October 27, 1986: Game Seven of the World Series

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Date: October 27, 1986
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 8
Red Sox: 5
Winning pitcher: Roger McDowell
Key player(s): Sid Fernandez, Ray Knight
Key play: Hernandez's single, Knight's home run, Orosco's strikeout of Barrett

The Mets and Red Sox played each other in the seventh game of the World Series on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. After being postponed one night by rain, the teams faced off to decide the Series title. The Mets came out with an 8-5 win over Boston for their second World Championship.

Ron Darling and the Sox’ Bruce Hurst each pitched a scoreless first inning. To begin the top of the second, Dwight Evans and Rich Gedman hit back-to-back home runs. Dave Henderson drew a walk and Spike Owen popped out to shortstop Rafael Santana. A sacrifice bunt by Hurst moved Henderson to second base. Wade Boggs hit a single to drive home Henderson for a 3-0 Boston lead. Marty Barrett got a bunt single and Darling retired Bill Buckner on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Mookie Wilson. Hurst then held the Mets to a single by Ray Knight in the bottom half.

Following a scoreless third inning, Darling hit Henderson with a pitch to start the top of the fourth. Owen flied out to right fielder Darryl Strawberry and a sacrifice bunt by Hurst advanced Henderson to second base. Mets’ reliever Sid Fernandez walked Boggs and got Barrett on a fly ball to Strawberry for the third out. Hurst retired the Mets in order in the bottom half. Fernandez struck out Rice and Evans to complete a perfect top of the fifth and Hurst set down all three New York batters in the bottom of the inning. Sid then recorded two more strikeouts in setting down the Red Sox 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth.

Pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli singled with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Wilson followed with a single and Tim Teufel drew a walk to load the bases. Keith Hernandez hit a single to left-center field to score Mazzilli and Wilson with Teufel moving to third base. On Gary Carter’s uncaught fly ball, right fielder Evans threw to shortstop Owen for a force out at second on Hernandez as pinch-runner Wally Backman scored to tie the game. Hurst retired Darryl Strawberry on a fly ball to left fielder Jim Rice to end the inning. Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell then pitched a perfect top of the seventh.

To begin the bottom of the seventh inning, Knight homered off Boston’s Calvin Schiraldi to give the Mets a 4-3 lead. Pinch-hitter Lenny Dykstra singled and went to second base on Schiraldi’s wild pitch. Santana hit a single to drive home Dykstra with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. A sacrifice bunt by McDowell advanced Santana to second. Sox reliever Joe Sambito issued an intentional walk to Wilson and a base on balls to Backman to load the bases. Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to score Santana. Bob Stanley then came in to pitch for the Red Sox and retired Carter on an inning-ending ground ball to Owen.

Buckner singled off McDowell to start the top of the eighth. Rice followed with a single to center field. An ensuing double by Evans scored Buckner and Rice to reduce the Mets’ lead to 6-5. Jesse Orosco came in to pitch and got Gedman to line out to second baseman Backman. Orosco followed up by striking out Henderson. Jesse then retired pinch-hitter Don Baylor on a ground ball to Santana for the third out of the inning.

Against Boston’s Al Nipper, Strawberry led off the bottom of the eighth with a home run. Knight singled and moved to second base on Dykstra’s ground out to shortstop Ed Romero. Santana was walked intentionally and Orosco hit a single to score Knight with the Mets’ eighth run. Red Sox reliever Steve Crawford hit Wilson with a pitch to load the bases. Backman hit a grounder on which second baseman Barrett threw to catcher Gedman for a force out at home on Santana. Crawford then retired Hernandez on an inning-ending ground ball to Barrett.

Romero fouled out to first baseman Hernandez to start the top of the ninth inning. Boggs grounded out to Backman. Orosco then struck out Barrett to end the game. The Mets had become World Champions and the celebration was on.