Houston Astros: Top five moments in franchise history
4. Mike Scott‘s division-clinching no-no
The 1986 Astros would turn out to be the best team in franchise history up to that point. They’d only claimed one division title previously, which came in 1980. But as the season’s end was drawing near, the team was in a position to clinch the NL West and grab a spot in the playoffs.
On Sept. 25, the club sent ace Mike Scott to the mound against the Giants in the Astrodome with the opportunity to clinch the division title. It was game No. 153 on the season and Scott was in the running for the NL Cy Young Award. What he did that day would essentially clinch that hardware.
Scott authored a no-hitter, walking two batters and plunking one. He struck out 13 that day and would go on to tally 306 strikeouts on the season with 18 wins and a meager 2.22 ERA. He was simply in a zone that year and was the best pitcher on the planet for a period of time.
The Astrodome was pandemonium as Will Clark hit a chopper to first baseman Glenn Davis, who stepped on the bag to end the game. On a pitching staff with Nolan Ryan, Scott was the star at that point.
Even though it would’ve taken a monumental collapse for the Astros to not win the division, there was still pressure. This was the final game of the homestand, as the team would play their next game in Atlanta. Clinching in front of the home fans is something you always want to do if you can.
Unfortunately the Astros would lose the NLCS to the Mets in six games, but Scott was named the series MVP anyway. He outdueled Dwight Gooden in a 1-0 win in Game One, striking out 14 in the shutout. He also threw a complete game to win Game Four by a 3-1 margin. The Mets winning that infamous Game Six in 16 innings was so important simply because Scott would’ve pitched Game Seven, and he was as close to unbeatable as one can get.