The New York Mets won the 1986 World Series in dramatic fashion. Before they did, they went up against a former player of theirs in the NLCS, Mike Scott.
Unbeknownst to the New York Mets, on December 10, 1982, they picked up Danny Heep in a trade with the Houston Astros that nearly cost them the 1986 World Series. The deal sent starting pitcher Mike Scott down to Texas where he would go on to do some incredible things.
Scott’s time with the Mets included a 14-27 record, 4.64 ERA, and nothing to indicate he would go on to become an All-Star pitcher with a Cy Young trophy. However, after just one year in Houston, he began to raise some eyebrows.
Scott didn’t become one of the best pitchers in the league until the 1985 season when he went 18-8 with a 3.29 ERA. It would still take one more year before he figured out a way to strike out batters at a league-leading pace. Unfortunately for the Mets, it came right at the time when the two reunited in the postseason.
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The 1986 NLCS was a matchup between the two new franchises from the 1962 season. The Astros were the Colt .45s back then, later rethinking the idea of naming their franchise after a deadly weapon.
In 1986, Scott went 18-10 with a 2.22 ERA. He struck out 306 men in the regular season and was ready to do more damage against his old team in the playoffs. In his two starts against them, it’s exactly what he did.
New York managed to win the next two games, but in Game 4, Scott was back on the mound. This time, he faced off against Sid Fernandez. Despite pitching on short rest, Scott still managed to go the distance with another complete game. This time it was a 3-1 win for Houston.
Combined in those two starts, Scott was 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 19 strikeouts. Even with the Astros losing the next two games and the series, Scott won the series MVP Award.
Meanwhile, Heep was more of a role-player for the Mets from 1983-1986. He managed to have an impressive 1986 season, slashing .282/.379/.421 across 227 plate appearances.
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Compared to what Scott did in Houston, however, Heep’s contributions didn’t come close and it nearly cost the Amazins.