View Full Version : Mets Complete Historic Collapse

October 1st, 2007, 06:05 PM
As a Mets fan it pains me to post this.


Mets complete historic collapse, miss postseason

October 1, 2007

The Mets had treated their daily slide toward oblivion as if it were happening to someone else. As if they were sitting at home watching some natural disaster on television but could always walk away, grab a sandwich and blissfully return to their pursuit of the National League East title.

Yesterday, however, the Mets discovered the cave they were living in was collapsing around them and that it was too late to save themselves. The end was gruesome, but just what you might expect after the ugliness of the past month.

Needing a win to either clinch the NL East title outright or at least force a play-in game, the Mets didn't even come close. Tom Glavine left to howling boos from the Shea Stadium crowd after retiring only one of nine batters and the Mets never recovered from his seven-run blowup in an 8-1 loss to the Marlins. Less than five minutes later, the Phillies ended the Mets' season by completing a 6-1 win over the Nationals.

"There's no excuse for what happened down the stretch," David Wright said. "It's unexplainable. It just comes down to the fact that we weren't very good. We didn't execute."

The Mets spent 147 days in first place this year and led the Phillies by seven games Sept. 12 - a seemingly comfortable margin, given that no team had ever failed to clinch a division title after being that far ahead with 17 games left. But the Mets then went 5-12 to the Phillies' 13-4.

The Mets blew their big lead with stunning speed, losing 10 of 14 games to drop into a first-place tie with the Phillies on Thursday. The Mets actually fell into second Friday but bounced back with a decisive win over Florida on Saturday to tie for the top spot, setting up yesterday's showdown at Shea.

Even the Padres left the door open to the wild card by losing to the Brewers. A win over the Marlins would have created a four-way tie between the Mets, Phillies, Padres and Rockies, but the Mets came up small when it mattered most. A fitting epitaph for an underachieving season.

"We obviously had an opportunity to win this thing and we let it get away from us," said Glavine, who allowed 17 earned runs and 25 hits in 10 1/3 innings in his final three starts. "I'm sure it's something that is going to take a while for all of us to get over. It just goes to show you that in this game you can't take anything for granted. You have to show up and play every day."

Said manager Willie Randolph: "This is just a tough life lesson in baseball. Any time you have an opportunity to finish the deal and don't capitalize on it, it will come back to haunt you. And it sure did with us. The bottom line is that we spit away an opportunity to win the division. It's going to be a tough winter living with that."

The Mets seemed to wake up Saturday by standing up to the Marlins in two bench-clearing incidents and crushing them, 13-0. Someone posted a sign yesterday in the runway leading to the home dugout that had a photo of the brawl and a bulletin-board quote from Florida's Hanley Ramirez that said, among other things, " -- the Mets."

A sellout crowd of 54,453 greeted Glavine with thunderous applause, but it didn't take very long for that love to sour. Glavine walked Ramirez, got Dan Uggla to bounce into a forceout and then allowed seven straight Marlins to reach base. When Cody Ross dropped a two-run double down the rightfield line and the throw home got away from Ramon Castro, Glavine picked up the ball and threw it into leftfield, allowing Ross to circle the bases for a 4-0 lead five batters into the game.

Glavine gave up five hits and two walks and walked off to loud boos after hitting Dontrelle Willis on the forearm with a 1-and-2 changeup to force in a run.

It was the second-shortest outing of Glavine's 21-year career. The other debacle was in 1989, when he did not get an out against the Cubs. Jorge Sosa allowed a two-run double to Uggla that same inning - the runs were charged to Glavine - but the bullpen gave up only one more run and struck out 13.

That's what made this even more puzzling. It was the bullpen that had sabotaged the Mets up until yesterday.

It didn't help that the Mets' vaunted lineup went AWOL. Willis lasted only 2 2/3 innings, but the Mets stranded eight runners in the first three innings.

Their best chance to get back in it came up short by about 10 feet. With the bases loaded and a run already home in the first, Castro drove a 2-and-0 pitch deep to left and raised his finger in the air, thinking it was gone. But Ross grabbed the bid for a grand slam at the warning track. Another example of this team falling for the illusion.

When asked what went wrong, Pedro Martinez didn't pull any punches.

"Everything," he said. "We're a team, we go down together. We -- it up as a team. Plain and simple."

