1st In the first game of a 3-game showdown between the Mets and Cardinals, Ron Darling and John Tudor each pitch 10 shutout innings before Darryl Strawberry belts a titanic home run off reliever Ken Dayley. The Mets’ 1–0, 11-inning win cuts the Cardinals’ lead in the NL East to 2 games.
The Angels go back into 1st place in the AL West, beating the Royals, 4–2. Witt and Moore combine on a 6-hitter.
Houston’s Charlie Kerfeld beats the Braves, 2–0, handing the loss to starter Steve Bedrosian (7-15). Bedrock is not around at the end and finishes none of his 37 starts this year, a ML record.
2nd The Dodgers clinch the NL West title with a 9–3 win over the Braves. Orel Hershiser raises his record to 19-3 with his 11th consecutive victory.
In a duel of 20-game winners, Doc Gooden (24-4) beats Joaquin Andujar (21-11) to win, 5-2, and pull the Mets to a game in back of the Cardinals. Gooden’s streak of consecutive scoreless innings pitched ends at 49 but he guts his way to a complete-game win. The Mets, however, will lose 3 of their next 4 to finish in second place. Gooden throws 53 innings since September 1, and finishes with 276 2/3 innings pitched, the most for a pitcher that young since 1920 except for Feller (’38 and ’39) and Bert Blyleven (’71).
Tigers 1B Darrell Evans hits his ML-leading 40th home run of the season and becomes the first player to have a 40 HR season in each league. Evans hit 41 homers for the Braves in 1973. Jack Morris tops Dave Stieb in Detroit’s 4–2 win over Toronto. Whitt and Gibson also homer.
The White Sox fire popular GM Roland Hemond and replace him with TV announcer Ken Harrelson, a move that will prove unsettling. Next June, Harrelson will fire manager Tony La Russa and executive Dave Dombrowski and then, next October, find himself fired.
3rdThe Phillies score 8 runs in the 3rd inning at Montreal, and hold on for an 8–7 win. Rick Schu has a pair of doubles in the big score, the first Phillie ever to hit a pair of doubles in an inning. Fred Manrique has a homer—his first in the majors—and a double to complete a rare season cycle of 4 hits (single, double, triple, homer). The win is just the 2nd in 13 games for the Quakers.
Bud Black fires a 3-hitter and George Brett slaps a 3-run inside-the-park homer to beat the Angels, 4–0, moving KC back in a tie for the Al West.
Danny Cox (18-9) and the Cardinals edge the Mets, 4-3, and now lead the Mets by two games.
4th George Brett drives in 2 runs with a bases loaded single and his 2nd inside-the-park homer in 2 days as the Royals trip the A’s, 4–2. The win gives the Royals at least a tie for the AL West title.
Wayne Krenchicki hits a 6th inning pinch grand slam as the Reds top the host Dodgers, 4-2.
5th The Cardinals, Royals, and Blue Jays all clinch their division championships. John Tudor pitches a 4-hitter and Cesar Cedeno goes 3-for-3 with a HR, as St. Louis beats the Cubs, 7–1. It is Tudor’s 20th win in 21 decisions after starting the season 1–7.
Willie Wilson singles home the winning run as Kansas City beats Oakland 5–4 in 10 innings. Doyle Alexander pitches a 5-hitter, as Toronto beats 2nd-place New York 5–1 to wrap up its first AL East crown. Dave Winfield drives in the lone run, his 100th RBI of the year. He is the first Yankee to have 100 RBIs and score 100 runs in the same year since DiMaggio in 1941-42.
Nolan Ryan goes 7 innings to win his 10th as the Astros beat the Padres, 9-3. Alan Ashby starts the scoring for Houston with a grand slam, off Ed Wojna.
6th Phil Niekro finally wins his 300th career game 8–0 over the Blue Jays on the final day of the regular season. He allows 4 hits in the CG win. At 46, he is the oldest hurler ever to pitch a complete-game shutout.
Hubie Brooks drives in his 100th run of the season in Montreal’s season-ending 2–1 win over the Mets, becoming the first NL shortstop with 100 RBI since Ernie Banks in 1960.
Angels OF Rudy Linares, collects 2 singles and a 3-run homer off Rangers Rick Surhoff to pace California to a 6–5 win. For Linares, the home run comes in his last ML at bat. The veteran hit a homer on July 20th, in his first at bat for California.
7th The Giants trade pitcher Dave LaPoint, catcher Matt Nokes, and minor league pitcher Eric King to the Tigers for pitcher Juan Berenguer, catcher Bob Melvin, and a player to be named later.
NL Managers Chuck Tanner and Bob Lillis are fired by the Pirates and Astros, respectively. Lillis is offered a front-office job, while Tanner will be hired to manage the Braves just 3 days later.
