Thirty years ago, the best team in MLB was the New York Mets. They had steadily improved from 68 wins in 1983 to 108 wins in 1986. This was the team of Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Lenny Dykstra, and Mookie Wilson. The top four starting pitchers—Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda, and Sid Fernandez—combined to go 66-23, with a 2.92 ERA (league average ERA was 3.72). The Mets won the NL East by 21 ½ games.The 1986 Houston Astros were a surprise division winner. They had come into existence as an expansion team in 1962 and had made the playoffs just twice in 24 years. The 1986 Astros won 96 games and finished 10 games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds in the NL West and had the league’s best ERA.Starting pitcher Mike Scott was a phenomenon in 1986. Scott was a below-average pitcher for the first six years of his career. Heading into the 1985 season, Scott had a lifetime record of 29-44, with a 4.45 ERA. As the story goes, Scott was taught the split-finger fastball by legendary pitching coach Roger Craig and his career blossomed. He was 18-8 with a 3.29 ERA in 1985, then went 18-10… Read full this story
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