Mets Greatest Games - October 25, 1986
by: Joe McDonald | Publisher and Editor-in-Chief | Saturday, October 25, 2003
You don’t win games like this. Down two runs, two out and two strikes, you pretty much lose and go home. Come back from that deficit in the World Series-- facing elimination-- well, that is just unbelievable. But it happened at Shea Stadium on October 25, 1986, the Mets were down to the Red Sox in the 10th inning. The champagne was opened in the visitor’s clubhouse, with the World Series trophy ready to be presented to the Red Sox. The Curse was supposed to be over. About 12 minutes later though, Bob Murphy was going through the “Happiest Recap of Them All.” The Mets did the impossible.
It started off with the teams two top pitchers on the mound, Bob Ojeda for the Mets and Roger Clemens for the Sox. Boston struck with a run in the first thanks to a RBI double by Dwight Evans and in the second with Marty Barrett driving in a run.
The Mets came back in the fifth for two runs as Ray Knight and Mookie Wilson provided the key hits. Boston came back with a run in the seventh off Roger McDowell. Barrett walked and went to third on an error by Knight. Evans hit a ground ball, the Mets were late on the double play, and drove in the second baseman.
Clemens came out of the game after seven and in came Calvin Schiraldi. Lee Mazzilli lead off that inning with a single and beat the throw to second on Lenny Dykstra’s bunt. Wally Backman sacrificed the runners along and Keith Hernandez was walked. Gary Carter hit a searing line drive that was caught by Jim Rice, sending Mazzilli home with the tying run.
The Mets squandered a chance in the ninth with Knight and Wilson stranded on the base paths after getting on with no one out. The tenth inning loomed.
With Rick Aguilera on the mound, Dave Henderson hit a home run to put Boston ahead. Barrett drove in an insurance run and Boston was three outs away from ending the curse.
The Mets had their 2-3-4 in their line up coming up that inning to face Schiraldi, so they were not dead. Backman lead off and flied out to left. Hernandez followed with a fly ball to deep center, which Henderson snagged. The Curse was dead. Right?
Carter, with two strikes, said he was just didn’t want to be the last out. He wasn’t. Base hit to left. Kevin Mitchell was making his reservation back to San Diego and rumor has it wasn’t even dressed. They got pants on him and he singled to center. Knight followed by singling on an 0-2 fastball, which went right over the head of Barrett. Carter scored and Mitchell went to third.
Exit Schiraldi and enter Bob Stanley. Wilson stepped up to the plate in the most important at bat in team history. The count went to 2-2 when an inside fastball went a little too far inside. It just missed Mookie and went to the backstop. Called a wild pitch (it was really a passed ball) Mitchell scored the tying run. For the third time the Mets came back in the game.
With Doug Sisk warming up in the pen, Knight moved to second and Wilson wasn’t finished. He sent a searing line drive down the left field line and then he fouled another ball off. Finally he hit a slow ground ball up the first line. Bill Buckner had it go through his legs, sending Knight home and Shea Stadium into a frenzy.
Vin Scully said of this moment, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, you have just seen a million words.” And how he was right. The Mets jumped on each other at home. The noise in the stadium was so loud; you couldn’t hear yourself talk. NBC quickly broke down their World Series stage in the Red Sox clubhouse, while Marv Albert, who was covering the losing locker room grabbed Knight and Wilson to interview them. Since it was the night to move the clocks back, the bars in the city used it as an excuse to stay opened all night. No one cared. This team that was left for dead was rejuvenated; and won the seventh game two days later. 17 years after the fact, this game is still one of the greatest in World Series history and it is one of our Mets Greatest Games.
Discuss your memories of Game 6 on the MOFO Sports Mets Memories Board.