September Hasn’t Been So Amazin’ For Mets Since ’07 Collapse
The 2007 New York Met collapse did more than break the hearts of the Met faithful. The September disintegration that fall, set in motion a string of subsequent baseball finishes that have left the Mets shattered at each season’s end ever since.
No one would have predicted a September slide of epic proportions back in 2007. In fact, when Oliver Perez bested Tim Hudson for his fourteenth win of the season in front of a Shea Stadium crowd of 48,557 on September 10th that year, the Mets had won for the 8th time in 9 tries to start their last month of the regular season. The win was the Mets 82nd of the year leaving them 21 games over .500 far ahead of the National League East pack.
The Mets would go 6-13 the rest of the way forfeiting the division title to the surging Phillies and altering the landscape for Met fans into the future.
With six wins in their first nine September games the following fall, Met fans were induced into believing the 2007 meltdown was an aberration of sorts. With their team very much in the NL East title chase, 52,431 Met fans packed Shea to watch the Mets outlast the Nationals, 13-10, on September 10th in ’08, the win the Mets 82nd once again, this time against 63 losses. But history would repeat itself as a bullpen depleted Met squad would go 7-9 during the rest of the month to cede the division title once again. That 13-12 September mark was the last time the Mets played over .500 baseball during the final month of regular season play.
September has been a virtual mine field for the Mets ever since as year after year the Mets have finished each season in NYC sport obscurity. Inconspicuous and insignificant, the Mets have played out every baseball season to date each September in a near empty home stadium as they audition young prospects who may or may not be a part of their future. The September slumber is in its seventh season with Met fans wondering if it will ever come to an end.
Curiosity got the best of me as I wondered if any of the other baseball ‘bottom-feeders’ closed out their seasons as poorly as the Mets over that seven year span. With the Mets seemingly locked into fourth place in the NL East (another fourth place finish will be our fifth straight, the longest span the Mets have ever held the same spot in the standings during franchise history), it seemed logical that we at least outperformed Miami in September. Not so.
The Astros have been losing games at epic levels as of late, so Houston’s September results since 2007 must lag behind our Mets. Sorry. What about Cleveland, the Cubs, the White Sox, the Orioles, Kansas City, San Diego, the Twins, or the Diamondbacks? NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!
It’s not until I tabulated the results of the Mariners or this year’s resurgent Pirates that I found teams that have underperformed our Mets during the past seven Septembers. Take a look.
Starting with the historic meltdown of 2007, our Mets have fallen into annual deep September sleeps, maybe not comas, but a string of long, sad, September slumbers. It has been argued on these pages recently, that our Mets should be content to lose out to procure a better position in this winter’s draft. I understand that argument, but it goes
against my better nature.
Here’s hoping that somehow our Mets catch fire during the final week of the season. However improbable it appears, I’d like to see our Mets close out 2013 playing .500 or better in their final month of baseball and finally begin to awaken from a September slumber that has lasted far too long. Better we not have that albatross strung from our necks when our Mets contend for a possible playoff spot next year
About the Author: John Bernhardt
John Bernhardt is a retired public school teacher and administrator, who still coaches high school baseball. Growing up in a Yankees household, Bernhardt was an ardent Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra fan. When the Yankees fired Yogi in his first season as the Bomber manager, curiosity turned to passion when the Mets signed Berra as a player/coach and he has pulled for the Mets ever since. In retirement, John writes the sports for a local weekly, The Catskill Mountain News and hosts Tip-Off, a Friday morning sports hour, from 8:00-9:00 on WIOX, 91.3 F.M.
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