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.
Please look back at the first six installments of the 12 part series.
Fantastic Four New York Mets Ugly Eleven Losses: Four brutal losses from the 2019 season.
11 New York Mets Ugly Eleven Losses: Mets lose the season finale in 2008 marking the second straight season-ending collapse.
10 New York Mets Ugly Eleven Losses: Mets lose two home games to the 62-94 Montreal Expos to start off the collapse of 1998.
UGLY ELEVEN # 6: The Collapse of 2007 The Tom Glavine Game
September 30th, 2007 Marlins 8 Mets 1
The 2007 New York Mets came into the season as a team on a mission. After losing Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS the Mets felt they had unfinished business to tend to. The previous season the Mets went 97-65 which tied the New York Yankees for the best record in the league.
The Mets swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. When the Yankees were bounced out of the playoffs losing to the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS the Mets would have the whole town to themselves. Instead of capturing the city and winning the World Series, the Mets would go on to lose Game 7 at Shea Stadium in an absolute heartbreaker. Before we get into the next ugly loss let’s recap the crazy 2007 Mets season.
Mets Start Hot In April
The Mets started the season hot winning their first four games. In fact, at no point were the Mets under .500 all season long. After posting a 15-9 record in April the Mets had found themselves in second place a half-game behind their arch-nemesis Atlanta Braves.
It’s common during the baseball season in April to see teams flip-flopping between first and second place. The Mets were never in first place by more than one game and were never behind by more than two games.
Great Play In May
May was the best month of the season for the Mets as they went 19-9. After spending the first half of the month once again flip-flopping between first and second finally on May 16th the Mets grabbed first place and held onto it for nearly the rest of the season. When May ended the Mets had a solid four and a half games lead over the Braves. With the Mets just completing a 19-9 month they were poised to keep building on their division lead.
Slipping In June
As good as the Mets played in May they almost played equally bad in June. The Mets record in June was 12-15. This would be the worst month by record the Mets would have all year. The month of June was a roller coaster but with one huge downward spiral before a big rise. After 18 June games the Mets were 4-14. This includes losing streaks of four and five games. But as bad as the losing was for the Mets they still managed to stay in first place with their lead trimmed to a game and a half.
But the Mets would finish the month red hot. Their 8-1 record saw their only loss get bookended by four-game winning streaks. By the time June ended the Mets first place lead was four games over the hated Braves
July was a better month for the Mets but just barely. Their record of 13-14 was just one game better than June’s. After losing the first four games of the month the Mets lead amazingly only dropped one game in the standings. The rest of the month saw the Mets without any winning streaks over three games. But fortunately, the Mets lead was still at three games but to a new second-place team. The Philadelphia Phillies leapfrogged over the Braves by a half-game.
Hot August Start Then Cooled Off Finish
The Mets record in August was 15-13. It marked the first month the Mets had a better than .500 month since May. But the Mets still were inconsistent. August started with a three-game winning streak before trading wins and losses in the next four games. Then the Mets got really streaky. The Mets lost three straight before winning the next three. After a loss, the Mets would win four games in a row. This was followed by a two-game losing streak then back to back wins.
On August 25th the Mets record in August was 14-8 and had a seven-game lead in the division over the Phillies and Braves who were tied for second. The was the high water mark for the Mets. The Mets would lose five straight games including a four-game sweep in Philadelphia before winning the last game in August. That comfortable seven-game lead shrank down to a slim two games over the Phillies when August came to a close.
September started out strong for the Mets winning nine of the first 11 games and building the division lead back up to seven games over the Phillies. The Mets went on to lose five straight games shrinking the division lead to a game and a half over the Phillies. The five-game losing streak was highlighted with a Phillies three-game sweep at Shea Stadium.
As par for the season the streaky Mets responded winning four out of the next five games but this time the division lead only increased to two and a half games. But still, with seven games remaining in the regular season, you had to like the Mets chances of winning the division.
Last Week of the Season
Six of the last seven games for the Mets were against the 65 win Washington Nationals and the 63 win Florida Marlins. Sandwiched in between was a makeup game from a rainout back in June against the 75 win St. Louis Cardinals. Meanwhile, the Phillies had six games left with the Braves and Nationals. More interestingly enough both teams were playing all home games.
The Nationals swept the Mets who also lost the makeup game to the Red Birds. The Phillies took two out of three vs the Braves and going into the last weekend of the season the two teams were tied for first place.
The Phillies beat the Nationals and coupled with the Mets loss to the Marlins meant the Phillies leaped into first after Friday night’s games. On Saturday Mets pitcher John Maine pitched the game of his life taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning and the Mets scored 13 runs easily beating the Marlins. The Phillies would lose to the Nationals and once again the division was tied.
