Ask a Mets fan what’s the best Mets game they ever saw and you are likely to get a variety of answers. Game 6 of the NLCS against the Astros. Game 6 of the World Series against the Red Sox. The Grand Single. The post-9/11 game. All worthy responses. For me, though, it was October 1, 1985 against the Cardinals.
Let me set the scene and you’ll understand. It was the last week of the season; six games to play. The Mets stood in second place, three games behind the Cardinals (for you younger folks, the Cardinals used to be in the East. Oh, and I hate you and your youth!) The Mets were in St. Louis for a three-game set. The Mets basically needed a sweep in order to have a chance at the NL East.
So that first game was obviously crucial. It was tense from the very beginning. And it only got more tense as Ron Darling and John Tudor traded zeros. Any mistake could cost either team the game, and possibly the season.
There was no score after nine. Jesse Orosco came in for the 10th while Tudor outlasted Darling, going one more scoreless inning. That’s when the Mets pounced, or more specifically, Darryl Strawberry. He hit a mammoth home run off of reliever Ken Dayley in the 11th that hit the clock at old Busch Stadium and Orosco held on for the save as the Mets won 1-0.
There was life. The Mets won the next night to pull to within one game but they could not complete the sweep, dropping game three. With two games back with three to play, the season was basically over. And it was officially over when the Mets lost game 161 and the Cardinals won.
Still though, that 1-0 game was absolutely thrilling. It was a similar feeling as Game 6 of the NLCS the following year — if they lose tonight, the season is effectively over.
Here is the video of Strawberry’s home run. It does not show it striking the clock, but trust me, it was a blast for the ages. Do you have a favorite Mets game? Tell me in the comments section.