October 9, 1986: Game Two of the NLCS

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Date: October 9, 1986
Mets starter: Bob Ojeda
Mets: 5
Astros: 1
Winning pitcher: Bob Ojeda
Key player(s): Bob Ojeda, Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez
Key play: Ojeda's tag of Bass, Carter's double, Hernandez's triple

The Mets and Astros played the second game of the National League Championship Series on a Thursday night in Houston. After dropping the opener, the Mets looked to get even in the Series. Bob Ojeda pitched a complete game as the Mets came away with a 5-1 win.

Ojeda and the Astros’ Nolan Ryan each hurled a perfect first inning. Ryan set down the side in order again in the top of the second. With one out in the bottom half, Kevin Bass doubled to left-center field. An infield single by Jose Cruz advanced Bass to third base. Alan Ashby hit a ground ball in front of home plate on which Ojeda tagged out Bass. Bob threw a called third strike past Dickie Thon to end the inning. Ryan struck out all three Mets batters in the top of the third. Ojeda then shut down Houston in the bottom half.

Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez got back-to-back singles with one out in the top of the fourth. Gary Carter hit a double to drive home Backman. A sacrifice fly by Darryl Strawberry plated Hernandez from third base for a 2-0 Mets lead. Mookie Wilson flied out to left fielder Cruz to end the inning. The Astros had two runners on base with one out in the bottom half. Ojeda then fanned Cruz and got Ashby on a force play ground ball to third baseman Ray Knight for the third out.

Rafael Santana singled with one out in the top of the fifth inning. Ojeda hit into a force play and Lenny Dykstra followed with a single to left field. Backman singled to score Ojeda and moved to second base on an error by center fielder Billy Hatcher. Hernandez followed with a triple that drove home Dykstra and Backman to increase the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Ryan retired Carter on an inning-ending fly ball to Hatcher. Ojeda then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Houston reliever Larry Andersen held the Mets to a single by Knight in the top of the sixth. Glenn Davis singled to open the bottom of the inning. Bass drew a walk and Cruz flied out to center fielder Dykstra. Ashby hit a force play grounder to shortstop Santana and a fly ball by Thon was caught by right fielder Strawberry for the third out. Andersen then shut down the Mets in the top of the seventh.

Pinch-hitter Terry Puhl singled to open the bottom of the seventh inning. Hatcher hit into a force play and advanced to second base on Bill Doran’s ground out to first baseman Hernandez. A single by Phil Garner scored Hatcher for the Astros’ first run of the game. Davis grounded out to Santana to end the inning. Houston reliever Aurelio Lopez hurled a scoreless top of the eighth. Ojeda then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Lopez and reliever Charlie Kerfeld combined to shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth. Thon led off the bottom of the inning with a single to center field. Pinch-hitter Dave Lopes hit a ground ball to Santana for a double play. Ojeda then retired Hatcher on a grounder to Knight to end the game. The Mets had a victory to even the Series at one game apiece.