October 5, 1986: Mets End Season with 108th Win

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Date: October 5, 1986
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 9
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Gary Carter, Ray Knight, Darryl Strawberry
Key play: Carter’s home run, Knight’s home run, Strawberry’s grand slam

The Mets and Pirates played at Shea Stadium on a Sunday afternoon. The teams ended the regular season with a two-hour and twenty-six minute finale. On the strength of three home runs, the Mets chalked up a 9-0 victory for their 108th win of the year.

Mets’starter Ron Darling pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. With one out in the bottom half, Wally Backman reached on an error by shortstop U. L. Washington and went to second when Keith Hernandez was hit by a pitch. A home run by Gary Carter gave the Mets a 3-0 lead. Pittsburgh starter Hipolito Pena retired the next two batters to end the inning. Darling shut down the Bucs in the top of the second. Pirates’ reliever Mike Bielecki then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Darling and Pittsburgh’s John Smiley each retired the side in order in the third inning. The Pirates failed to score despite an error by second baseman Backman and a walk to Bobby Bonilla in the top of the fourth. Darryl Strawberry walked and stole second base to begin the bottom half. Smiley struck out Howard Johnson and gave up a two-run homer to Ray Knight. A ground out by Rafael Santana and Smiley’s strikeout of Darling ended the inning. The Pirates were then set down 1-2-3 by Darling in the top of the fifth.

Bucs’ reliever Ray Krawczyk walked Tim Teufel with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. Singles by Dave Magadan and Carter loaded the bases. Strawberry hit a grand slam to increase the Mets’ lead to nine runs. Krawczyk completed the inning with no further scoring despite walks to Johnson and Santana. In relief, Sid Fernandez recorded two strikeouts in a perfect top of the sixth. Pirates’ reliever Barry Jones then retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Fernandez and Pittsburgh’s Pat Clements each pitched scoreless ball on one hit in the seventh inning. Sid struck out two batters while shutting down the Bucs in the top of the eighth. The Mets were retired in order by the Pirates’ Don Robinson in the bottom of the eighth inning. In the top of the ninth, Washington got a leadoff single and Mike Diaz fouled out to third baseman Knight. Fernandez then struck out pinch-hitter Rafael Belliard and Bonilla to end the game. The Mets had their 108th win to close the regular season.

Notes

  • Carter’s three-run homer gave him 105 runs batted in for the year, tying Rusty Staub’s team record set in 1975.
  • This was the only save for Fernandez in his 15-year career. Also, his game-ending strikeout gave him a season total of 200 for the only time.