1986 World Series

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New York Mets rally in extra innings to beat Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of 1986 World Series

The Mets dominated Major League Baseball in 1986, winning 108 games, 12 more wins than the next closest team, the Houston Astros, who won 96 games. The Mets outscored opponents by an MLB-best 1.3 runs per game, more than double the Red Sox and California Angels, who tied for second in run differential by outscoring opponents by 0.6 runs per game. Despite the dominant regular season, the Mets were pushed hard in the playoffs, winning a close series in the NLCS against the Astros before moving on to face the Red Sox in the World Series.

The Red Sox jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the World Series after taking the first two games at Shea Stadium in New York. After the Mets tied the series up 2-2 with two wins at Fenway Park, Boston won a pivotal Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 went to extra innings, and Boston appeared on the verge of clinching their first championship since 1918 after scoring two runs in the top of the 10th inning, which put the Red Sox up 5-3. Consecutive fly outs by Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez had the Red Sox one out away from winning the title with a two-run lead and nobody on base. By Baseball Reference’s win probability, Hernandez’s fly out gave Boston a 99% chance to win the game and ultimately the series.

Then, with two outs and nobody on base, the Mets began to rally. Gary Carter hit a line drive single to left field to get the tying run to the plate. Kevin Mitchell followed up Carter’s single with a single of his own, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Ray Knight delivered the Mets’ third consecutive hit, a single right-center field, which scored Carter and got Mitchell to third base. Then, Mookie Wilson had an at-bat for the ages. Wilson fouled off multiple two-strike pitches before a wild pitch on the seventh pitch of the at-bat scored Mitchell from third base to tie the game. Wilson then fouled off two more two-strike pitches before hitting a slow roller down the first base line, which got past 1B Bill Buckner and scored Knight to win the game and tie the series 3-3. Watch Wilson’s full at-bat here:

At the start of Wilson’s historic at-bat, Boston’s win probability sat at a hefty 81%, per Baseball Reference. The wild pitch that tied the game swung the win probability in the Mets’ favor, to 60% for the Mets. By the time the at-bat ended, the Mets’ win probability had closed at 100% after Knight scored to win the game following Buckner’s error. It was an epic rally in one of the highest leveraged moments in MLB history. The Mets carried their momentum generated from their improbable Game 6 rally to win Game 7 and the World Series.

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