July 27, 1985, at Shea Stadium included a game much different from the battle the New York Mets and Houston Astros would have a year later in the NLCS. The game was actually the first of a doubleheader due to a rainout the day prior. In this make-up game, the Mets had one of their strangest victories ever.
Bob Knepper of the Astros went up against Sid Fernandez of the Mets. Despite pitching 6.2 innings and allowing only 2 runs, Fernandez wouldn’t factor into the decision. It was Jesse Orosco, the last pitcher of the game who got them through the eighth and ninth, who would have the victory in this whacky 16-4 blowout win for the Mets.
Why was this such a unique game worth writing about all of these years later? All 16 of the Mets' runs were unearned.
Maybe the weirdest blowout Mets win included 16 unearned runs against the Astros
The scoring began in the bottom of the third when Lenny Dykstra singled and advanced to second on an error by the first baseman. Two batters later, Keith Hernandez drove him in with a single.
The bottom of the fifth began similarly with Rafael Santana reaching on an error by the third baseman. Dykstra doubled him in and would score on a sacrifice fly by Hernandez. A wild pitch later in the inning would score the fourth run of the game for the Mets.
The theme of the game was set. The Astros were going to make errors and the Mets were going to capitalize on them every chance they had.
Surprisingly, this game went into the bottom of the seventh tied at four. They were able to blow it wide open thanks to another error by the first baseman in the inning followed by a run on a fielder’s choice, two more on a double by Gary Carter, and the biggest slap of them all when Ray Knight launched a grand slam.
As the two clubs went into the bottom of the eighth with the Mets leading 10-4, the Astros decided to make two more errors to bring the total to 5 for the game. The Mets scored 6 more runs in the inning.
Errors went to Astros German Rivera, Phil Garner, Dickie Thon, and a pair to Glenn Davis whose two flubs at first base were his first two of the season.
The loss was an ugly one for the Astros and they had to do it all over again in the nightcap. New York took that game 7-3 with both teams avoiding errors altogether. The Mets did call upon Jesse Orosco to pitch again in game two. He’d log another 1.2 innings after the 2 he had earlier in the day. We’ll probably see a game of 16 unearned runs again before we see a prized closer throw 3.2 innings in one day in two games of a doubleheader.