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Series Wrapup

Story

After finishing just one game behind Kansas City in the A.L. West the previous year, the California Angels captured their third division title in 1986, finishing the regular season with a record of 92-70 that left them five games ahead of the second-place Texas Rangers.  Featuring an offense that finished just sixth in the league with 786 runs scored, the Angels separated themselves from the rest of the teams in their division primarily with their outstanding pitching, which placed second in the junior circuit with a 3.84 team ERA.

Right-hander Mike Witt anchored California’s starting rotation, compiling a record of 18-10 and an ERA of 2.84, striking out 208 batters, and working 269 innings.  He received a considerable amount of help from Kirk McCaskill and 41-year-old Don Sutton.  McCaskill went 17-10, with a 3.36 ERA and 202 strikeouts.  Sutton finished third on the club with 15 victories.  Meanwhile, Donnie Moore saved 21 games working out of the bullpen.

Doug DeCinces, Brian Downing, Gary Pettis, and Wally Joyner paced the Angels on offense.  DeCinces hit 26 home runs and drove in 96 runs.  Downing hit 20 homers, knocked in 95 runs, and scored 90 others.  In addition to playing an exceptional centerfield, Pettis scored 93 runs and finished second in the league with 50 stolen bases.  Joyner earned a second-place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting by hitting 22 home runs, knocking in 100 runs, and batting .290.

While Texas proved to be California’s primary competition in the A.L. West, New York provided the greatest opposition to Boston in the East.  The Yankees’ offense enabled them to remain close to the Red Sox in the standings the entire year, even though their mediocre pitching ultimately caused them to come up a bit short.  The Red Sox won the division with a record of 95-66, finishing 5 ½ games ahead of the second-place Yankees.  Detroit finished third, 8 ½ games back, while the defending A.L. East champion Toronto Blue Jays slipped to fourth in the division, 9 ½ games off the pace.

New York’s offense remained one of the best in the league, finishing fourth in the rankings with 797 runs scored, third with 188 home runs, second with a team batting average of .271, and topping the circuit with a .347 team on-base percentage and a .430 team slugging average.  Dave Winfield hit 24 homers and drove in 104 runs.  Rickey Henderson homered 28 times and led the league with 130 runs scored and 87 stolen bases.  Don Mattingly earned a second-place finish in the A.L. MVP voting by hitting 31 home runs, knocking in 113 runs, scoring 117 others, batting .352, and leading the league with 238 hits, 53 doubles, 388 total bases, and a .573 slugging average.

However, the Red Sox were a more well-balanced team than the Yankees, finishing fifth in the league with 794 runs scored and tying for third in the circuit with a team ERA of 3.93.  Boston’s deep starting rotation included Bruce Hurst, Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, and staff ace Roger Clemens.  Hurst finished 13-8 with a 2.99 ERA.  The enigmatic Boyd finished second on the club with 16 victories.  Clemens earned A.L. Cy Young and MVP honors by leading all league pitchers with a record of 24-4 and a 2.48 ERA.  He also placed among the leaders with 238 strikeouts and 254 innings pitched.

Boston’s lineup, which compiled the second-highest team batting average in the league (.271), was solid from top to bottom.  Pesky Marty Barrett batted .286 and scored 94 runs.  Bill Buckner hit 18 home runs and drove in 102 runs.  Wade Boggs scored 107 runs, collected 207 hits, and led the league with a .357 batting average, 105 bases on balls, and a .455 on-base percentage.  Dwight Evans hit 26 homers and knocked in 97 runs.  Don Baylor homered 31 times, drove in 94 runs, and scored 93 others.  Jim Rice hit 20 homers, knocked in 110 runs, scored 98 others, batted .324, and collected 200 hits.  He finished third in the MVP voting.

In spite of their many offensive weapons, the Red Sox scored more than three runs just once in their first four meetings with California in the ALCS, enabling the Angels to take a three-games-to-one lead in the Series.  All appeared lost for the Red Sox when they entered the top of the ninth inning of Game Five trailing the Angels by a score of 5-2.  However, with the Red Sox down to their last out, Don Baylor trimmed California’s lead to 5-4 when he delivered a two-run homer.  After Rich Gedman reached first base via a hit-by-pitch, Dave Henderson drove an offering from reliever Donnie Moore over the left field wall to stunningly put Boston in the lead by a run.  The Angels tied the game in the bottom of the frame, but the Red Sox eventually pushed across the game-winning run in the top of the 11th inning to stave off elimination for another day.  With momentum clearly on their side, the Red Sox pounded California pitching in each of the next two contests, posting victories of 10-4 and 8-1 that put them in the World Series for the first time since 1975.   

