The stunning playoffs of 1986
OCTOBER 15, 1986
TEXAS – Two of the most exciting League Championship Series ever ended on this date in 1986. The Boston Red Sox won the American League Championship Series in seven games after surviving the California Angels being one strike from advancing to the World Series in game 5. And the New York Mets defeated the Houston Astros in 16 innings to win the NLCS.
Game 5 of ALCS was filled with drama. The Red Sox were down 5-2 in the ninth. Red Sox DH Don Baylor hit a two-run homer on a two-strike pitch with one out. The Red Sox were within a run. After another out Angel’s reliever Gary Lucas hit the first batter he faced. Donny Moore was brought in to pitch to the Red Sox’s Dave Henderson.
Moore had two strikes on
Henderson – they were one strike from their first World Series – and
Henderson hit a two-run homer to give the Angels the lead.
As dramatic as that was, it wasn’t the end. The Angels tied the game in the last of the 9th. Neither team scored in the 10th. The Red Sox scored the go-ahead run in 11th on a sacrifice fly by Dave Henderson. They were now down 3 games to 2, but were heading back to
Boston where they won the final two games. The clincher being October 15, 1986
Dave Henderson celebrating go-ahead home run
The National League Championship Series in ’86 ended with two nail-biting marathons between the Mets and Astros. Game 5 in
Houston went 12 innings with the Mets winning 2-1. In game 7 the Astros entered the 9th inning up 3-0. The Mets tied the game 3-3. Both teams fought on punch for punch. After neither team scored in the 10th, 11th, 12th or 13th, both score a run the 14th, so they play on. The Mets score 3 in the 16th inning.
Houston gets a rally going in their half of the 16th (will the game ever end?), and score 2 to make it 7-6,
but Mets reliever Jesse Orosco strikes out Kevin Bass with the tying run on second. The Mets advance.
It would have been hard to top those series,
but the Mets and Red Sox pretty much did in the ’86 World Series won by the Mets with the help of a ball going through Billy Buckner’s legs on what would have been the third out of game 6.
Bill Buckner after ball went through his legs