September 17, 1986: Mets Clinch NL East
|Date: September 17, 1986|
|Mets starter: Dwight Gooden|
|Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden|
|Key player(s): Dave Magadan, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden|
|Key play: Magadan's RBI singles, Chico Walker's ground out|
The Mets returned from a rough road trip with a chance to clinch the East Division title at Shea Stadium. Dwight Gooden pitched a complete game 6-hitter and newcomer Dave Magadan got three singles and two RBIs for a 4-2 win over the Cubs. For the first time in 13 years, the Mets were division champions.
In the third inning, the Mets took a 2-0 lead against Chicago starter Dennis Eckersley. Magadan singled to score Len Dykstra and Darryl Strawberry's single brought home Wally Backman to start the scoring. In the fifth, Magadan singled home Dykstra again and Stan Jefferson scored on an outfield error in the seventh for the other Mets' runs.
Rafael Palmeiro got Gooden for a two-run homer in the eighth, but that was all the scoring for the Cubs. The East title was nailed down when Gooden got Chico Walker on a ground ball to second baseman Backman. The champagne party in the Mets' clubhouse began immediately.
- Keith Hernandez was not in the starting lineup due to illness and was replaced by Magadan. Still, Keith entered the game in the ninth inning, in time to take the throw from Backman for the final out.