The Red Sox subsequently appeared to be on the verge of winning their first world championship in 68 years when they took a three-games-to-two lead against the New York Mets in the World Series and entered the bottom of the 10th inning of Game Six holding on to a 5-3 lead.  This time, though, the Mets turned the tables on the Red Sox, scoring three runs with two men out, with the last run scoring on a slow ground ball that went through the legs of first baseman Bill Buckner.  Although Boston grabbed an early 3-0 lead in Game Seven, New York rallied again, scoring eight times in the final four frames to come away with a Series-clinching 8-5 victory.

Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:

• February 28 - Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth suspended 11 players who had testified to cocaine involvement in the Pittsburgh drug trials of 1985.

• June 18 - Don Sutton of the California Angels recorded his 300th career win.

• June 21 - Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Vincent "Bo" Jackson surprisingly announced his intention to forego dealing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who drafted him with the first overall selection of the National Football League Draft.  Instead, Jackson signed a contract to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals.

• July 29 - Sparky Anderson of the Detroit Tigers became the first manager in baseball to achieve 600 career wins in both the American and National League.

• August 1 - Bert Blyleven of the Minnesota Twins recorded his 3,000th career strikeout.

• August 10 – The New York Yankees retired Billy Martin’s number 1.

• Oakland's Jose Canseco (33 home runs and 117 RBIs) earned A.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• Roger Clemens struck out a major league record 20 Mariners on April 29.

• Hall of Famers Ted Lyons, Hank Greenberg, and Red Ruffing all passed away.

• The American League won the All-Star Game 3-2 at Houston, even though Fernando Valenzuela matched Carl Hubbell’s 1934 feat by striking out five A.L. batters in a row.

• Chicago’s Joe Cowley threw a no-hitter against California on September 19.

• New York’s Dave Righetti established a new major league record by amassing 46 saves.

• Minnesota's Bert Blyleven surrendered a major league record 50 homers.

• The Hall of Fame inducted Willie McCovey, Bobby Doerr, and Ernie Lombardi.

• Toronto’s Tony Fernandez set a new major league record for most hits by a shortstop (213).

• Minnesota’s Greg Gagne hit two inside-the-park home runs in a game.

• On June 28, Cleveland’s Phil Niekro faced California’s Don Sutton in the first duel between 300-game winners since 1892.

• Detroit's Jack Morris led the league with six shutouts and placed second with 21 wins.  

• Bert Blyleven led the American League with 272 innings pitched.

• Cleveland's Tom Candiotti led all A.L. hurlers with 17 complete games.

• Minnesota's Kirby Puckett hit 31 home runs, drove in 96 runs, and finished among the league leaders with a .328 batting average, 119 runs scored, and 223 hits.  

• Cleveland’s Joe Carter hit 29 home runs, led the league with 121 runs batted in, batted .302, scored 108 runs, and collected 200 hits.

• Toronto’s Jesse Barfield led the A.L. with 40 homers, knocked in 108 runs, scored 107 others, and batted .289.

• Toronto teammate George Bell hit 31 home runs, drove in 108 runs, scored 101 others, and batted .309.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BAL 2230 5524 708 1425 669 .218 223 13 169 64 34 2181 .335 .329 .679 159 51 33
BOS 2105 5498 794 1488 752 .283 320 21 144 41 34 2282 .404 .407 .812 142 52 44
CAL 2140 5433 786 1387 743 .244 236 36 167 109 42 2196 .368 .375 .744 134 61 91
CHA 2205 5406 644 1335 605 .225 197 34 121 115 54 1963 .338 .312 .662 123 53 50
CLE 2167 5702 831 1620 775 .265 270 45 157 141 54 2451 .350 .398 .749 129 49 56
DET 2130 5512 798 1447 751 .239 234 30 198 138 58 2335 .356 .372 .745 99 49 52
KCA 2201 5561 654 1403 618 .216 264 45 137 97 46 2168 .343 .322 .680 101 33 24
MIN 2210 5531 741 1446 700 .222 257 39 196 81 61 2369 .323 .344 .685 123 38 44
ML4 1979 5461 667 1393 625 .222 255 38 127 100 50 2105 .336 .332 .684 122 53 53
NYA 2209 5570 797 1512 745 .235 275 23 188 139 48 2397 .346 .362 .709 142 46 36
OAK 2147 5435 731 1370 683 .231 213 25 163 139 61 2122 .351 .354 .706 105 51 56
SEA 2096 5498 718 1392 681 .229 243 41 158 93 76 2191 .317 .349 .666 125 29 52
TEX 2291 5529 771 1479 725 .255 248 43 184 103 85 2365 .335 .401 .736 133 42 31
TOR 2282 5716 809 1540 767 .244 285 35 181 110 59 2438 .328 .376 .704 122 49 24

