The Mets on this date in 1986 won an extra-inning contest against the Giants that foreshadowed their unlikely comeback in Game 6 of the World Series versus the Red Sox.
In the top of the 10th in Shea Stadium, Robby Thompson homered off Jesse Orosco to put the Giants up 7-6. In the home half of the inning, after Keith Hernandez singled and Gary Carter flied out, Davey Johnson sent Kevin Mitchell up to bat for Darryl Strawberry against tough left-hander Mark Davis, who entered the game with 32 strikeouts in 27 innings. It was the first time Straw, who was nursing a sore thumb and hitting just over .100 versus lefties, had ever been pinch-hit for, but the strategy paid off as Mitchell singled. A wild pitch, a walk to Howard Johnson, and a Ray Knight sacrifice fly later, the score was tied.
With runners on first and second and two out, Rafael Santana hit a lazy pop-up near second base where Thompson was prepared to catch it for the third out, but Giants shortstop Jose Uribe collided with him and the ball dropped to the ground. Mitchell scored from second with the winning run. It was the Amazins' sixth straight win and the ninth in their last 11 games, boosting their record to 31-11, six games ahead in first place. It was a lead that would only grow greater over the course of the season.
Happy 23rd birthday to Zack Wheeler, who, despite some inconsistency in his outings for Triple-A Las Vegas, will likely join the Mets' rotation sometime next month. The Mets acquired him from the Giants two years ago in exchange for Carlos Beltran, so whatever Wheeler does on the mound, good or bad... #blamebeltran.
Amazin'ly Tenuous Connection
The late, great Mel Blanc was born on this date in 1908. Blanc was known as the "man of a thousand voices," the most famous of which was that of Bugs Bunny. Among the many great cartoons Blanc voiced is "Baseball Bugs," which contains scene after scene to which Mets fans can relate. (Spoiler alert!) Early on we witness the steroidal Gas-House Gorillas hitting pitch after pitch off an ancient Tea-Totallers hurler and forming a conga line around the base paths, reminiscent of many a Mets' bullpen meltdown. When Bugs decides to take the Gorillas on all by himself, one of his weapons is a "powerful paralizing perfect pachydermus percussion pitch" (think Seaver, Gooden, Harvey, et al). And who can watch Bugs's game-saving catch atop the "Umpire State Building" without flashing back to Endy Chavez's leaping grab in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS? Also, when Orlando Hernandez played for the Mets, Gary Cohen was known to refer to El Duque's signature pitch as a "Bugs Bunny curveball."