 

The Boston Red Sox rode the back of Roger Clemens to win their first division title in 11 years. Clemens won both the Cy Young and MVP as the Red Sox posted a record of 95-66 for manager John McNamara. The Red Sox were in a 3-1 hole against the California Angels in the ALCS. Trailing 5-3 in Game 5, the Red Sox were down to their last strike when Dave Henderson hit a three-run homer off Donnie Moore. The Sox would win the game 7-6 in 11 innings to send the series back to Boston. The Red Sox would win the next two games to take the series in seven games. 

The World Series began at Shea Stadium with Ron Darling making the start for New York, while Bruce Hurst took the mound for Boston. It would be an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel as both hurlers were at the top of their game. Darling allowed just three hits in seven innings, while Hurst allowed four hits in eight innings. The lone run came in due to an error by Tim Teufel as Jim Rice scored when a ball hit by Rich Gedman went through Teufel’s legs at second base as Boston won 1-0.

Game 2 had a highly anticipated matchup of Dwight Gooden and Roger Clemens. However, both pitchers struggled. The Red Sox got three runs in the third, helped by an error by Keith Hernandez when he misplayed a bunt by Roger Clemens. Wade Boggs had a double, while Marty Barrett and Bill Buckner followed with singles. The Mets answered with two runs, as Wally Backman and Hernandez each drove in a run. Gooden continued to struggle as Dave Henderson went deep in the fourth, while Dwight Evans homered in the fifth with a man on base to extend Boston’s lead to 6-2. Gary Carter drove in a run in the fifth as Steve Crawford relieved Clemens. Crawford would get the win as the Red Sox got a pair of runs in the seventh off Rick Aguilera. Wade Boggs drove in a run against Sid Fernandez in the ninth to make the final 9-3. 

After losing the first two games at home, Mets’ manager Davey Johnson told his team to take Monday off as the series shifted to Fenway Park. The break was just what the Mets needed as Len Dykstra led off Game 3 with a home run against Oil Can Boyd. Oil Can spring a leak, allowing four runs in the first inning, as the Red Sox botched a run down, with Gary Carter driving in a run with a double, while DH Danny Heap had a two-run single. Bob Ojeda, a former member of the Red Sox, allowing one run on five hits in seven innings. The Mets added to the lead, with Carter driving in two runs with a single in the seventh and Ray Knight stroking an RBI double in the eight for a 7-1 Mets win. 

The Mets moved up Ron Darling to pitch in Game 4, while Al Nipper made the start for the Red Sox. The Mets got the first runs of the game in the fourth inning as Gary Carter smacked a two-run homer over the Green Monster. Ray Knight added an RBI single to make it 3-0. The Mets added two more runs when Len Dykstra hit a home run that tipped off the glove of Dwight Evans. Cater hit a second home run in the eighth as the Mets won 6-2to, even the series. 

The Mets had Dwight Gooden on the mound again in Game 5, as Bruce Hurst started for Boston. The Red Sox got the lead in the second inning as Dave Henderson tripled and scored on a sac-fly by Spike Owen. In the third inning, Boston added a run on an RBI by Dwight Evans. Boston scored two more runs in the fifth, as Gooden struggled for the second time. Hurst, meanwhile, went the distance allowing two late runs on ten hits as the Red Sox won 4-2. 

The Red Sox came back to Shea looking to win their first World Series since 1918 with Roger Clemens on the mound, while Bob Ojeda sought to force a seventh game. With a man parachuting in, the Red Sox scored a run in the first and a run in the second. Clemens did not allow a hit until the fifth inning when Ray Knight singled in Darryl Strawberry, who walked to lead off the inning. Mookie Wilson followed with a single as Knight reached third on a bobble by Evans. A run would score on a double play to the game. The Red Sox scored on an error in the seventh as the Mets drew even again on a sac-fly by Gary Carter in the eighth. The game would go to the tenth inning, with Dave Henderson giving Boston a 4-3 lead on a home run off Rick Aguilera. Boston added a second run as Calvin Schiraldi retired the first two batters in the bottom of the inning. Down 5-3 with two outs, the Mets staged an improbable comeback as Gary Carter, Kevin Mitchell, and Ray Knight each had singles to score one run. Bruce Hurst came into face Mookie Wilson and uncorked a wild pitch to tie the game. Wilson hit a slow roller down the first baseline, scoring Knight with the winning run. 

After their dramatic 6-5 win, the Mets had to wait an extra day to play Game 7, as rain pushed the deciding game to Monday. This was a reprieve for the Red Sox as Bruce Hurst, who was voted MVP before the Mets improbable comeback in Game 6. The Mets countered with Ron Darling. The Red Sox scored three runs in the second inning as Rich Gedman and Dwight Evans went back-to-back. Wade Boggs later added an RBI single. After Darling struggled, the Mets brought in Sid Fernandez, who prevented any further damage, not allowing a hit in two and third innings, with four strikeouts. In the sixth inning, Hurst began to tire, as Lee Mazzilli stroked pinch-hitting for Fernandez with one out. Mazzilli had been a star for the Mets in the lean years before he was traded for Ron Darling and Walt Terrel in 1982. He returned to the Mets late in the season and became a valuable bat off the bench. The Mets would load the bases as Mookie Wilson singled, and Tim Teufel walked. Keith Hernandez followed with a two-run single, while Gary Carter drove in the tying run. 

The score was now tied, and the Mets had all the momentum. Roger McDowell set down the Red Sox in order in the seventh, while Calvin Schiraldi faced Ray Knight to lead off the seventh inning. Knight proceeded to hit a home run that had Shea Stadium shaking. New York added two more runs in the seventh as Rafael Santana and Hernandez each drove in a run. The Red Sox would not go down without a fight, as Dwight Evans doubled in two runs. Jesse Orosco came in and stranded Evans at second. In the eighth, Darry Strawberry homered off Al Nipper and slowly rounded the bases as the crowd serenaded the Red Sox. The Mets added another run as Orosco drove in a run with a single. Jesse Orosco set down the Red Sox in order in the ninth, striking out Marty Barrett to end the World Series before jumping to his knees as the Mets piled on to the field.