Every fan base has those games that rip you apart emotionally. Some fan bases have many more to choose from than others. In my years as a New York Mets fan, there are many games and moments that have ripped me apart. I have rounded this down to the Ugly Eleven All-Time Met losses in my lifetime. As a 45-year-old fan, I am going to limit the pain to games starting in the ’80s going up until now. This list is sure to bring back many bad memories for every Mets fan.
UGLY ELEVEN 2008 COLLAPSE # 11
September 28 2008 vs the Florida Marlins at Shea Stadium. Marlins 4 Mets 2
After the major collapse of the 2007 New York Mets, we had the mini-collapse of 2008. Manager Willie Randolph was fired mid-way through the season and was replaced by Jerry Manuel. On September 10th the Mets beat the Washington Nationals improving their record to 82-63. In addition, their first-place lead grew to a season-high of 3.5 games. Ten days later the Mets lost the division lead to the Philadelphia Phillies for good but a Wild Card berth was still very much in play.
Going into the games on September 21st the Mets (86-68) had a three-game lead in the loss column over the Milwaukee Brewers (84-71) with eight games to play when the wheels would start to fall off. The Mets went 2-3 while the Brewers reeled off four straight victories.
As the teams headed into the last weekend of the season they had identical records of 88-71. The Brewers were playing a home series against the Chicago Cubs and the Mets were playing the then Florida Marlins who were looking to play the spoiler two years in a row. After losing the Friday night game to the Marlins 6-1 the Mets found themselves on the brink of elimination as the Brewers defeated the Cubs 5-1.
Mets ace Johan Santana took the mound in a must-win Saturday game. A Mets loss and Brewers win would eliminate the Mets from playoff contention. Santana showed the world why he is an ace pitcher and tossed a masterful three-hit shutout in a 2-0 Mets win on a bad knee that would require surgery after the season. The Mets would draw even once again with the Brewers who lost to the Cubs 7-3. The season finale would again be a must-win game. A Mets win would at worst force a one-game playoff with the Brewers.
Must Win Game
For the second straight season, the Mets were faced with a must win regular-season finale. In both seasons the Mets blew a multiple game lead in the National League Eastern Division and finished the season at home vs the Marlins.
Pitching for the Brewers was a hired gun who carried the Brew Crew down the stretch by pitching on three days rest. CC Sabathia proved his worth by tossing a complete game on the last day of the regular season. Would the Mets be able to get a great start by one of their own matching Santana’s greatness from the previous game?
Ollie P Pitched Well
The Mets sent Oliver Perez to the hill opposed by Scott Olsen of the Marlins. The Met bats again went silent against a subpar pitcher but Perez was matching goose eggs with Olsen. In the sixth inning, the Marlins broke through when John Baker singled in Cameron Maybin for a 1-0 Marlins lead. After giving up a hit and a walk to the next two batters Perez intentionally walked Dan Uggla. Joe Smith was brought into the game and walked Josh Willingham forcing in the second Marlins run. Smith would leave the bases loaded and the Mets went to work in the bottom half of the inning.
Robinson Cancel walked leading off the inning and one batter later scored ahead of a home run hit by Carlos Beltran knotting the game at two. From there it became a battle of the bullpens. Both teams held serve in the seventh inning. In the eight the Marlins took the lead for good. Scott Schoeneweis gave up a leadoff HR to the mighty Wes Helms. Schoeneweis was pulled after the home run and replaced by Luis Ayala who served Dan Uggla another home run as the Marlins would go back to back taking a 4-2 lead
Meanwhile In Milwaukee
The Mets broadcasters were keeping the audience informed of what was going on in Milwaukee between the Cubs and Brewers. Ronny Cedeno’s groundout in the top of the second inning gave the Cubs the early 1-0 lead. The Cubs held that 1-0 lead all the way into the bottom of the seventh inning. Craig Counsell walked with two outs to force in the tying run.
Sabathia was in cruise control since the second inning tossing zeros. During the Mets telecast on TV, we saw a highlight of a Ryan Braun two-run HR giving the Brewers a 3-1 lead heading into the ninth inning in Milwaukee.
Must Win Game
The Mets made some noise in the bottom of the inning. With one out Marlin Anderson hits a chopper off the glove of pitcher Kevin Gregg. The ball went to Dan Uggla at second base who narrowly threw out Anderson. Jose Reyes would then hit a two-out ground-rule double. The ball Reyes hit took a very high hop over the wall otherwise that is an easy triple. Uggla’s play could have saved a run.
Beltran was up next and walked. The Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen has announced the Brewers have won their game meaning the Mets would have to win this game to force a one-game playoff. Carlos Delgado ended the inning by taking an Arthur Rhodes pitch deep into left centerfield for the final out.
The Mets would get the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning when Damion Easley walked with two outs bringing up Ryan Church. Church took a Matt Lindstrom pitch deep into right centerfield for a long out. The Mets were eliminated from the playoffs by the Marlins two years in a row in the last game ever played at Shea Stadium.
This loss began a tailspin of four consecutive fourth-place finishes for the Mets. It also ends a stretch that saw the Mets have good teams but nothing to show for it. From 2005-2008 the Mets had a record of 357-291 mostly from the Willie Randolph era. Say what you want about the Randolph era but in three full seasons, the Mets were over .500. However, they suffered through some of the worst losses this franchise has ever had. The Jerry Manuel era was not very good and ended after the 2010 season.
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