Florida at New York

N.Y. Mets
W: J. Nelson (3-1) L: S. Schoeneweis (2-6)
S: M. Lindstrom (5)
HR: FLA - W. Helms (5), D. Uggla (32)   NYM - C. Beltran (27)

Same ol' misery for Mets as New York misses playoffs on last day

CBSSports.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- Mets Collapse, the sequel.

Doomed by a dreadful bullpen that failed them again Sunday, the New York Mets completed their second consecutive September slide with a 4-2 loss to Florida that knocked them out of playoff contention in the final game at Shea Stadium.

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Scott Schoeneweis and Luis Ayala served up back-to-back homers in the eighth inning that put the pesky Marlins ahead, and New York (89-73) lost out to Milwaukee (90-72) for the NL wild card on the last day of the season.

"We failed. We failed as a team," David Wright said. "There's no pointing fingers. There's no excuses. We as a unit didn't get the job done."

What followed was an awkward scene at Shea.

The Mets brought in former greats from Tom Seaver and Willie Mays to Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry for closing festivities that felt more like a funeral than a party.

Still, a vast majority of fans stayed in their seats and cheered their old favorites during a ceremony that lasted nearly an hour.

"It would have been better if we would have won today, but I don't think it spoils the celebration," general manager Omar Minaya said. "What's going on out there, it's about the history of this building, the history of the players, the history of this organization."

As New York played Florida, the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1, earning the league's last postseason spot. After filing into the clubhouse, several Mets started cleaning out lockers and saying goodbyes, another bitter winter ahead.

It was an eerily similar scenario to last year, when New York lost at home to Florida on the final day of season, ending its playoff hopes.

That defeat finished one of baseball's biggest meltdowns -- the Mets had led the NL East by seven games with 17 to play before they went 5-12 down the stretch. This time, they held first place by a season-high 3½ games with 17 remaining before going 7-10 the rest of the way.

"I have to believe it, because it's happening," Carlos Beltran said. "It's a bad group for you to be there, as a player. I have no more words."

Excluding the 1981 split season, the Mets became the first team in major league history to hold 3½-game division leads in consecutive Septembers and fail to make the postseason both times, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"I'd rather not think about it," Carlos Delgado said.

New York wasted Beltran's tying, two-run homer in the sixth, a useful start by Oliver Perez on short rest and another clutch catch by Endy Chavez. Delgado flied out to deep left with two on to end the eighth, and former Mets prospect Matt Lindstrom retired Ryan Church on a flyout to the edge of the center-field warning track with a runner on to close it out.

"You feel heartbroken," Church said.

Pinch-hitter Wes Helms homered off Schoeneweis (2-6) to start the eighth, snapping a 2-all tie. Dan Uggla connected against Ayala.

The Mets pulled into a tie with Milwaukee for the wild card on Saturday, thanks to Johan Santana's three-hit shutout on three days' rest and the Brewers' 7-3 loss to Chicago.

But a day later, New York was out. The Mets finished 1,859-1,713 at Shea, according to Elias.

"I feel it's unfortunate for the fans," said interim manager Jerry Manuel, who took over when Willie Randolph was fired June 17. "They were good for me. I just wish I could have led them further."

Joe Nelson (3-1) struck out two in a perfect seventh and Lindstrom earned his fifth save. Florida players weren't shy in recent days about saying they wanted to wreck New York's season again.

"It is fun. I'm not going to lie to you," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Missing injured closer Billy Wagner for the final two months, the Mets finished with 29 blown saves, including 16 since the All-Star break -- most in the National League.

"I'm still kind of in shock over it," a teary-eyed Schoeneweis said before cutting his comments short. "I can't describe it. If I could take it back, I would, but I can't."

The offense fizzled, too. Playing its most important games of the year, New York scored only five runs against Florida over the weekend.

"It's tough to swallow," Jose Reyes said.

With the Mets trailing 2-0, pinch-hitter Robinson Cancel drew a leadoff walk from starter Scott Olsen in the sixth. One out later, Beltran hit his 27th homer and sent the sellout crowd of 56,059 into a frenzy.

With two outs and a runner on second in the seventh, Jorge Cantu hit a shot that appeared to be headed over Chavez's head until he raced back and reached up to make a difficult catch on the run.

When he made the grab, Chavez was only steps from the spot where he leaped above the fence for an incredible catch that saved the Mets -- momentarily -- in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series against St. Louis.

The Cardinals wound up winning anyway, and the Mets have flopped over and over again in big games since.

"We haven't been able to put it together, for whatever reason," Delgado said. "We were a playoff-caliber ballclub that didn't get it done."

Revved up fans were lined up outside the gates three hours before the scheduled first pitch, hoping to celebrate Shea Stadium's regular-season finale in style.

After the start was delayed 51 minutes by rain, Perez took a two-hit shutout into the sixth. But he gave up a leadoff double to Cameron Maybin on a 1-2 pitch and a soft RBI single to John Baker.

