Sunday, September 25, 2016

Astros 1986: Mike Scott clinched NL West with a no-hitter

On this day in 1986, I was in the car and listening to the Astros play the Giants.   It turned out to be a great top of the 9th to catch on the radio:    
"...........the Astros needed just one victory to clinch the second division title in franchise history. Sending their ace Mike Scott to the mound, the Astros and the 32,000-plus fans in attendance got more than they bargained for. With a performance that virtually assured him the Cy Young award, Scott no-hit the San Francisco Giants for the clincher, setting up a playoff showdown with the New York Mets two weeks later. 
Scott was dominating, allowing only three runners while striking out 13. The game was close to the end, with their only runs coming from a solo homer by Denny Walling in the fifth inning and an RBI single by Jose Cruz in the seventh inning.
The 1986 season holds a special place in the heart of many Astros fans, partly because it was the last time that the team had come a heartbeat away from a trip to the World Series. 
The season ended with a heartbreaking, 16-inning playoff loss to the Mets in Game 6 of the NLCS -- a game that many call the "greatest game ever played." With Scott waiting to take the mound in Game 7, many Mets admitted afterwards that they considered Game 6 a "do or die" game. 
The Astros consolation prizes after the season came when Scott won the Cy Young award, the first and only Astro pitcher to win the award. 
Since the team struggled in 1987 and started rebuilding in 1990, many fans now look back at the 1986 team as greatest of the strong teams from the Eighties.
The 1986 Astros were indeed a great team.   Mike Scott won 88 games over a 5-year span in Houston.   He retired with 124 wins but will always be remembered for that magical afternoon!

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