1986 was an amazing season for the Astros. Houston, after years of being a major baseball powerhouse, looked like a team that was destined for the postseason. Ryan and Knepper were the Astros’ pitching personnel. The front office also made some excellent moves. Here are some key players from this season. Find out how they affected the team by reading on. Remember to vote for your favorite Astros player of that season! You might even win a prize!
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Mets were a baseball powerhouse in the mid-1980s
If you are a New York sports fan, you remember the Mets’ heyday. Back in the mid-80s, the team was one of the strongest in baseball, led by stars like Gary Carter, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, and catcher Gary Carter. The team averaged 95 wins over that time span and won the World Series in one season. They were just one game away from winning it all again in 1986. They won the World Series in 1984 and were very close to winning it again in 1985.
One of the key players in this period was Davey Johnson, a former Orioles second baseman and Mets manager. Johnson led the Mets to second place in 1990 using computer models and forecasting. The team won five more games in 1991 and went on to win the World Series the following year. The Mets’ first World Series title in the mid-80s was lost to the Cubs in 1993.
While there were plenty of bright spots to the Mets’ 1983 season, the team’s failure to win the World Series would haunt them for decades. It’s no wonder that the team’s minor-league system produced stars like Darryl Strawberry and Dwight “Doc” Gooden, who are now the subjects of the 30 for thirty documentary premiering tonight on ESPN. The documentary highlighted the impact of these two players.
The 1986 Mets broke away from the rest of their division early and dominated their rivals throughout the season. They won the NL East twice, and came within one game of winning the World Series again in 1988. The tin offense that accompanied the offensive powerhouse was made possible by the team’s dynamic duo of Darryl Smith and Doc O’Brien. Both players had career highs that tied them as the twentieth-highest-producing pair of teammates under 26 in baseball history.
The 1979 season was the last season the Mets played at Shea Stadium, and they were out of the running for the NL East. However, the Mets won 98 games in ’85, but they missed out on the division title to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets won two of the first two games against the Cardinals but lost the third game and St. Louis took the division title. However, in the mid-80s, the Mets had rediscovered themselves as a baseball powerhouse. The same season, they sold their publishing company to Bertelsmann AG, and Wilpon bought half of the team.
The team’s success was largely due to the pitching staff. Their pitching staffs were among the best in the league in the mid-80s. Thankfully, Jesse O was their backup pitcher, and he was a major reason why. The Mets’ pitching staff was a major reason they were so successful in the mid-80s.
Houston was a team of destiny in 1986
In the first half of the 1986 season, Houston looked like a team of destiny. The Angels’ rotation was dominated by no less than Nolan Ryan, Bob Knepper, and Mike Scott. The New York Mets, meanwhile, had a team that rubbed opponents the wrong way and won 108 games. Their opponents were 79-82, and they stole 262 bases. But Houston was different.
On Sunday Night Football, the Astros faced the Mets in their first game. Despite having a starting pitcher who could go the distance against the Mets’ ace, Houston made the most of it and staked out an early lead. Davis singled against Sid Fernandez, and then homered. Dickie Thon hit a solo blast in the top of the fifth inning, and the Mets didn’t score again until the eighth inning.
Pitchers on the 1986 Astros
Under Bob Knepper, the 1986 Astros won 17 games. The left-hander threw off-speed pitches to get out of jams and struck out five. He also faced Bob Ojeda. The Astros led 1-0 in Game One with Billy Hatcher’s first-inning single. The Astros tied the series at one each in Game 2. In Game Three, Bob Knepper faced veteran left-hander Bob Knepper, and Darryl Strawberry singled to left-center. After that, the Astros tallied five runs in the seventh inning, as did the Mets.
Among the Astros’ pitching staff, no other team had so many stars. The Astros’ starting rotation included the 31-year-old Mike Scott and future Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan. Jim Deshaies and Bob Knepper were also part of it. The Astros occasionally had Mark Knudson and Danny Darwin as their scouts. Mike Scott, the Astros’ pitching staff ace, had a 2.22 ERA and a record of 96-60.
While Scott won the NL Cy Young Award, he was only 5-8 in the 1984 World Series. Despite a career-high ERA of 0.50, he won two games and threw a no-hitter in Game 7. Hatcher had only arrived in Houston in the off-season. He was not well-known before his Game 7 homer. Despite his lack of recognition, Hatcher stole 38 bases and became a household name in Houston.
The 1986 Astros started the season strong, winning eight of nine games on a road trip. This momentum helped the team maintain its lead in the division over the Cincinnati Reds. The Astros won the World Series with Billy Hatcher at the outfield. The ’86 Astros also got the services of an All-Star right fielder, Kevin Bass, as well as Gerrit Cole, who was just waiting for his stuff. The strikeout totals of Verlander and Cole were incredible.
After a disappointing season, the Astros finally broke through. The Astros lost Game Six of 1986’s World Series to the Mets under Davey Johnson. In the end, the Mets won the World Series. This was the year Nolan Ryan arrived in Houston. The Astros won 76-86. Nolan Ryan, Glenn Davis, and Mike Scott were the 1986 Astros’ pitchers.
Game Four of the series was in New York, where the Astros turned to left-handed relief ace Nolan Ryan instead of Jim Deshaies. Ryan was faced by Dwight Gooden of the Mets, who had only given up one run in Game One. The game was tied at the end of the second inning. However, Fred Brocklander’s controversial call may have changed the outcome.
The 1986 Astros have two Cy Young award winners and Cy Young winner Mike Scott. The former threw a no hitter to win the 1986 NL West while the latter won in six. The Astros’ magic number was two, and Bob Scott was named the NLCS MVP. He would throw two more one-hit shutouts a season later. The Astros were able to win the division with their no-hitter, but he was named a NLCS MVP.