Perez was pulled with the bases loaded and one out for Joe Smith, who walked Josh Willingham to force in a run. Smith, a submarine specialist, escaped further damage.

"This team I thought did an unbelievable job getting us to today," said Minaya, reflecting on the injuries and choosing to stay positive. "I think what went wrong - we're a streaky offensive team."


  • All-Star SS Hanley Ramirez was out of Florida's starting lineup with a stiff left shoulder.
  • Schoeneweis went 0-4 after Aug. 25.
  • Brian Gorman was the first base umpire. His father, Tom, worked the plate during the first game at Shea Stadium on April 17, 1964.
  • The Mets will move into their new ballpark, Citi Field, next April.
Copyright 2017 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.
It's another disappointing day as the Mets say goodbye to Shea and the season.  (Getty Images)
It's another disappointing day as the Mets say goodbye to Shea and the season. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
New York

C. Beltran
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

W. Helms
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1

Related Video

Florida Marlins
Cameron Maybin, CF4120121 .500
John Baker, C5111033 .299
Jorge Cantu, 3B-1B5010003 .277
Mike Jacobs, 1B3000010 .247
   a- Wes Helms, PH-3B1111000 .243
Dan Uggla, 2B3121100 .260
Josh Willingham, LF3001101 .254
Cody Ross, RF3000103 .260
Alfredo Amezaga, SS4000015 .264
Scott Olsen, P2000020 .129
   b- Luis Gonzalez, PH1000000 .261
    Joe Nelson, P0000000 .000
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
   c- Jeremy Hermida, PH1010000 .249
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
a-homered for Jacobs in the 8th
b-grounded out for Olsen in the 7th
c-singled for Rhodes in the 9th
2B - Cameron Maybin (2, Perez)
HR - Wes Helms (5, Schoeneweis), Dan Uggla (32, Ayala)
RBI - John Baker (32), Wes Helms (31), Dan Uggla (92), Josh Willingham (51)
SB - Cameron Maybin (4, 2nd base off Stokes/Castro)
Team LOB - 8
Florida Marlins
Scott Olsen 6322141 4.20
Joe Nelson (W,3-1) 1000020 2.00
Kevin Gregg (H,4) 0.2100110 3.41
Arthur Rhodes (H,24) 0.1000000 2.04
Matt Lindstrom (S,5) 1000100 3.14
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Olsen 88-59, Joe Nelson 15-10, Kevin Gregg 18-10, Arthur Rhodes 2-2, Matt Lindstrom 19-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Olsen 6-8, Kevin Gregg 1-0, Matt Lindstrom 1-2
Batters Faced - Scott Olsen 22, Joe Nelson 3, Kevin Gregg 4, Arthur Rhodes 1, Matt Lindstrom 4
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4010012 .297
Carlos Beltran, CF3112101 .284
Carlos Delgado, 1B4010012 .271
David Wright, 3B4000001 .302
Nick Evans, LF2000000 .257
    Endy Chavez, LF2000000 .267
Ramon Martinez, 2B3000010 .250
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Bobby Parnell, P0000000 .000
   a- Damion Easley, PH0000100 .269
Ryan Church, RF4000031 .276
Ramon Castro, C2010000 .245
   b- Daniel Murphy, PH1000010 .313
    Brian Schneider, C0000000 .257
Oliver Perez, P1000001 .107
    Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
   c- Robinson Cancel, PH0100100 .245
    Brian Stokes, P0000000 .667
    Scott Schoeneweis, P0000000 .000
    Argenis Reyes, 2B0000000 .218
   d- Marlon Anderson, PH1000000 .210
    Luis Castillo, 2B0000000 .245
a-walked for Parnell in the 9th
b-struck out for Castro in the 8th
c-walked for Smith in the 6th
d-grounded out for Ar. Reyes in the 8th
2B - Jose Reyes (37, Gregg)
HR - Carlos Beltran (27, Olsen)
RBI - Carlos Beltran 2 (112)
Team LOB - 5
New York Mets
Oliver Perez 5.1422360 4.22
Joe Smith 0.2000100 3.55
Brian Stokes 1100010 3.51
Scott Schoeneweis (L,2-6)0111001 3.34
Luis Ayala 1.1211011 5.71
Pedro Feliciano 0.1000010 4.05
Bobby Parnell 0.1000000 5.40
IBB - Uggla by Oliver Perez
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 85-50, Joe Smith 13-6, Brian Stokes 17-10, Scott Schoeneweis 3-2, Luis Ayala 23-13, Pedro Feliciano 6-3, Bobby Parnell 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 3-7, Joe Smith 1-1, Brian Stokes 1-1
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 23, Joe Smith 3, Brian Stokes 4, Scott Schoeneweis 1, Luis Ayala 6, Pedro Feliciano 1, Bobby Parnell 1
Game Information
Attendance - 56059
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Sam Holbrook