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6 Worst September Collapses in MLB History

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 28: Alex Gonzalez #2 of the Atlanta Braves leaves the dugout after the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field on September 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

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

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: A hat and glove sit on the bench in the Chicago Cubs dugout during the Cubs game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 26, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs v Washington Nationals | Rob Carr/Getty Images

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

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field on September 26, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 18:  A detail of a Boston Red Sox hat and glove during  a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium on April 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

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

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: New York Mets hats sit in the dugout honoring late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez during the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 27, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
New York Mets v Miami Marlins | Rob Foldy/Getty Images

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

Barry Bonds #25 of the San Francisco Giants stands on deck during the Major League Baseball National League East game against the Chicago Cubs on 13 August 1993 at  Wrigley Field, Chicago, United States. Cubs won 12-10.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants vs Chicago Cubs | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 24:  A Philadelphia Phillies baseball hat sits in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 24, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Philadelphia Phillies v Milwaukee Brewers | Dylan Buell/Getty Images

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.