1986 Philadelphia Phillies season

1986 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1986 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 104th season for the Phillies. Under second-year manager John Felske, the Phillies stayed just below the .500 mark for roughly two-thirds of the season, until a charge after the All-Star break pushed the club past the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos into second place in the NL East.[1] The eventual World Series champions rival New York Mets finished with a Major League best 108-54 record, and finished 21 12 games ahead of the Phillies. The Mets and the Phillies were the only teams in the National League East to post winning records.[1] Mike Schmidt became the first third baseman in the history of the National League to win the MVP Award three times.[2]


  • December 6, 1985: Jerry Koosman was released by the Phillies.[3]
  • December 22, 1985: Tim Corcoran was released by the Phillies.[4]
  • January 16, 1986: Ronn Reynolds was traded by the New York Mets with Jeff Bittiger to the Philadelphia Phillies for Rodger Cole and Ronnie Gideon. [5]
  • March 17, 1986: Alan Knicely was released by the Phillies.[6]

Regular season

On August 20, 1986, pitcher Don Carman took a perfect game into the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park. Giants catcher Bob Brenly hit a long drive into the gap in left-center field. Phillies center fielder Milt Thompson was positioned to make a running catch but the ball hit the base of his glove and was ruled a hit.[7] Carman pitched nine innings, gave up one hit, and was the winner when the Phillies scored in the top of the tenth on a Juan Samuel solo homer to win the game 1 to 0.[8]

The Phillies were the only team in the National League to post a winning record against the World Series champs, going 10-8 with a 7-2 mark at Veterans Stadium. The high point of the season for the Phillies was the three-game sweep of the Mets in mid-September.[1] On September 12, up by 22 games, the Mets needed to win one game to clinch the division and came to Philadelphia for a weekend series. The Phillies won all three games, finishing the weekend by beating the Mets 6-0 behind a six-hit shutout by Kevin Gross who also tripled home two-runs. The sweep still left the Phillies down 19 games but was both especially satisfying given the significant number of Mets fans who had traveled to Veterans Stadium for the weekend hoping to see the Mets clinch,[1][9][10] and necessary because they were swept in a three-game series in Chicago preceding this series and did not want to see a visiting team's division-title celebration at Veterans Stadium.[11][12] Had the Mets won one of the three games, it would have been the first time that a division title was won at Veterans Stadium.[11] During the series, Mets fans at Veterans Stadium became unruly and damaged seats in the upper deck.[9] One Mets fan was arrested after striking at two Philadelphia police officers.[9]

The club scored a season-high 19 runs in a 19-1 throttling of the Chicago Cubs at the Vet on June 23.

Hall-of-Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt won the NL MVP for the third and final time in his career with a league-high 37 home runs with 119 RBI and a .290 average.[2] The Phillies distant second place finish made Schmidt the first major-league MVP to have played on a team that finished at least 20 games first place.[13]

Season standings

NL East W L Pct. GB
New York Mets 108 54 .667 --
Philadelphia Phillies 86 75 .534 21.5
St. Louis Cardinals 79 82 .491 28.5
Montreal Expos 78 83 .484 29.5
Chicago Cubs 70 90 .438 37
Pittsburgh Pirates 64 98 .395 44

Notable transactions


1986 Philadelphia Phillies
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
3B Schmidt, MikeMike Schmidt 160 552 160 .290 37 119
CF Thompson, MiltMilt Thompson 96 299 75 .251 6 23

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Gross, GregGreg Gross 87 101 25 .248 0 8
Foley, TomTom Foley 39 61 18 .295 0 5
Maddox, GarryGarry Maddox 6 7 3 .429 0 1


Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Gross, KevinKevin Gross 37 241.2 12 12 4.02 154
Ruffin, BruceBruce Ruffin 21 146.1 9 4 2.46 70
Carlton, SteveSteve Carlton 16 83 4 8 6.18 62
Toliver, FreddieFreddie Toliver 5 25.2 0 2 3.51 20
Freeman, MarvinMarvin Freeman 3 16 2 0 2.25 8
Bittiger, JeffJeff Bittiger 3 14.2 1 1 5.52 8

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Carman, DonDon Carman 50 134.1 10 5 3.22 98

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Bedrosian, SteveSteve Bedrosian 68 8 6 29 3.39 82
Andersen, LarryLarry Andersen 10 0 0 0 4.26 9
Stewart, DaveDave Stewart 8 0 0 0 6.57 9
Gorman, TomTom Gorman 8 0 1 0 7.71 8
Childress, RockyRocky Childress 2 0 0 0 6.75 1
Gross, GregGreg Gross 1 0 0 0 0.00 2

Awards and honors

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Portland Beavers Pacific Coast League Bill Dancy
AA Reading Phillies Eastern League George Culver
A Clearwater Phillies Florida State League Ron Clark
A Spartanburg Phillies South Atlantic League Roly de Armas
Short-Season A Utica Blue Sox New York-Penn League Tony Taylor
Short-Season A Bend Phillies Northwest League Ed Pebley



  • 1986 Philadelphia Phillies season at Baseball Reference