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BAL 424 73 89 1435 954 535 6164 1451 177 91.160 688 760 17 2 39 52 4
BOS 415 95 66 1429 1033 474 6102 1469 167 78.370 625 696 36 5 41 55 8
CAL 408 92 70 1455 955 478 6066 1356 153 93.050 622 684 29 8 40 44 6
CHA 459 72 90 1442 895 561 6115 1361 143 71.400 632 699 18 4 38 55 3
CLE 453 84 78 1448 744 605 6439 1548 167 92.610 744 841 31 6 34 63 13
DET 401 87 75 1445 880 571 6158 1374 183 66.950 645 714 33 10 38 50 8
KCA 392 76 86 1441 888 479 6093 1413 121 51.250 612 673 24 8 31 43 6
MIN 402 71 91 1432 937 503 6264 1579 200 128.750 762 839 39 5 24 58 5
ML4 398 77 84 1432 952 494 6150 1478 158 74.870 642 734 29 10 32 57 9
NYA 451 90 72 1444 878 492 6173 1461 175 79.250 659 738 13 3 58 40 3
OAK 448 76 86 1431 937 667 6208 1334 166 112.500 687 760 22 4 37 62 19
SEA 443 67 95 1440 944 585 6345 1590 171 85.020 747 835 33 3 27 46 10
TEX 490 87 75 1449 1059 736 6311 1356 145 66.390 663 743 15 5 41 94 13
TOR 453 86 76 1475 1002 487 6264 1467 164 108.870 669 733 16 7 44 38 6

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BAL 2696 7247 5414 1674 159 .965 17238 123 56 0 7
BOS 2643 7178 5387 1637 154 .982 17157 79 62 1.00 16
CAL 2679 7403 5528 1745 130 .971 17473 61 56 1.00 12
CHA 2670 7319 5464 1711 144 .972 17308 116 56 1.00 14
CLE 2794 7498 5577 1739 182 .957 17371 113 41 0 20
DET 2652 7298 5453 1721 124 .966 17327 87 49 0 12
KCA 2715 7327 5402 1778 147 .977 17288 85 66 1.00 16
MIN 2672 7222 5435 1650 137 .969 17191 111 44 0 12
ML4 2503 7194 5468 1556 170 .969 17180 95 75 0 15
NYA 2680 7341 5494 1700 147 .964 17317 95 45 0 17
OAK 2685 7254 5470 1621 163 .951 17195 139 53 0 16
SEA 2547 7348 5284 1884 180 .956 17277 106 62 0 17
TEX 2850 7231 5387 1694 150 .966 17404 165 51 1.00 25
TOR 2764 7367 5518 1728 121 .964 17711 95 46 0 9

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
California Angels 92 70 2655872 1 955
Texas Rangers 87 75 1692002 2 1059
Oakland Athletics 76 86 1314646 3 937
Kansas City Royals 76 86 2320794 3 888
Chicago White Sox 72 90 1424313 5 895
Minnesota Twins 71 91 1255453 6 937
Seattle Mariners 67 95 1029045 7 944

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Boston Red Sox 95 66 2147641 1 1033
New York Yankees 90 72 2268030 2 878
Detroit Tigers 87 75 1899437 3 880
Toronto Blue Jays 86 76 2455477 4 1002
Cleveland Indians 84 78 1471805 5 744
Milwaukee Brewers 77 84 1265041 6 952
Baltimore Orioles 73 89 1973176 7 954

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Tagged:
1986 ALCS, 1986 World Series, American League, Bert Blyleven, Bill Buckner, Bo Jackson, Boston Red Sox, Brian Downing, Bruce Hurst, California Angels, Dave Henderson, Dave Righetti, Dave Winfield, Don Baylor, Don Mattingly, Don Sutton, Donnie Moore, Doug DeCinces, Dwight Evans, Eddie Murray, Gary Pettis, George Bell, George Brett, Greg Gagne, Jack Morris, Jesse Barfield, Jim Rice, Joe Carter, Joe Cowley, Jose Canseco, Kirby Puckett, Kirk McCaskill, Marty Barrett, Mike Witt, Oil Can Boyd, Peter Ueberroth, Phil Niekro, Rich Gedman, Rickey Henderson, Roger Clemens, Sparky Anderson, Tom Candiotti, Tony Fernandez, Wade Boggs, Wally Joyner

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