1986 was a banner year for Mike Scott. Leading the league in ERA (2.22), strikeouts (306), innings pitched (275.1), shutouts (5), WHIP (.923), strikeouts per 9 (10.0) and SO/BB (4.25). He would be selected to the NL All-Star team along with Dave Smith, Glenn Davis and Kevin Bass as Houston was a well represented host in ‘86. Scott would also finished 10th in the MVP Vote and be named the NL Cy Young winner that year. Scott would be the Astros opening day starter in 1987, but would not best any of his stats from the previous season except one: complete games.
On May 18th, Scott would toss one of his eight complete games that season in route to a 4-1 win over the Pirates. Scott would set the Pirates down in order in the first, recording a strike out on Barry Bonds to start his outing. He would record 1 run on 3 hits (all singles), 2 walks and 8 strikeouts. Houston would get on the board in the 3rd courtesy of a Phil Garner single to drive in Billy Hatcher. Later in the inning, Kevin Bass smashed a triple to plate Garner. Pittsburg would answer in the bottom of the inning as shortstop Rafael Belliard walked, stole 2nd and scored on an Andy Van Slyke single.
Despite hitting just .167 coming into the contest, Dickie Thon came up in top of the 4th and belted a homerun with Glenn Davis on first to extend the ‘Stros lead to 4-1. For Thon, it would be the only homerun he hit in 83 plate appearances that season.
While Thon and Scott were finding great success, Alan Ashby was getting torched on the base paths. Despite only having 6 men on base, Pittsburg was able to tally 4 steals. Former Astros bench guy Sid Bream would swipe 2 of the 9 he had for the season on this day. To be fair, Pirate base runners were an afterthought for Scott and Ashby as the battery would not allow a hit from the 5th inning on. Scott would set down the top of the order in the 8th and repeat that result in the 9th, striking out R.J. Reynolds to call it a day.
Walk Off Shot
I have to admit that I do not know much about Mike Scott outside of what is written above. I was surprised to find that Scott is the only player of record to play for only the Mets or the Astros for their entire career. That would make him the only player to spend his entire career with two expansion teams that came into the league in the same year. I am not 100% on this, but if you think of someone else, put it in the comments.