1980sABCBaseballHouston AstrosKeith JacksonMLBMLB Hall of FameMLB NLCSNew York MetsNolan Ryan

MLB – 1986 NLCS – Game 2 – 1st Thru 7th Inning – Astrodome – New York Mets VS Houston Astros


The 1986 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven in Major League Baseball postseason series between the NL East champion New York Mets and NL West champion Houston Astros….for this is the lone MLB playoff series in which the opponents were two “expansion” teams that had begun play in the same season (1962)….and was won by the Mets four games to two….culminating with their 7–6, 16-inning triumph at Houston in Game 6….as the Mets went on to defeat the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 World Series, four games to three.

After falling short of the NL East title in 1984 and 1985….the Mets who were managed by Davey Johnson….captured first place in 1986 by posting a 108–54 record….21 12 games ahead of the second-place rival Philadelphia Phillies. The title was the third in Mets’ history and first since winning the 1973 NL pennant.

Meanwhile, Houston recorded a mark of 96–66 to capture the NL West title….after clinching the crown when staff ace Mike Scott threw a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants….marking the first time any team had nailed down a division championship with a no-hitter. It was also the first time the Astros had won a division in six seasons. Houston was managed by Hal Lanier.

Leading into the series…the Mets won 7 of their 12 regular-season games  against the Astros….by taking five of six at home and losing four of six in Houston….including a three-game sweep in July during which New York’s Bob Ojeda, Ron Darling, Tim Teufel, and Rick Aguilera were arrested for a scuffle with off-duty cops working as bouncers. Home field advantage, from 1969 to 1993, alternated between division winners, regardless of record. The Mets were to have home field advantage for this series, as the Dodgers (the 1985 NL West Champions) had it the previous year, however, a regular season NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Houston Oilers made the Astrodome unavailable for October 12. Consequently, Games 1, 2, 6, and 7, were scheduled for the Astrodome to avoid conflicts.

Game 2 of the 1986 NLCS between the New York Mets vs. Houston Astros was played on Thursday, October 9, 1986, at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas….the home of the Houston Astros….as this game featured already a living legend pitcher named Nolan Ryan against the Mets Bobby Ojeda….a crafty lefthander….as Game 2 saw the Mets knot the series at one game apiece as New York scored two runs in the fourth inning….and then got three more in the fifth against Astros’ starter Nolan Ryan en route to a 5–1 victory. 

Lefty Bob Ojeda went the distance on a ten-hitter for the Mets….who were aided by an RBI double by Gary Carter and a sacrifice fly by Darryl Strawberry in the fourth inning….while Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez combined for three RBIs in the fifth inning. The only Astros run came on a Phil Garner single in the seventh inning. This game was really the only game of the entire 1986 NLCS that was a bit lop-sided…..as the Astros never really mounted any threat at all after the 5th inning….but it was still great baseball.

Keith Jackson, Jim Palmer and Tim McCarver of ABC Sports….were the braodcasting crew for Game 2….and any time you get to hear a game called by Keith Jackson….it makes the video well worth watching on its own merit….not to mention getting to watch Nolan Ryan pitch….even in a losing effort.

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