METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE JULY 20, 1986 GAME:
May 22, 2004
The last of a four game series...and another wild one that would be a preview of the 1986 NLCS!!
After seven innings, the Astros had a 4-2 lead. But in the eighth, back-to-back homers by Kevin Mitchell and Keith Hernandez tied it off Aurelio Lopez, and then Ray Knight gave the Mets a 5-4 lead on an infield out.
The Astros jumped right back in front in the bottom of the eighth as Doug Sisk gave up four straight hits to start the inning, and Jesse Orosco came in and allowed two more runs to score. The Astros led 8-5 going to the ninth.
In came Dave Smith again, just like yesterday (YAY!). Smith gave up a walk, an infield out, an RBI single and hit a batter, and the Mets had the tying runs on base. Frank DiPino came in to pitch and struck out Darryl Strawberry, but unlikely heroes Rafael Santana and Ed Hearn each singled to drive in runs and the game was tied, 8-8.
Both bullpens pitched well after that. Bob Knepper, who had thrown a three-hit shutout at the Mets two nights earlier, came in to pitch in the fifteenth inning and wound up the winning pitcher as Houston loaded the bases off Roger McDowell in the bottom of the fifteenth and got the winning run in on a fielder's choice.
The Astros got blown out in game one of this four game series and came back to win the next three. The next meeting of the two teams would be in the NLCS in October.