A meaningless 'Sweptember'

The Mets took over first place in the NL East on May 15 and led the division for 147 days. They seemed to be coasting to their second consecutive division title when their lead over the Phillies grew to seven games Sept. 12. There were 17 games left in the season when the Mets began a three-game series at Shea against Philadelphia two nights later. Lowlights of the implosion that followed:

Sept. 14-16: The Phillies beat up the Mets' bullpen in the first two games. They complete a sweep with a lot of help from the Mets, who make six errors in the finale.

Mets' lead: 3 1/2 games

Sept. 17-19: A start by journeyman Brian Lawrence and a players-only meeting can't prevent the Nationals from winning two of three in the nation's capital.

Mets' lead: 2 1/2 games

Sept 20-23: Mets seemingly stop the bleeding by winning three of four against the Marlins in Florida.

Mets' lead: 2 1/2 games

Sept. 24-26: The starters (Mike Pelfrey, Tom Glavine and Philip Humber) are awful and the bullpen is abysmal as the Nationals total 32 runs in their three-game sweep at Shea.

Mets' lead: 1 game

Thursday: Cardinals come to Shea for a makeup game. Joel Piñeiro, who hasn't lasted eight innings in a start since May 2006, allows three hits in eight innings and outpitches Pedro Martinez in a 3-0 St. Louis win.

Mets' lead: Tied with Phillies

Friday: Oliver Perez hits three

Marlins in one inning, visiting Florida wins the series opener - the Mets' eighth straight loss at Shea - and the Phillies breeze to a 6-0 win over the Nationals.

Mets' deficit: 1 game

Saturday: Even their one victory during hell week had its downside. John Maine loses his no-hitter with two outs in the eighth on a dribbler, but the 13-0 victory and the Phillies' loss to Washington creates a dead heat.

Yesterday: Tom Glavine pitches one of the worst games of his 21-year career, allowing seven runs in the first inning, and the Mets never recover. About five minutes after the last out of the Mets' 8-1 loss, the Phillies complete their 6-1 win over the Nationals to win the NL East by one game.

October 2nd, 2007, 12:34 AM
Awful! Tragic! They had no fight left in them! They gave up! For myself, the worse part of the game was watching Mr Met take the easy way out by commiting hari-kari in the 7th inning!


October 2nd, 2007, 12:36 AM


Maybe the SI cover jinx IS true...


October 2nd, 2007, 07:30 AM
Not jinx...stats.

First 50 games (May 29th, high point of the season):
W33 - L17

Last 112 games:
W55 - L57

Team ERA climbed every month since June. Overall stats are what you would expect from a team that won about 85 games.

The mediocrity was hidden because they had little competition for most of the season. Warning bells should have gone off at the end of August, when the Phillies swept them 4 games, and the lead was 2. The Mets had a big series in Atlanta that weekend, but neither the Braves or Phillies are that good. Mets swept Braves, Marlins swept Phillies, lead back to 5, Mets coast and strut.

Incredibly dumb to give a last place team a reason to play hard on the last day of the season.

October 2nd, 2007, 08:19 AM
October 2, 2007

For Mets’ Hubris, the Gods Served Humble Pie


On Sept. 3, a comfortable five games ahead of their nearest rival after cruising to a fourth straight victory, the New York Mets announced their strategy for the postseason. Fans had a week to register for an online ticket lottery that would determine who’d get to watch the team in the first round of the playoffs.

On one level, the announcement was to be expected. Any business must make plans. But on another level, one with its own space-time continuum, it was the moral equivalent of hanging out a “Mission Accomplished” banner. The season, after all, still had 25 games left.

The ancient Greeks, though they never had to hit a knuckle-curve or a four-seam fastball, saw it coming 2,500 years ago. They called it hubris: overbearing pride, with fatal retribution lying in wait.

The Mets, perpetrators and sufferers of one of the worst late-season collapses in baseball history, proved to be deeper in hubris than in relief pitching or clutch hitting.

Even on Sunday, with their universe in the final stage of implosion, their Web site was reminding fans that registration for World Series tickets would end on Oct. 8. But well before then, the team had tested the gods’ patience for outsize confidence.

Some of the players liked to celebrate good times with leaping, bumping dances that were one part joy and one part rubbing the other team’s nose in its own misery. They also said things that smacked uncomfortably of arrogance unbridled.

