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MLB – 1986 – NLCS Mets Vs Astros Game 6 Special PostGame Show With Keith Jackson + Tim McCarver

In one of the most famous games in baseball history, the Mets defeated the Houston Astros at the Astrodome by a score of 7 – 6 in 16 innings….as Mets Jesse Orosco struck out Kevin Bass on a curveball for the final out with runners at first and second….and the New York advanced to its third World Series in franchise history.

Houston took a 3–0 lead in the first inning against Bob Ojeda with an RBI double by Phil Garner….plus RBI singles from Glenn Davis and Jose Cruz….which gave Astros’ starter Bob Knepper an early advantage. They were unable to add more runs as Bass was thrown out at third base following Alan Ashby’s botched attempt to lay down a suicide-squeeze bunt and then Ashby lined out to shortstop to end the inning.

That lead held up for most of the game as Knepper was dominant….while allowing no runs through the first eight innings…..and meanwhile, Ojeda allowed nothing more through his next four frames….after which Rick Aguilera tossed three scoreless innings.

This set the stage for a Mets’ comeback in the top of the ninth that started when Lenny Dykstra tripled against Knepper to lead off….then Mookie Wilson singled in Dykstra to cut it to 3–1….and then with one out, Keith Hernandez doubled to score Wilson….and end Knepper’s night as the southpaw was replaced by Astro closer Dave Smith….who proceeded to walked Gary Carter and Darryl Strawberry to load the bases….when Ray Knight hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Hernandez….and tie the game before Danny Heep struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Roger McDowell then came in to pitch for the Mets…..and allowed just one hit through five scoreless innings. Meanwhile, Houston pitchers Smith and Larry Andersen held the Mets hitless until the top of the 14th when Carter singled and Strawberry walked….so, with one out Wally Backman singled off Aurelio López to plate Strawberry with the go-ahead run as Bass’ throw home sailed high. The Mets still had the bases loaded before Wilson struck out to end the threat.

The Mets were now three outs away from going to the World Series….but with one out in the bottom of the 14th….Billy Hatcher homered off the left-field foul pole against Orosco to tie the game 4–4.

However, in the top of the 16th, Strawberry doubled to lead off against López….followed by Knight’s single that scored Strawberry to put the Mets ahead again. Jeff Calhoun then replaced López and threw two wild pitches….with the second scoring Knight to put New York up by two….and Dykstra then singled in Backman, who had walked, for a 7–4 Mets’ advantage.

The Mets needed each of those three runs as Houston rallied once again when with one out….as Davey Lopes drew a pinch-hit walk….followed by Bill Doran’s single….then Hatcher singled in Lopes to make it 7 – 5….after which Denny Walling hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out…..as Glenn Davis followed with a single to centerfield that landed in front of a charging Dykstra….which brought home Doran to cut it to 7 – 6…..and the tying run in scoring position and the winning run at first base….and with would-be Game 7 starter Mike Scott looming in the dugout….and Orosco on a full count….Orosco fanned Bass to end the series and send the Mets to a World Series duel with the Boston Red Sox. It was their first pennant in 13 years.

Orosco pitched three innings for his third win of the series….thus marking the first time a reliever had ever won three games in a postseason series. The time of the game was 4 hours and 42 minutes….and the 16 innings was the most that had ever been played in a postseason contest at that time. The Mets and Astros had also played a 15-inning contest that lasted 5 hours and 29 minutes during the regular season, which Houston won 9 – 8….so, to say these two teams were evenly matched would be a gross understatement.

In 2011, MLB Network ranked this as the fifth greatest game of the preceding fifty years….and in Bone Daddy’s (the original Sportsphile) opinion…..who saw this entire series live….says there is no way any game that he would see could ever be better.

This was the last game in which the Astros wore their “tequila sunrise” uniform top, which the franchise introduced in 1975 and became one of the most iconic, if infamous, uniforms in MLB history…..as this video and each video that we have of this awesome NLCS are literally “nuggets of gold” in our ImaSportsphile treasure chest of vintage memories.

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