The 2007 Mets led the NL East by 7-1/2 games with 17 to play. The Braves were up 7-1/2 in the Wild Card race with 18 remaining. As choke artists go, it’s hard to top the Muts (in 2008 they dropped 10 of their last 17, blowing a 3-1/2 game division lead).
The worst collapse, however, belongs to the 1995 Angels, who, on Aug. 16, held a 10-1/2 game lead in the AL West. They would go on to lose nine in a row TWICE but still managed to tie the Mariners, forcing a one-game playoff. They lost 9-1.
Among the other chokers the Bravos hope not to emulate:
Led NL West by 6½ Games on Aug. 25
They went on to lose 10 in a row but still held a one-game lead over the Giants. Then they lost three of four to the Cubs, allowing the local nine to sneak into the playoffs.
Led AL Central by 7 Games on Sept. 6
With a seven-game lead, the Tigers proceeded to lose 12 of their next 22 but were still up three with four to play. They ended up playing five games, losing four, including Game 163 to the Twins.
1978 Red Sox
Led AL East by 7½ Games on Aug. 29
Three weeks later they trailed the Yanks by 3-1/2. They bounced back to win the season’s final eight games before Bucky Dent kicked them in the ‘nads.
The 2011 Sox are more likely to fold than the Braves, with Tampa just three games behind in the loss column after sweeping Boston. With all but the last three games of the season coming against teams with losing records, the Bravos have no excuses.
- The Road to October: Sept. 11, 2011 (mlb.mlb.com)