The Mets once had a seven-game lead with 17 games to play. All the Mets had to do was just play .500 baseball and they would have cruised into the postseason. With a record of 5-11 going into the season finale, the pressure was really on the Mets. But now a season where the Mets were in first place since May 16th was coming down to a do or die game. The Mets needed to win the regular-season finale to at worst force a one-game playoff.
Worst Collapse in Baseball
You would have to feel confident if you’re the Mets with Tom Glavine on the mound. After all, Glavine is a future Hall of Famer who has pitched in many big games in his career. The Marlins countered with Dontrelle Willis who was having the worst year of his career. Willis had pitched many big games for the Marlins but he was not Glavine. You had to like the Mets chances of at least forcing a one-game playoff with the Phillies.
I remember this game very clearly. Once Labor Day hits, Sunday’s are really for football. Unless your baseball team was in a do or die game the odds were that you were not watching baseball. I only wish I didn’t watch the Mets that day but Glavine made sure you didn’t need to watch for long.
Glavine’s Worst Start
Tom Glavine turned in perhaps the worst start of his career lasting only one-third of an inning allowing seven runs on five hits and two walks and one hit batter hitting the opposing pitcher of all people. Before the Mets got to bat they were already losing 7-0. Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single followed by a two-run double by Cody Ross. Glavine’s throwing error allowed Ross to score and just like that five batters into the game the Marlins had a 4-0 lead. Glavine now pitching with the bases empty had a chance to stabilize the game and keep the deficit at four but could not.
Instead after a single, a walk, and another single the bases were loaded with one out. But Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis was up. Surely Glavine can strikeout Willis but he hits him on a 1-2 pitch driving in Mike Jacobs. Mets Manager Willie Randolph had seen enough and yanked Glavine bringing in Jorge Sosa. Sosa struck out Hanley Ramirez and the Mets were just one out away from keeping the game somewhat manageable only down by five runs. Dan Uggla had a two-run double and the Marlins lead 7-0.
Mets Showed Life
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the Phillies scored a run in the first inning and two runs in the third inning and had a 3-1 lead after four innings. With the Phillies taking an early lead the Mets needed to comeback in this game. I remember the Mets showing some life in the bottom of the first.
After Luis Castillo scored on a wild pitch the Mets loaded the bases. Ramon Castro flied out to deep left field to end the inning. After Sosa struck out the side in the top of the second inning Sandy Alomar pinch-hit for him after Lastings Milledge walked leading off the inning. Alomar also flied out to deep left field. After a walk to Castillo put two men on with two outs David Wright struck out to end the inning.
Willis was not sharp but the Mets could not get to him. Orlando Hernandez pitched a scoreless third inning and once again the Mets wasted a golden opportunity to push some runs across in the bottom half of the inning. Willis walked the bases loaded with two out and was replaced by Logan Kensing. Paul Lo Duca pinch-hitting for Hernandez grounded out to the pitcher and once again the Mets failed to score.
The Mets stranded eight runners in the first three innings. So there were opportunities for the Mets to make a comeback. The Phillies kept adding to their lead and defeated the Nationals 6-1. After the third inning, the Mets showed no life and the game slowly came to an end and closing out one of the worst collapses in major league history. The Mets SNY crew summed up the game in the below clip.
Clearly this loss is all on Tom Glavine. Yes, the Mets did waste scoring opportunities but Glavine can’t put his team in such a deficit so early in the game. Also, Glavine gave up four first-inning runs against the Nationals earlier in the week. Glavine pitched five innings in that game giving up six runs in a 10-9 loss.
Immediately after the season, Glavine spoke about retiring from baseball. Glavine’s Mets career was less than stellar. He finished with a 61-56 record and a 3.97 ERA. These were not the numbers the Mets expected when they signed him to a five-year contract. The Mets paid Glavine a three million dollar buy out and his career in New York was over. He did sign back with the Braves and started in 13 games before being released.
The 2007 season was a roller coaster for the Mets with many highs and lows. There were many factors contributing to a collapse this big. But perhaps the biggest reason was the Mets performance against the Phillies. The Mets had a 6-12 record vs the Phillies which included losing their last eight games played against them.
As for Mets manager Willie Randolph, he is now dealing with two very bitter season-ending losses. In the next season, Randolph was fired with the Mets having a record of 34-35 and was replaced by Jerry Manuel. Manuel would have to endure a collapse of his own later in the season.
Manuel would ultimately get fired after the 2010 season. The Mets next winning season would be in 2015 where they lost in the World Series to the Kansas City Royals.
Embed from Getty Images