Thursday, January 27 2022

During the 1986 American League Championship Series, the Angels won three of the first four games against the Boston Red Sox and were one strike away from advancing to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. A stunning turn of events late in Game 5 changed the complexion of that best-of-seven series and helped prevent the Angels from reaching that milestone for another 16 years.

Game 1

Angels' Mike Witt pitches against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the 1986 ALCS.Angels' Mike Witt pitches against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the 1986 ALCS.

Angels’ Mike Witt pitches against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the 1986 ALCS. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

at Fenway Park

Angels 8, Boston 1

The Angels pounded Red Sox starter Roger Clemens, who would go on to be named the American League’s MVP and Cy Young Award winner, for seven runs over seven innings. Meanwhile, Angels starter Mike Witt allowed just one run on five hits in the complete-game win.

Game 2

Angels first baseman Wally Joyner hits a home run off Boston Red Sox pitcher Bruce Hurst during Game 2 of the 1986 ALCS.Angels first baseman Wally Joyner hits a home run off Boston Red Sox pitcher Bruce Hurst during Game 2 of the 1986 ALCS.

Angels first baseman Wally Joyner hits a home run off Boston Red Sox pitcher Bruce Hurst during Game 2 of the 1986 ALCS. (Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

at Fenway Park

Boston 9, Angels 2

The Red Sox broke open a close game with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and tacked on three more in the eighth to win going away. The Angels committed three errors leading to three unearned runs. Left-hander Bruce Hurst pitched a complete game for Boston.

Game 3

Angels' Dick Schofield hits a seventh-inning home run off Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis Boyd.Angels' Dick Schofield hits a seventh-inning home run off Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis Boyd.

Angels’ Dick Schofield hits a seventh-inning home run off Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis Boyd. (Associated Press)

at Anaheim Stadium

Angels 5, Boston 3

The Angels were the beneficiary of power from the most unlikely of sources as light-hitting Dick Schofield and Gary Pettis each homered in the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie. Closer Donnie Moore was shaky, allowing two runs in two innings to pick up the save.

Game 4

Angels' Bobby Grich, center, gets high fives from teammates after driving in the winning run during Game 4 of the 1986 ALCS.Angels' Bobby Grich, center, gets high fives from teammates after driving in the winning run during Game 4 of the 1986 ALCS.

Angels’ Bobby Grich, center, gets high fives from teammates after driving in the winning run during Game 4 of the 1986 ALCS. (Lennox McLendon / Associated Press)

at Anaheim Stadium

Angels 4, Boston 3 (11 innings)

After being held scoreless by Clemens for the eight innings, the Angels rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth. With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 11th, Bobby Grich singled to left to drive in the game winner. Missing from the Angels’ lineup was rookie first baseman Wally Joyner, who contracted a staph infection after fouling a ball off his leg earlier in the series.

Game 5

Dave Henderson watches the flight of his ninth-inning homer.Dave Henderson watches the flight of his ninth-inning homer.

Dave Henderson watches the flight of his ninth-inning homer that put Boston ahead of the Angels, 6-5 in Anaheim, Oct. 12, 1986. (Jim Gerberich / Associated Press)

at Anaheim Stadium

Boston 7, Angels 6 (11 innings)

In one of the most memorable postseason games in MLB history, the Angels carried a 5-2 lead into the ninth inning, three outs from earning their first trip to the World Series. Boston’s Don Baylor, who won the American League’s MVP with the Angels in 1979, hit a two-run homer to cut the Red Sox deficit to 5-4.

With two outs, Mike Witt was preplaced by lefty specialist Gary Lucus, who proceeded to hit Rich Gedman. Moore was brought in to face Dave Henderson, who hit a 2-2 pitch into the left-field stands to put Boston ahead 6-5. The Angels managed to tie the score in the bottom of the inning, but it was Henderson who would drive in the eventual winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 11th.

Game 6

Boston's Marty Barrett is tagged out on a rundown play by Angels catcher Bob Boone during Game 6 of the 1986 ALCS.Boston's Marty Barrett is tagged out on a rundown play by Angels catcher Bob Boone during Game 6 of the 1986 ALCS.

Boston’s Marty Barrett is tagged out on a rundown play by Angels catcher Bob Boone during Game 6 of the 1986 ALCS. (Mike Kullen / Associated Press)

at Fenway Park

Boston 10, Angels 4

Despite falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning, Boston answered with two run of its own and took the lead with a five-run third on their way to evening series. Shortstop Spike Owen (four) and second baseman Marty Barrett (three) combined for the seven of the Red Sox’s 16 hits. Angels starter Kirk McCaskill fell to 0-2 in the series, in which he allowed 13 runs (8 earned) over 9 1/3 innings.

Game 7

Roger Clemens pitches for the Boston Red Sox in 1986.Roger Clemens pitches for the Boston Red Sox in 1986.

Roger Clemens pitches for the Boston Red Sox in 1986. (Associated Press)

at Fenway Park

Boston 8, Angels 1

In the series finale, errors by Schofield and Pettis, two of the Angels’ top defensive players, led to seven unearned runs for Boston, which cruised into the World Series behind the strong pitching of Clemens in the series finale. The Angels managed only six singles as their season quietly ended. Ten days later in the World Series, it would be the Red Sox who would see their dreams crushed as they were within one out of winning their first title since 1918 when the New York Mets rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 6 to force a seventh game. Boston held a 3-0 for five innings before the New York offense came alive to score six unanswered runs, as the Mets won their first title since 1969 with an 8-5 win.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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