10 Worst Pennant Race Collapses
A countdown of the worst blown leads in baseball history
A franchise that's made a living out of giving its fans heartbreak did it in crazy fashion in 2011. The Red Sox led the AL East for most of the second half, but fell behind the Yankees early in the month. They had the wild card to fall back on, or so they thought. They led Tampa Bay by nine games on Sept. 4, but won just seven games in September as the Rays caught them on the next-to-last day. On the final day, the Red Sox blew a 3-2 lead with two outs in the ninth against last-place Baltimore, while simultaneously, the Rays rallied from 7-0 down to beat the Yankees and claim the wild card.
At the same time the Red Sox were melting down in the American League, the Braves were doing virtually the same in the NL wild-card race. A lineup that had been potent all season suddenly stopped hitting, and they let the St. Louis Cardinals catch them on the next-to-last day of the season. The Braves were 9-18 in September. St. Louis trailed the Braves by 10 1/2 in late August, 8 1/2 on Sept. 6, and by three with five games to play.
Another historic moment - the 1969 Amazin' Mets - likely wouldn't have happened if the Cubs hadn't helped out. It was the first season of divisional play, and the Cubs had a 9.5-game lead on August 14 in the new National League East. But 13 days later the red-hot Mets had pulled within two, and they won the division by eight. The Cubs lost 14 of their final 20, and New York went on to win the World Series.