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Florida at New York

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Florida (71-91) «7000100008110
N.Y. Mets (88-74)100000000151

Mets choke, miss playoffs after finishing off collapse

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Following the last bewildering loss of a season gone sour, the dejected New York Mets filed into their quiet clubhouse and packed for a particularly stark winter.

When they needed a big game, Tom Glavine pitched one of his worst. And now, their collapse is complete.

After blowing a big September lead in the NL East, the Mets missed the playoffs Sunday when Glavine was battered for seven runs during the first inning of a season-ending 8-1 loss to the Florida Marlins.

"It's something that's going to take a while for us to get over," said Glavine, pitching for maybe the last time in his major league career.

New York's defeat coupled with Philadelphia's 6-1 win over Washington gave the division title to the Phillies and sent the stunned Mets home wondering how they squandered a seven-game cushion over the final 18 days of an excruciating season.

Now, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez and the rest of this talented team will forever be remembered alongside the 1964 Phillies and other famous failures for skidding to one of baseball's most monumental collapses.

"It's going to be a long offseason. I know I don't want to experience it again," Wright said.

No major league team had owned a lead of seven games or more with 17 to play and failed to finish in first place. New York, which had that margin on Sept. 12, matched the largest lead blown in September. The 1934 New York Giants (Sept. 6) and 1938 Pittsburgh Pirates (Sept. 1) and also led by seven games in the final month only to drop into a fatal tailspin.

A win Sunday not only would have kept the Mets even with Philadelphia and forced a one-game playoff for the division title, it would have tied them with Colorado and San Diego for the wild card. So they would have had two ways to reach the postseason.

Instead, the Mets lost six of their final seven games -- all at home -- and are out.

"Everyone's definitely numb," Shawn Green said. "To say disappointed would be the understatement of the year."

Philadelphia swept a three-game series at Shea Stadium from Sept. 14-16 -- giving the Phillies wins in the final eight meetings between the teams. That started a slide the Mets never recovered from. They even lost star slugger Carlos Delgado in the season finale to a broken hand.

Doomed by inadequate starting pitching and a leaky, exhausted bullpen, New York dropped 12 of its last 17 games, committing 21 errors in the process. The Mets' ERA during the slide was 5.96, third-worst in the majors over that span.

"The harder we pushed, the worse it got," closer Billy Wagner said as he packed a bag at his locker.

When Luis Castillo struck out and ended New York's latest lackluster defeat against a second-division club, that prompted one last round of boos at Shea Stadium this year.

Moments later, the final in Philadelphia was posted on the out-of-town scoreboard and Mets fans shuffled toward the exits, quietly muttering to themselves.

"We're devastated, also," manager Willie Randolph said. "It's just a tough life lesson in baseball."

It was one of the darkest days for a franchise that prided itself on late-season comebacks in 1969, 1973 and in the 1986 World Series against Boston.

Last year, the Mets advanced to Game 7 of the NL Championship Series before losing 3-1 to St. Louis. Beltran struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, a sudden end to a thrilling season.

This time, the pain was drawn out over 2½ weeks of wretched play -- and the finale was a wash from the first inning on.

Randolph took his share of the blame.

"I'm the manager of the team. I accept full responsibility. I don't have any problem with that," he said.

After squandering their cushion, the Mets fell a game behind Philadelphia with their fifth consecutive loss Friday night. But they bounced back when John Maine nearly pitched the club's first no-hitter Saturday in a fight-filled rout of Florida, which pulled them back into a tie for first when the Phillies lost to the Nationals.

That put the Mets' fate back in their own hands and gave them hope that their massive slide was over.

"It's definitely been a roller-coaster the last couple days," Green said. "We just got in a funk at the wrong time."

The previous time two teams went into the final day of the regular season tied atop a division -- and neither assured of the wild card -- was 1993. Glavine started for Atlanta that day and beat Colorado 5-3, sending the Braves into the playoffs with help from a Dodgers blowout of San Francisco.

This time, the 303-game winner put his team in a huge hole. He was chased after getting only one out and charged with all seven of Florida's early runs. He made a throwing error and hit Marlins lefty Dontrelle Willis with a pitch with the bases loaded, mistakes that symbolized the Mets' late collapse.

"We were definitely pumped up after yesterday," said Florida's Cody Ross, who hit a two-run double.

The seven runs matched the most Glavine (13-8) allowed in an inning during his 21 years in the majors, the Elias Sports Bureau said. He also gave up seven to Colorado in 1996.

It also was the second-shortest start of his brilliant career -- and perhaps his last.

The 41-year-old left-hander is contemplating retirement, or he might choose to pitch elsewhere next season. Glavine, also roughed up in a 10-9 loss to Washington on Tuesday night, has a $13 million player option for next year with a $3 million buyout.

