Monday, October 01, 2007

Mets' Collapse By the Numbers, From 1 To 17

After a September 12 victory over the Atlanta Braves, the New York Mets led the National League East by seven games with 17 remaining. A 5-12 finish, combined with the Philadelphia Phillies’ 13-4 closing run, left the Mets in second place and out of the postseason. New York thus became the first club in major league history to lose such a lead in the last 17 games. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the Mets’ swoon, from 1 to 17.

1 Number of NL clubs who suffered a three-game sweep at home by the Nationals in 2007, thanks to Washington’s trip to Shea this week.

2 Field goals made (officially) by Auburn kicker Wes Byrum in Saturday’s stunner over the Gators. So unlike the Mets, at least someone stepped up this weekend against Florida.

3 Runs driven in by Bucky Dent on his famous home run versus Boston in 1978 – a game Willie Randolph missed due to injury. Sorry Willie - no one-game playoff for you this year, either.

4 Number of the train that stops at Yankee Stadium, where Mets fans can go to see postseason baseball.

5 Losses, without a win, for Notre Dame – the only team having a worse run than the Mets these days.

6 Emmy acting nominations Ray Romano received for Everybody Loves Raymond. This week the Mets caused more heartache for Ray Barone than his family.

7 Runs by which the Mets lost on Sunday, with their season on the line. Looks like March isn’t the only thing that goes out like a lamb.

8 Consecutive games the Mets have dropped to the Phillies. Only Santa Claus gets worse treatment in Philly.

9 Seasons Matlock was on the air, beginning in 1986. I figured Mets fans could use a reference to 1986.

10 Felonies O.J. Simpson has been charged with committing on September 13. He’s not the only athlete whose fortunes went south after that day.

11 Jersey number of Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins, who proved he had great foresight in January by proclaiming the Phillies “the team to beat in the NL East.” Less accurate predictions from that interview were “It’s the Mavs’ year” and “Kucinich is a real sleeper!”

12 Grand Slam singles titles for Roger Federer, including the recently completed U.S. Open. He’s the only male athlete who got to celebrate in Queens this month.

13 Runs scored by the Mets in Saturday’s victory. Sure, it was their only win of the week, but it was a REALLY decisive win.

14 Career postseason victories for Mets starter Tom Glavine, who trails former Atlanta teammate John Smoltz by one. Looks like Smoltz has bragging rights for another year.

15 Consecutive losing seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates. So at least the Mets finished ahead of one team from Pennsylvania.

16 Points scored by the Giants in a win over the Eagles – Met supporters’ only consolation on Sunday. Unless they’re Jets fans – then they’re totally out of luck.

17 Games during the Mets’ 5-12 collapse in which third baseman David Wright had a base hit. Wright got less support than sportswriters at a Mike Gundy press conference.