“We’ve got so much talent, I think sometimes we get bored,” the first baseman Carlos Delgado said in September. The pitcher Pedro Martínez said much the same. So did Tom Glavine, who on Sunday was to pitching what the Titanic was to ocean voyages. When you have as much talent as this team does, he had said, “I guess you can get complacent at times.”

The Mets did just that. And arrogance is the word for it, said Philip Gonzalez, a retired New York police officer.

Mr. Gonzalez stood outside Shea Stadium yesterday morning with a knot of men hanging around in the hope of catching players as they arrived to clean out their lockers. He was looking for José Reyes, the Mets’ talented but sulky shortstop. He settled for an autograph from Omar Minaya, the team’s general manager, who seemed in good spirits for someone who had just presided over disaster.

“They were much too confident,” Mr. Gonzalez said of the Mets’ meltdown. “They didn’t dig in like typical New Yorkers.”

It is the conceit of most New Yorkers that they are a singularly determined breed, the embodiment of “Invictus,” heads unbowed no matter how bloody. However valid that self-perception may be, New York has also proved time and again that it is on more than nodding terms with hubris.

Hubris helps to explain a new governor who rapidly squanders his 70 percent election triumph by bullying those who disagree with him and treating them as moral, intellectual and ethical inferiors. It helps to explain a mayor who doesn’t bother to build a political consensus before unveiling a congestion pricing plan certain to stir controversy. It helps to explain a former mayor who put his emergency command center inside a known terrorist target.
Hubris helps to explain rappers who feel above the law, labor leaders caught with hands in the till, Madison Square Garden executives who treat women with disdain, and perhaps newspapers that win prizes and then become tainted by scandal.

The Mets are but the latest to show that hubris can lead to tragedy — not that the team’s principal owner, Fred Wilpon, would necessarily buy that argument.

He went to Shea Stadium yesterday. As he walked in, he was asked for an autograph by Sgt. First Class James Earl Lancaster Jr. of the United States Army. Sergeant Lancaster, who said he had orders to head to Afghanistan in a few weeks, was in uniform.

Mr. Wilpon said he had spoken with the sergeant’s “boss” after the Sunday debacle. He meant President Bush, once a part-owner of the Texas Rangers.
“I told your boss this is not a tragedy,” Mr. Wilpon said. “Tragedy is when one of yours” — and here he pointed to Sergeant Lancaster — “comes home from over there missing an arm.”

Maybe he had the world in proper perspective. Still, on this day, it was hard not to feel that if Euripides were around, probably writing for Broadway, he might have concluded that those whom the gods would destroy, they first make Mets.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

October 2nd, 2007, 06:16 PM
Ow. Ow ow ow ow ow.

ali r.
{downtown broker}

October 3rd, 2007, 06:23 PM
As a huge Mets fan, I am really crushed about the Mets melting down at the end of the season. But any baseball fan would of saw this coming. Omar didn't do a damn thing in the offseason or trading deadline to replace key players in the bullpen. Our pitching staff was either old (Glavine, El Duque) or erratic (Perez, Maine,) or hurt (Martinez, El Duque) Pedro was out for a good chuck of the season, so we didn't really had that one super-star pitcher that we could count on.

Our hitting wasn't as good as it was back last season. I don't expect the Mets to pound teams for 7+ runs a games, but it's crazy that the Mets would have games in witch they would score at most 2 runs.

Another factor was Reyes. This guy became a pop-up machine in starting in late August. This guy tries to hit every thing to center field. He is a fast base-runner.. BUNT!! if you can't get a hit!!!

Most of all, the bullpen. Mota, Sosa, Schoenweis, Heilman, Wagner all had their breakdown moments this season. Ah... tough to watch.

October 3rd, 2007, 11:58 PM
The Mets will get Johan Santana in the off season, and if they don't at least make the NLCS next season, Willie and Omar will be gone. Not exactly a bold prediction.

October 10th, 2007, 04:33 AM
When you make comments like "We're so good that we get bored with the rest of the league", and "We can start winning whenever we want", you deserve to lose and get a smack in the face wake up call and a slam back down to the hard mat of reality. There heads got larger than Mr. Mets's plain and simple. I hope they got plenty of room for all that humble pie they'll be eating all off season.