7 of the Most Shocking September Collapses in Baseball History
posted at 9/10/2011 9:41 AM EDT
From Bleacher Report:
2009 Detroit Tigers
Jim Leyland's 2009 Tigers were about to capture their first division crown since 1987, up by seven games after the first week of September. They went 11-16 for the rest of the month and, to make matters worse, dropped a gut-wrenching 12-inning, one-game tie-breaker to the Twins.
Instead of a division title, the Tigers became the first team since 1901 to blow a three-game lead in their last four games.
2008 New York Mets
The 2008 Mets, led by manager Willie Randolph, held a 3.5-game lead in the NL East, and with only 17 games to go, New York looked like a sure thing. However, the Metropolitans won just seven of the remaining contests to blow the division lead.
What's worse is the Mets had also choked the previous year (as we'll see in the next slide), becoming the first team ever to blow a 3.5-game lead in consecutive Septembers, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The 2007 Mets had a commanding seven-game lead with 17 to go. They proceeded to lose 12 of those games, including one in which Tom Glavine got shellacked and didn't complete the first inning.
The stunning collapse saw the Mets slog through a 1-6 homestand against the Nationals, Cardinals and Marlins.
1995 California Angels
The 1995 Angels were threatening to run away and hide by building an 11-game margin by August. They were led by center fielder Jim Edmonds, who hit .290, smashed 33 homers and drove in 107 runs.
However, the Angels reeled off nine straight loses in late August that carried into September and followed that up by losing nine straight again, beginning on the Sept. 13. They won their last five games to force a one-game playoff with Seattle.
1987 Toronto Blue Jays
The 1987 Toronto Blue Jays were down to their last seven games, holding a 3.5-game margin over the Detroit Tigers. However, Sparky Anderson's boys slipped right by the Jays as the Jays lost every remaining game, including a season-ending three-game series against the Tigers.
Detroit won each of the three games by a lone run margin.
1978 Boston Red Sox
The 1978 Boston Red Sox had the Yankees by 14 games in mid-July, but the 'Sox proceeded to drop two of three to both the A's and Orioles to open the month of September. They were then swept in a four-game series against the Yankees and, after winning the first game of the next series against Baltimore, the Red Sox wound up losing five straight that included two more losses to the Bronx Bombers.
The Red Sox reeled off eight straight wins to finish in a dead heat with New York, forcing a one-game playoff, which New York won 5-4 on a three-run homer from Bucky Dent and a solo blast from Reggie Jackson.
The 1964 Phillies held a commanding 6.5-game lead over the Reds and Cards, both tied for second, and there were just 12 game left to play. The Phillies lost 10 straight of the remaining 12 to allow the Cardinals to slip past and win the NL crown by one game.