Apr 6, 2020

Looking Back at Gary Carter's 1986 Fine World Series Performance

As the 1986 World Series opened up at Shea Stadium, there was much excitement in the air. The Mets had come off an exhausting NLCS & there was much anticipation that they were about to finish off their dominating season with a long awaited Championship.

The World Series didn't start out like the Mets & the fans had hoped. The Red Sox lefty, Bruce Hurst shut the Mets out for eight innings, holding them to four hits as he struck out eight. In the 3rd inning, Carter came to bat with two men on & grounded out to end the inning. 

In the 6th, after Keith Hernandez walked, Carter singled to centerfield. He was erased as Ray Knight grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The Mets lost the game 1-0 when a Rich Gedman ground ball went thru the legs of Ray Knight  scoring Jim Rice. Ron Darling took a heartbreaking loss allowing no earned runs with just three hits in seven innings.

The Sox pounded the Mets 9-3 in Game #2, Carter went 1-4 with an RBI single in the 5th inning, scoring Wally Backman. In the home 1st, Carter flew out to center field to end the inning, with two men on base. In the 7th, Bob Stanley struck him out with two men on base.

The Mets went to Boston shocked, down two games to nothing. Personally for Carter, the teams clean up hitter, he was 2-8 batting .171 with one RBI. 

But the Mets woke up for Game #3, Lenny Dykstra led off with a HR. Wally Backman & Keith Hernandez both singled, then Carter delivered with a double to centerfield scoring Backman. After flying out twice, Carter came to bat in the 7th inning with the bases loaded. He sailed a liner to short left field, Rafael Santana & Len Dykstra both scored. Carter tried to take second but was thrown out in a run down play. The Mets took a 6-1 lead & would go onto a 7-1 win.



In Game #4 it was Gary Carter's night. Cater had three hits, including two HRs. In the 4th inning, Wally Backman singled & attempted to steal second. Keith Hernandez saved the runner when he reached out & bounced a pitch out to short stop. Although he sacrificed himself, Backman was in scoring position. 

Gary Carter, came through big time, he connected off Al Nipper for a two run HR, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. In the 6th. Carter led off the inning with a double down the right field line. In the 8th, Carter completed the big night with a HR off Steve Crawford, a solo shot as he collected his third RBI of the night.



The Red Sox took Game #5 behind the pitching of Bruce Hurst, as Carter went 0-4. It was back to Shea with the Mets down three games to two.

Game #6 is now legendary & one of the all time classic World Series Games. Carter would start the game out 0-3, he flew out to lead off the 2nd. He then grounded out to end the 3rd, as the Mets were still down 2-0. In the 6th inning, with the score now tied at 2-2, Carter came up with two on & one out. Roger Clemens got him looking at a third strike.

Out at the Plate: Defensively, Carter made a huge play in the 7th inning. Jim Rice reached in a Rafael Santana error. Marty Barrett was already on first after walking & he scored when Dwight Evans grounded to second base. That gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. 

Rich Gedman then hit a base hit to left field, Mookie Wilson fielded the ball & threw home to Carter. Carter held his ground & tagged Rice out at the plate to end the inning as well as the Red Sox threat.

In the 8th inning, the Mets were still down 3-2. Lee Mazzilli singled & Len Dykstra reached on a bunt hit. With one out, The Red Sox & pitcher Calvin Schiraldi walked Keith Hernandez intentionally to load the bases & face Carter. 

Carter was insulted, the once feared hitter was now in a bit of a slump and getting into the later stages of his career, he had something to prove. The Kid came through, he hit a fly ball to left field, the sac fly scored Lee Mazzilli with the tying run.

In the 10th inning, the Mets were down 5-3 and were about to stage the greatest come back in team history, one of the best come backs in World Series history. After Calvin Schiraldi retired the first two Mets, it looked like the dream was about to end. But Gary Carter had one of the at bats of his career, taking a 2-1 pitch to left field for a base hit.

 It was the turning point of the inning, as Carter would advance to second on Kevin Mitchell's single & score on Ray Knight's single, getting the Mets to within a run.

It was Carter's base hit that brought life back into the Mets, the inning & the Shea Fans, as I was one in attendance that night.  When Carter scored, the Mets & the fans started to believe that a comeback was inevitable. Mookie Wilson had an epic at bat & his little roller went under the legs of Bill Buckner, a play he probably would have beat out anyway. Mitchell scored the tying run & Knight scored the winning run as we went to a Game #7.


In Game #7 Carter would go 0-4, but his ground out in the 6th inning scored Wally Backman with the game tying run, as Keith Hernandez was forced at second. In the 7th inning, the Mets took a 6-3 lead scoring three runs. Carter grounded out to end the inning, with two men on base. The Mets went on to an 8-5 win, while winning their second World Series.

For Gary Cater, in the World Series he would led the team in RBIs (9) which was four more than the next Met hitter, he also led in at bats (29) doubles (2) & was tied with Len Dykstra for most HRs (2) & was tied with five other Mets for most runs scored (4). 

Carter's eight hits were second to Ray Knight (9) & he finished with a .276 batting average. He struck out four times & did not draw a walk.

Defensively he caught eve inning of every World Series Game & the Red Sox never stole a base off him.

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