8th Orioles manager Earl Weaver signs a one-year contract to manage the club again in 1986.
Dave Steib allows only 3 hits in 8 innings as Toronto downs KC, 6–1, in the ALCS opener, the first in Canada.
9th The Royals come from behind to tie the Blue Jays in the 9th and go ahead in the 10th, but lose 6–5 in the bottom of the inning.
The first game of the NLCS results in a 4–1 Dodger win over St. Louis’s John Tudor, only his 2nd loss in his last 22 decisions.
10th Every Dodger starter has a hit, and LA rolls 8–2 over St. Louis.
11th George Brett’s bat (4-for-4, 4 runs, 3 RBI, 11 total bases) bails out 20-game winner Bret Saberhagen, and the Royals squeak past Toronto 6–5.
12th In game 4 of the ALCS, Al Oliver’s 2-run pinch double in the 9th inning gives Toronto a 3–1 win over Kansas City and a 3-1 lead in the series. Until this year’s best-of-7 format was adopted, the 3 wins would have sent the Blue Jays to the World Series.
St. Louis runs the Dodgers out of Busch Stadium 4–2. The Cardinals’ first 3 runs are aided by 3 stolen bases and 2 errant pickoff attempts.
13th The Royals stave off elimination behind Danny Jackson’s 8-hit shutout 2-0 over the Blue Jays.
The Cardinals rout the Dodgers 12–2 to even the NLCS at 2-2, but also lose rookie sensation Vince Coleman to one of the more bizarre injuries in ML history. Coleman is stretching before the game when his left leg becomes caught in Busch Stadium’s automated tarpaulin as it unrolls across the infield, trapping him for about 30 seconds. He is removed from the field on a stretcher and will not play again this year.
14th Ozzie Smith homers off Tom Niedenfuer with one out in the bottom of the 9th to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead in the NLCS. It is the switch-hitting Smith’s first ML home run while batting lefthanded.
15th The Royals once again stave off elimination to the Blue Jays, aided by George Brett’s 3rd HR of the series, all off Doyle Alexander. The Royals win 5–3.
16th Baseball gets its first intrastate World Series since 1974, as the Royals and Cardinals win their respective playoff series. Kansas City beats Toronto 6–2 in game 7 to cap a comeback from a 3-games-to-1 deficit. While in Los Angeles, Jack Clark drills a 3-run home run off Tom Niedenfuer with 2 outs in the top of the 9th and 1B open to give the Cardinals a 7–5 victory and a 4-2 series win.
19th St. Louis wins the opener of the “I-70 Series” behind ace John Tudor 3–1.
20th After giving up just 2 hits in 8 innings, Charlie Leibrandt is raked with 3 two-out hits and loses 4–2. St. Louis leads 2-0.
22nd Bret Saberhagen gives Kansas City their first WS win with a 9-inning 6–1 win.
23rd John Tudor wins again as he pitches a 9 inning, 3–0 shutout.
24th The Royals get a 2nd 9-inning effort, this time from Danny Jackson, to win again 6–1. Cards rookie reliever Todd Worrell strikes out all 6 batters he faces.
25th The Angels announce that they will not offer 7-time batting champion Rod Carew a new contract for the 1986 season, effectively ending his 19-year career. Carew finishes with 3,053 hits and a .328 career batting average.
The Blue Jays name 3B coach Jimy Williams manager, replacing Bobby Cox, who resigned to become GM of the Braves.
26th Aided by a blown call, a bungled pop-up, and a passed ball, Kansas City scores 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat St. Louis 2–1 and even the World Series at 3 games apiece. The Cardinals are 3 outs away from the World Championship when Jorge Orta reaches base on a disputed infield single. The next batter, Steve Balboni, lofts a foul pop that Clark loses track of and lets fall untouched, then singles. After Darrell Porter’s passed ball puts runners on 2B and 3B and Hal McRae is intentionally walked to load the bases, pinch hitter Dane Iorg singles home 2 runs to end the game.
27th The Royals rout the Cardinals 11–0 in game 7 to become only the 6th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win the World Series. Series MVP Bret Saberhagen pitches the shutout while Cardinals ace John Tudor allows 5 runs in 21⁄3 innings and fellow 20-game winner Joaquin Andujar is ejected for arguing balls and strikes during Kansas City’s 6-run 5th inning. After being lifted, Tudor. Cardinals lefthander punches an electric fan in the clubhouse and severely cuts his hand. The Cardinals finish the WS with a .185 team batting average, lowest ever for a 7-game Series.
Billy Martin is fired by the Yankees for an unprecedented 4th time and is replaced by former Yankees OF Lou Piniella, who had been the team’s hitting instructor since retiring as a player in 1984.
29th Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andujar is suspended for the first 10 games of the 1986 season as a result of his game 7 tantrum during which he twice bumped home plate umpire Don Denkinger.