Remembering Mets History: Ron Darling in the 1986 World Series

centerfieldmaz Looks back at Ron Darling's fine performances in the 1986 World Series.

Saturday October 18th, 1986- World Series Game #1 (Shea Stadium, New York):

There was much excitement in New York City as the World Series began. One of the best Mets teams ever assembled were popular favorites to win the World Series, their first Championship since 1969. Davey Johnsons club had won 108 games, 21 1/5 games ahead of the second place Phillies.


Boston Red Sox

New York Mets
3BMookie WilsonLF
Marty Barrett2BLenny DykstraCF
Bill Buckner1BKeith Hernandez1B
Jim RiceLFGary CarterC
Dwight EvansRFDarryl StrawberryRF
Rich GedmanCRay Knight3B
Dave HendersonCFTim Teufel2B
Spike OwenSSRafael SantanaSS
Bruce HurstPRon DarlingP

John McNamara's Boston Redsox were 95-66 on the season & had just defeated the California Angels in the ALCS. Bruce Hurst (13-8 / 2.99 ERA / 167 K's) who would be a thorn in the Mets side all Series, got the ball for the opener facing off against The Mets; Ron Darling (15-6 / 2.81 ERA / 184 K's).

After Mets fan / actress; Glenn Close sung the National Anthem, Ron Darling took the mound & had a fantastic outing on the big stage.  Darling scattered just three hits over seven innings, striking out eight batters while walking three. In the 7th inning, Darling walked Jim Rice to start out the inning. He would advance on a wild pitch.

Then with one out, Rich Gedman grounded a ball to second base that went under the glove of Tim Teufel. The error allowed Rice to score in what turned out to be the only heartbreaking run of the game.  

Hurst shut out the Mets over eight innings allowing just four runs. Calvin Schiraldi closed it out in the 9th. The Mets found themselves down 1-0 in the series.

Wednesday October 22nd, 1986 -World Series Game #4 (Fenway Park, Boston)

 Starting Lineups

The Mets had dropped the first two games at Shea, but won Game #3 at Fenway Park. Down Two games to one in Game #4, the local boy; Ron Darling (15-6 / 2.81 ERA / 184 Ks) got a chance to pitch in the region he grew up in, against the team he rooted for.

Another Fenway sellout of 33,920 came out on a cool New England night, as Manager John McNamarra sent Al Nipper (10-12 / 5.38 ERA) to the mound for the Red Sox.

After taking a rough 1-0 loss in Game #1, Darling would get offensive support in Game #4.

It was another big night for " the Kid"- Gary Carter. Carter would collect three hits & blast a pair of HRs, driving in three runs. These nights were the icing on the cake for his spectacular Hall of Fame career.

His first HR was a two run shot (bringing in Wally Backman who singled) coming off Al Nipper in the 4th inning. Daryl Strawberry followed with a double & Ray Knight drove him in with a base hit, making it 3-0. Knight himself was just hot on his way to the Series MVP Award.

In the 7th inning, Lenny Dykstra hit his second HR of the Series, a two run shot off Steve Crawford.

In the 8th inning, Carter hit his second HR of the evening, a solo shot off also off Sox pitcher; Steve Crawford. Up to this point Carter had seven hits in the Series, (7-17 with 2 HRs & 7 RBIs).

Ron Darling went seven shut out innings, allowed just four hits, he struck out four but walked six. He was relieved by Roger McDowell who gave up two runs in the Red Sox 8th inning.

Jesse Orosco closed the game out, as the Mets won it 6-2 & evened up the World Series two games each. 

Trivia: The 1986 World Series games at Fenway Park, was where & when the famous  "Daaaaaaryl" chants actually started. 

The Fenway Park, right field Red Sox fans, began taunting Daryl Strawberry with those haunting “Daaaaaryl” chants. He responded by tipping his cap in sarcasm. 

The Met fans responded by taunting reliever (former Met) Calvin Shiraldi in Games Six & Seven.

Darling would get the start in the final Game #7 but not have a good outing. Darling would last just into the 4th inning, giving up three runs on six hits. The two big blows came in the 2nd inning, as he gave up back to back HRs to Dwight Evans & Rich Gedman.

Overall in the World Series Darling made three starts going 1-1 with a 1.53 ERA. He gave up four earned runs, on 13 hits, as he struck out 12 batters & walked 10 in 17.2 innings pitched. Darling was the Mets best starter in the series. If not for the 1-0 unearned run loss in Game #1 ,his performance would have been looked back at as even better. 


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