1986: Jesse Orosco strikes out Marty Barrett to seal Mets’ second World Series title
Much has been made about the Mets’ 1986 World Series win over the Boston Red Sox. It has been the subject of many books and a four-part documentary by ESPN. Game 6 is revered as one of the most iconic postseason comebacks in MLB history, and rightfully so. It’s also arguably the most famous game in Mets history. But Game 7 of that thrilling Fall Classic is what truly put the bow on the Mets’ season and capped a blustering, boisterous ride that took the Mets to the promised land.
Ron Darling started that decisive game, facing Red Sox hurler Bruce Hurst. Darling got an early hook after allowing three runs in 3 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, the Mets were stymied by Hurst until the bottom of the sixth, when future co-captains Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter tied the game with an RBI single and a groundout, respectively. From there, New York teed off on Calvin Schiraldi, who had blown the save for the Red Sox in Game 6, and took an 8-5 lead into the ninth.
To close out the final frame, the ball was in Jesse Orosco’s hand. He had relieved fellow bullpen stalwart Roger McDowell in the eighth, and even delivered an RBI single after hitting for himself in the bottom of the inning. Orosco had been a force to be reckoned with out of the ‘pen all year, pitching to a 2.33 ERA over 58 appearances in the regular season. Scheduled to hit were Ed Romero, future Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, and Marty Barrett.
Orosco easily aced the most important assignment of his career. He retired Romero on a foul popup and got Boggs to ground out to nail down the first two outs. Barrett, who finished top 20 in AL MVP voting in 1986, then stepped up to the plate. After working the count to 2-2, the left-handed Orosco got Barrett to swing and miss for strike three.
Both the Mets and the loud Shea crowd roared with hearty excitement. Legendary announcer Vin Scully, who was calling the TV broadcast, sat back and let the moment breathe for viewers watching at home. It was a moment of pure, unadulterated joy.