In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:
In response to royf19's comment:
In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:
In response to jaytftwofive's comment:
Don't forget Tom Seaver missed the 86 playoffs with an injury. He wasn't the old Tom Seaver obviously but I think he would have been a better option then Al Nipper.
I don't think an old , end of career Tom Seaver stops the juggernaught that was the 1986 Mets.
The 86 Red Sox were somewhat of a Cinderella team. They stunned the Angels.
What was "stunning" about the World Series between the Red Sox and Mets was the "showdown" between the 2 best pitchers ( Clemens and Gooden) in MLB never emerged. What was really strange about that series is that many of the players who rose to the occasion weren't the ones you would expect...Marty Barrett, Bruce Hurst, Ron Darling, Ray Knight. Many of the superstars were unimpressive, except Gary Carter. Al Nipper at his age, was just as likely to throw a gem as Tom Seaver at what?...40 years old? Sorry, this was not the difference maker that Jim Rice could have been in 1975.
What was also "stunning" is that the Mets didn't sweep. The Red Sox can be proud of their showing. The Mets were a juggernaught , they were easily the best team in that year's postseason.
You're right about Seaver's loss as not being as great as Rice's, but still, Seaver could have been the difference. Seaver's ERA in 16 starts with the Sox was 3.80. Nipper's ERA in 26 starts was 5.38. In his one W.S. start, Nipper went 6 IP, 3 ER. Not great, but not too bad. He left when it was 3-0. Maybe Seaver -- pumped at pitching against his old team -- matches Darling in those innings.
The Mets won 6-2 because Crawford gave up three runs in relief in the seventh. If Seaver was strong, who knows how the final innings would have gone. Met still might have won.
I agee with your assessment on how the series went and who stepped up and who didn't.
But I disagree with the Mets being far superior than the Sox. If you look at how the teams compare the talent they had going into the Series based on how the players did that season, it's close to an even match up:
Gedman-Carter: Edge Mets.
Buckner-Hernandez: Even or slight edge to Mets (Even offensively, while 14 errors for Buckner, five for Hernandez).
Boggs-Knight: Edge Red Sox.
Rice-Foster/Wilson: Edge Red Sox.
Armas/Henderson-Dykstra. Edge Even.
Evans-Strawberry: Even or slight edge to Red Sox. (Evan of course was better defensively, Offensively, they were even: Evans had 26 HR, 97 RBI, 97 RBI , while Strawberry had 27 HR, 93 RBI, .259 BA. If I'm going to give the Mets a slight edge at 1B because offense was even and defense is the difference maker, then I'm doing the same for the Sox in RF.)
Baylor-Mets DHs:Edge Red Sox.
Boyd-Ojeda: Slight edge Mets.
Nipper-Fernandez: Edge Mets.
Bullpen: Edge Mets.
So on paper, the big differnce was three and four starts and the bullpen. As for the lineup, the Red Sox lineup was at least equal and might have been better.
George Foster had already left the Mets by postseason 1986....his replacement a guy named Kevin Mitchell.
The Mets won the NL East by an astounding 21 1/2 games , with 108 wins.
By contrast, the 1986 Red Sox beat out NY Yankees by 5 1/2 games and won 95 games.
You are forgetting the "edge" at shortstop for NY, Rafael Santana was a slick fielder, Spike Owen....not so much, in fact barely MLB calibre.
The Red Sox bullpen "edge" you give to the Mets, was no slight one......Roger McDowell and Jesse Orosco were a shutdown tandem at the back end of the Mets bullpen...Calvin Schiraldi was no match for either of them.
On paper, you could make an argument that the Red Sox were "close" , but I watched alot of Regular Season games by both and the Mets were much more impresive, and the Red Sox should not hang their heads that they came as close as they did....just like 1975.... it was the way they lost that was a heartbreaker, for Red Sox fans and fans of the underdog.
Yeah, I forgot that Foster was gone, but Mookie Wilson played LF for most of the Series. Either way, Rice still had the advantage. Mitchell and Heap played DH in the Series.
Yeah -- forgot about SS. FWIW, Owen's fielding percentage was the same as Santana's and Owen hit .300 in W.S. Santana hit just .218 so to be honest. Santana might have been better defensively, but Owen wasn't bad. So to me, it's a push.
You're right about the bullpen. Especially Orosco, the pen was a big advantage for the Mets. I hated Orosco beause the Sox couldn't tough him.
As forthe rest, yeah, the Mets had a great team, but I think Red Sox team was underrated. Even though, I gave the Mets the edge at No. 3 startter over Boyd, in reality, the starters 1-3 were fairly close, and I still think the Sox lineup was better.
That the Mets won the NL East by so much could be as much about how bad the rest of the division was than anything else. The Phillies were in second place and while they had a decent lineup, their pitching scked.
So yeah, the Mets had a great team and a great year, but they also benefited by a weak division.
By the way -- I love these discussions.