"I want to go home and figure out what I want to do," Glavine said. "I'm disappointed. It's not the way I wanted to pitch."

Notes

  • Willis hit his third triple of the year.
  • Wright finished the season with a 17-game hitting streak.
  • Logan Kensing (3-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Tom Glavine matches his career worst by giving up seven runs in an inning -- all in the first.  (US Presswire)
Tom Glavine matches his career worst by giving up seven runs in an inning -- all in the first. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Florida

C. Ross
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Florida

J. Hermida
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS4000126 .332
Dan Uggla, 2B5112011 .245
Jeremy Hermida, RF5130012 .296
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4111111 .320
Cody Ross, LF5222022 .335
Mike Jacobs, 1B4110033 .265
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
   a- Alfredo Amezaga, PH1000010 .263
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
Matt Treanor, C3100200 .269
Alejandro De Aza, CF4121010 .229
Dontrelle Willis, P1011000 .286
    Logan Kensing, P0000000 .000
   b- Todd Linden, PH1000012 .245
    Justin Miller, P0000000 .000
    Jason Wood, 1B1000000 .239
Totals388117413  
a-struck out for Lindstrom in the 9th
b-struck out for Kensing in the 5th
Batting
2B - Dan Uggla (49, Sosa), Jeremy Hermida (32, Smith), Cody Ross (19, Glavine), Alejandro De Aza (8, Schoeneweis)
3B - Dontrelle Willis (3, Hernandez)
RBI - Dan Uggla 2 (88), Miguel Cabrera (119), Cody Ross 2 (39), Alejandro De Aza (8), Dontrelle Willis (7)
2-OUT RBI - Dan Uggla 2 (17)
Team LOB - 8
Florida Marlins
Dontrelle Willis 2.2311520 5.17
Logan Kensing (W,3-0) 1.1100000 1.35
Justin Miller 1.1000020 3.65
Renyel Pinto 1.2100000 3.68
Matt Lindstrom 1000000 3.09
Kevin Gregg 1000010 3.54
HBP - Delgado (by Dontrelle Willis)
WP - Dontrelle Willis (9)
Pitches-Strikes - Dontrelle Willis 76-34, Logan Kensing 16-9, Justin Miller 25-15, Renyel Pinto 21-14, Matt Lindstrom 21-13, Kevin Gregg 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Logan Kensing 2-2, Justin Miller 1-1, Renyel Pinto 1-4, Kevin Gregg 1-1
Batters Faced - Dontrelle Willis 17, Logan Kensing 5, Justin Miller 4, Renyel Pinto 6, Matt Lindstrom 3, Kevin Gregg 3
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5000001 .280
Luis Castillo, 2B4110110 .301
David Wright, 3B4010013 .325
Carlos Beltran, CF4020001 .276
Moises Alou, LF3010111 .341
Carlos Delgado, 1B0000000 .258
    Jeff Conine, 1B2000100 .254
Ramon Castro, C4000025 .285
Lastings Milledge, RF2000200 .272
Tom Glavine, P0000000 .214
    Jorge Sosa, P0000000 .200
   a- Sandy Alomar Jr., PH1000001 .136
    Orlando Hernandez, P0000000 .167
   b- Paul Lo Duca, PH1000003 .272
    Scott Schoeneweis, P0000000 .000
    Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
   c- Ruben Gotay, PH1000000 .295
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   d- Marlon Anderson, PH1000000 .295
Totals3215055  
a-flied out for Sosa in the 4th
b-grounded out for Hernandez in the 3rd
c-flied out for Feliciano in the 6th
d-popped out for Heilman in the 9th
Batting
2B - Luis Castillo (19, Willis)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Tom Glavine (1, Throwing)
New York Mets
Tom Glavine (L,13-8) 0.1577200 4.45
Jorge Sosa 1.2100040 4.47
Orlando Hernandez 1100000 3.72
Scott Schoeneweis 1.1211120 5.03
Joe Smith 1.1100140 3.45
Pedro Feliciano 0.1000010 3.09
Guillermo Mota 2100010 5.76
Aaron Heilman 1000010 3.03
IBB - Cabrera by Joe Smith
HBP - Willis (by Tom Glavine)
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Glavine 36-17, Jorge Sosa 32-20, Orlando Hernandez 9-6, Scott Schoeneweis 27-14, Joe Smith 33-18, Pedro Feliciano 6-3, Guillermo Mota 24-16, Aaron Heilman 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Glavine 1-0, Jorge Sosa 1-0, Scott Schoeneweis 1-1, Guillermo Mota 3-2, Aaron Heilman 2-0
Batters Faced - Tom Glavine 9, Jorge Sosa 6, Orlando Hernandez 4, Scott Schoeneweis 7, Joe Smith 6, Pedro Feliciano 1, Guillermo Mota 7, Aaron Heilman 3
Game Information
Attendance - 54453
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor