The September collapse in the MLB is a special kind of soul-crushing moment. With the playoffs so close, a once mighty teams' own ineptitude forces them to slide out of the playoffs on the way to another anonymous season. These six particular situations have lived on in history as the worst of the worst September performances.
6. 1969 Chicago Cubs
When Sept. 2 rolled around in 1969, the Cubs look poised to win the pennant and had a 84-52 record, while the second place New York Mets had a 77-55 record. Following series against the Pirates and Phillies, a major cold streak from their best player in Hall of Fame third baseman Ron Santo, and a sudden hot streak from the Mets, the Cubs found themselves at 90-72 and behind the Mets in the pennant race.
5. 2011 Atlanta Braves
With the Phillies in control of the NL East, the Braves had a supposedly firm 8.5 game lead on the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card. After being swept by the Cardinals and struggling on a homestand against the Phillies and Marlins, the Braves entered the last day of the season tied with St. Louis. Atlanta then lost to the Phillies and watching the Cardinals beat the Astros, completing the choke job.
4. 2011 Boston Red Sox
If you thought the Braves had the worst collapse of that season, oh how wrong you were. The Red Sox became the first team in the history of baseball to hold a nine game lead heading into September and miss the playoffs. They went 7-20 during the final month of the season, and their horrific performance ultimately cost Terry Francona his job and saw Theo Epstein move to the Chicago Cubs.
3. 2007 New York Mets
The ever-dangerous narcotic that is supporting the New York Mets was never more destructive than in 2007. With 21 games to go, the Mets were 83-62 and poised to slide into the playoffs. Over the last three weeks of the seasons, the Mets won only five games, finishing a pitiful 88-74 and seceding the division lead to the Phillies. This flop ultimately cost former Yankees legend Willie Randolph his job as Mets manager.
2. 1993 San Francisco Giants
The 1993 Giants won 103 games in the first year that Barry Bonds was in the Bay Area, but stand alone in history as the only team in MLB history to win 100 games and miss the playoffs. They started 77-38, went on a 12-18 skid, followed that up with a 12-1 run, but lost to a .500 Dodgers team on the last day of the season in one of the most helter skelter performances ever. After the Giants failed to crack the postseason, the Wild Card system was instituted following this season in order to create a more open playoff race.
1. 1964 Philadelphia Phillies
This collapse has been forever immortalized in Philadelphia lore as "The Phold." The Phillies held a 5.5 game lead over the Reds heading into September, and it seemed like a mortal lock that they would win the pennant. TV guides even posted World Series preview issues with Connie Mack Stadium in the background. They even managed a 6.5 game lead with 12 games left, but managed to choke away the pennant in classic Phillies fashion.