Friday July 4th, 1986: On this Independence Day, the Mets hosted the Houston Astros, in an NLCS preview.
At this point in the season, Davey Johnson's first place Mets (54-21) were running away with the NL East, with a 12.5 game lead over the Montreal Expos.
Over in the NL West, Hal Lanier's Astros (42-37) were 1.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants.
Todays, starting pitchers, were two of the best, as Dwight Gooden went up against Nolan Ryan in front of 28,557 fans cat Shea Stadium.
In the bottom of the 1st inning, Lenny Dykstra led off with a double to right field. He advanced to
third on Wally Backman's ground out. Keith Hernandez then singled up the middle & Dykstra scored with the first run.
In the 2nd, Kevin Bass led off with a single, but was erased by Gary Carter, attempting to steal. The Mets got a single from Danny Heep to lead off the 2nd, then Nolan Ryan walked Howard Johnson. But Rafael Santana hit into a double play.
Nolan Ryan would pitch five innings, allowing the run on three hits. He struck out six & walked three. He was relieved by Larry Andersen, who pitched a scoreless 6th inning.
In the top of the 7th, Gooden served up a HR to the dangerous Kevin Bass, trying up the game at one.
Dave Smith came on in the 7th inning, after a fun seventh inning stretch, the Shea fans had something to cheer about. Rafael Santana drew a lead off walk.
Gooden sacrificed him over to second. Lenny Dykstra then singled, bringing in Santana for the lead run.
Dwight Gooden, would go the distance. Although he allowed walks in both the 8th & 9th inning, he didn't allow any more Astro hits. Overall he allowed one run on five hits, striking out four & walking five. He went to 10-3 in the season, with a 2.58 ERA.
The Mets only had five hits on the night, with Dykstra collecting two of them, along with the game winning RBI.