October 8, 1986: Game One of the NLCS

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Date: Sunday October 8, 1986
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 0
Astros: 1
Winning pitcher: Mike Scott
Key player(s): Mike Scott
Key play: Glenn Davis's home run

The Mets and Astros started the National League Championship Series on a Wednesday night at the Astrodome. The teams had concluded their silver anniversary seasons with championships in their respective divisions. Mike Scott struck out fourteen New York batters in a 1-0 Houston win.

Scott recorded four strikeouts in pitching scoreless first and second innings. For the Mets in the first, Dwight Gooden set down the side in order on three fly balls to left fielder Mookie Wilson. Glenn Davis began the bottom of the second with a home run off Gooden. Kevin Bass followed with a double and Jose Cruz flied out to center fielder Lenny Dykstra. A walk to Alan Ashby and a single by Craig Reynolds loaded the bases. Gooden struck out Scott and retired Billy Hatcher on a force play grounder to third baseman Ray Knight to end the inning. Scott fanned Gooden in a perfect top of the third. Dwight then set down all three Astros batters on infield ground balls in the bottom half.

Keith Hernandez singled for the Mets’ first hit with one out in the top of the fourth inning. Gary Carter went down on strikes and Darryl Strawberry hit an inning-ending force play grounder to second baseman Bill Doran. With one out in the bottom half, three consecutive Houston singles loaded the bases. Gooden got Scott to hit a grounder to shortstop Rafael Santana for a double play that ended the inning. Wilson grounded back to Scott to open the top of the fifth. Scott struck out Knight and a single by Santana ensued. Gooden hit a ground ball to Doran for the third out. Dwight then shut down the Astros in the bottom of the inning.

Scott threw called third strikes past Hernandez and Carter to close out a scoreless top of the sixth. Bass singled to lead off the bottom half. Cruz went down on strikes and Bass stole second base. Ashby drew a walk and Reynolds flied out to right fielder Strawberry. Gooden struck out Scott to end the inning. Scott got Strawberry for his tenth strikeout to begin a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Gooden then recorded a pair of strikeouts in pitching a perfect bottom of the inning.

Pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli went down on strikes to start the top of the eighth. Danny Heep got a pinch-hit single and a single by Dykstra moved pinch-runner Kevin Elster to second base. Scott fanned Wally Backman and Hernandez to finish off the inning. Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Strawberry singled with one out in the top of the ninth. Darryl stole second base and advanced to third on Wilson’s ground out to first baseman Davis. Scott then struck out Knight to end the game. The Mets were behind one game to none to start the Series.