October 25, 1986: Game Six of the World Series

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Date: October 25, 1986
Mets starter: Bob Ojeda
Mets: 6
Red Sox: 5
Winning pitcher: Rick Aguilera
Key player(s): Gary Carter, Ray Knight, Mookie Wilson
Key play: Mets' 10th inning singles, Stanley's wild pitch, Buckner's error

The Mets faced the Red Sox in the sixth game of the World Series on a Saturday night. A Shea Stadium crowd of 55,078 was on hand with the Mets on the brink of elimination. Scoring three runs in the 10th inning, the Mets pulled off an amazing comeback for a 6-5 win over Boston to tie the Series.

Wade Boggs got an infield single to lead off the top of the first inning. Mets’ starter Bob Ojeda retired Marty Barrett and Bill Buckner on consecutive fly balls to center fielder Lenny Dykstra. A double by Dwight Evans brought home Boggs with the first run of the game. Rich Gedman flied out to right fielder Darryl Strawberry to end the inning. Boston starter Roger Clemens pitched a perfect bottom half. The Sox had runners at first and third base with two outs in the top of the second. Barrett singled to score Spike Owen for a 2-0 Boston lead. Ojeda retired Buckner on an inning-ending fly ball to Strawberry. Clemens then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Ojeda and Clemens each hurled scoreless third and fourth innings. In the fifth, Bob held the Red Sox without a run and Strawberry drew a walk to lead off the bottom half. Darryl stole second base and came around to score on a single by Ray Knight. Mookie Wilson followed with a single on which Knight moved to third via an error by right fielder Evans. Ray scored the tying run on pinch-hitter Danny Heep’s double play ground ball to second baseman Barrett. Ojeda grounded out to Barrett to end the inning. Bob shut down the Sox in the top of the sixth. With one out in the bottom half, Wally Backman singled and went to third base on a single by Keith Hernandez. Clemens then threw a called third strike past Gary Carter and got Strawberry on an inning-ending force play grounder to Barrett.

Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell walked Barrett to start the top of the seventh. Barrett advanced to second base on Buckner’s ground out to second baseman Backman. Jim Rice hit a grounder on which third baseman Knight made a throwing error that enabled Barrett to move on to third. Evans followed with a ground ball on which Backman threw to shortstop Kevin Elster at second. Rice beat the throw (allowing Barrett to score and put Boston ahead) and Elster threw to first baseman Hernandez for an out on Evans. Rich Gedman followed with a single to left field. Rice tried to score on the hit, but was out on left fielder Wilson’s throw to catcher Carter to end the inning. Clemens then retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

The Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs against McDowell in the top of the eighth. Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco retired Buckner on a fly ball to Dykstra to close out the inning. Pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli singled off Boston’s Calvin Schiraldi to begin the bottom half. Dykstra reached on a fielder’s choice bunt with Mazzilli getting to second base. A sacrifice bunt by Backman advanced the runners and an intentional walk to Hernandez loaded the bases. Carter hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Mazzilli and tie the game at 3-3. Strawberry then flied out to center fielder Dave Henderson to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. Knight drew a walk to open the bottom of the inning. On an ensuing bunt by Wilson, catcher Gedman made an error that put Mets runners at first and second base. Pinch-hitter Howard Johnson went down on strikes and Mazzilli flied out to left fielder Rice. Schiraldi then got Dykstra on a fly ball to Rice for the third out to send the game onward.

Leading off the top of the 10th inning, Henderson hit a home run to reclaim the lead for Boston. Owen and Schiraldi went down on strikes and Boggs doubled to left field. Barrett hit a single to drive home Boggs and increase the Red Sox’ lead to 5-3. Buckner was hit by a pitch and Aguilera retired Rice on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Mazzilli. The Mets were only one-half inning away from a sad ending to their season.

Backman flied out to Rice to start the bottom of the 10th. Hernandez was retired on a fly ball to Henderson. With the Sox an out from ultimate victory, Carter kept the Mets’ chances alive with a single to left field. Pinch-hitter Kevin Mitchell singled to center field. An ensuing single by Knight scored Carter and sent Mitchell to third base. Schiraldi was replaced on the mound by reliever Bob Stanley. With Wilson at bat, Stanley threw a wild pitch that brought home Mitchell to tie the game and send Knight to second base. Mookie followed with a ground ball that got past first baseman Buckner for an error. Knight came around to score the winning run. The Mets had a miracle victory to even the Series as Shea Stadium roared with delight.