Baseball Toaster Mike's Baseball Rants
This is my site with my opinions, but I hope that, like Irish Spring, you like it, too.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Mike's Baseball Rants


10  09  07 
06  05  04  03 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
Links to MBBR
The Team to Beat!
2007-10-01 09:51
by Mike Carminati

Man, I never thought they could do it until Harry the K announced that the Mets were down by four runs and then Jimmy Rollins manufactured a run out of a single, two stolen bases, and fair-to-middling line drive so-called sac fly.

I stay say that Rollins was incorrect in spring training when he said that the Phils were the team to beat in the NL East. The Mets were the team to beat, and both the Phillies and Mets did that aplenty in the last three weeks.

Even an old curmudgeon like me who picked the Phils to win 75 games had to be touched by the way they won this game and how the team responded to the fans. It was an electric feeling that comes—unfortunately for the Phils—every decade or so.

I am left with the images of the typically stoic Pat Burrell leading the charge on the field as the celebration started, of the players making the rounds well after the game high-fiving and spraying fans with beer/champagne/fire hoses/whatever they could get their hands on, of Rollins turning up the speed to nab his record-setting triple—baseball's fourth quad-20 player—amid cheers of MVP! MVP! MVP! I am not Rollins' biggest fan, but I have no problem with him winning the award. Call me a homer.

How far can this team go? As an NL fan, I would be pulling for these guys since they'll be the best matchup for whichever Goliath escapes from the ALCS. I could also see their pitching collapse and their getting swept out in the first round.

But it doesn't matter

Screw 1964! I wasn't even born, neither were most of the players (sorry, Jamie Moyer). It can now be considered officially buried.

What these Phils accomplished, with an assist from the floundering Mets, was astounding and historic. No team had ever come back from seven games back on September 12 until these Phils. From that point on the team went 13-4 while the Mets went 5-12. They swept series with the Mets three times and finished with an eight-game win streak vs. their rivals.

Was it the worst collapse ever? Let's see…

I looked at the daily standings all time and I selected the teams that a) lead their division or league by at least five games and b) lost that lead by the season's end. Then I looked at the worst "Collapse Ratio". That is, their games remaining (prorated to 162 games) divided by their games ahead on the given date.

Guess which two teams came in one and two? It's no surprise, but the order may be (and I know people had large tables but give me a break—my team finally won something):

YrLgDivLosing TeamPOSWinnerDateTOT GG#G Left G Ahead Collapse
1964NL Philadelphia Phillies2St. Louis Cardinals1964092016215012 6.5 1.85
2007NLENew York Mets2Philadelphia Phillies2007091216214517 7.0 2.43
1934NL New York Giants2St. Louis Cardinals1934091415313914 5.5 2.70
1891NL Chicago Colts2Boston Beaneaters1891091513712116 6.5 2.91
1995ALWCalifornia Angels2Seattle Mariners1995091214512817 6.0 3.17
1951NL Brooklyn Dodgers2New York Giants1951091415813820 6.0 3.42
2006ALCDetroit Tigers2Minnesota Twins2006090716214121 5.0 4.20
1938NL Pittsburgh Pirates2Chicago Cubs1938090415212626 6.5 4.26
1978ALEBoston Red Sox2New York Yankees1978082916313033 7.5 4.37
1942NL Brooklyn Dodgers2St. Louis Cardinals1942081515511243 9.5 4.73
1969NLEChicago Cubs2New York Mets1969081616311944 9.0 4.86
1993NLWSan Francisco Giants2Atlanta Braves1993082216212438 7.5 5.07
1930NL Chicago Cubs2St. Louis Cardinals1930083015612927 5.5 5.10
1921NL Pittsburgh Pirates2New York Giants1921082315411737 7.5 5.19
1974ALEBoston Red Sox3Baltimore Orioles1974082316212438 7.0 5.43
2000ALWSeattle Mariners2Oakland Athletics2000081116211646 7.0 6.57
1984ALWMinnesota Twins3Kansas City Royals1984082216212537 5.5 6.73
1983NLWAtlanta Braves2Los Angeles Dodgers1983081316211745 6.5 6.92
1940AL Cleveland Indians2Detroit Tigers1940082115511738 5.5 7.22
1979NLWHouston Astros2Cincinnati Reds197907041628379 10.5 7.52
1927NL Chicago Cubs4Pittsburgh Pirates1927081615310944 6.0 7.76
1973NLWLos Angeles Dodgers2Cincinnati Reds197307171629567 8.5 7.88
2003ALWSeattle Mariners2Oakland Athletics2003081516212240 5.0 8.00
1937NL Chicago Cubs2New York Giants1937081315410351 6.5 8.25
1873NA Philadelphia Whites2Boston Red Stockings18730716533023 8.5 8.27
1962NL Los Angeles Dodgers2San Francisco Giants1962080916511649 5.5 8.75
2005ALEBoston Red Sox2New York Yankees2005081016211349 5.5 8.91
1989ALEBaltimore Orioles2Toronto Blue Jays198907201629369 7.5 9.20
2003ALCKansas City Royals3Minnesota Twins200307171629369 7.5 9.20
1914NL New York Giants2Boston Braves191408121569858 6.5 9.27
1973NLESt. Louis Cardinals2New York Mets1973080716211349 5.0 9.80
1973NLEChicago Cubs5New York Mets197306291617883 8.5 9.83
1932NL Pittsburgh Pirates2Chicago Cubs193207291549757 6.0 9.99
1935NL New York Giants3Chicago Cubs193507041566987 9.0 10.04
1896NL Cincinnati Reds3Baltimore Orioles189607281288741 5.0 10.38
1985ALWCalifornia Angels2Kansas City Royals198507241629468 6.5 10.46
1977NLEChicago Cubs4Philadelphia Phillies197706291627092 8.5 10.82
1991NLWLos Angeles Dodgers2Atlanta Braves199107281629765 6.0 10.83
1977ALWChicago White Sox3Kansas City Royals1977073116210062 5.5 11.27
1898NL Cincinnati Reds3Boston Beaneaters189808071579958 5.0 11.97
1879NL Chicago White Stockings4Providence Grays18790802834934 5.5 12.07
1946NL Brooklyn Dodgers2St. Louis Cardinals194607021576889 7.5 12.24
1894NL Boston Beaneaters3Baltimore Orioles189407301338152 5.0 12.67
1956NL Milwaukee Braves2Brooklyn Dodgers195607261558867 5.5 12.73
1994ALCCleveland Indians2Chicago White Sox199406221136845 5.0 12.90
1979NLEMontreal Expos2Pittsburgh Pirates197907061607585 6.5 13.24
1889AA St. Louis Browns2Brooklyn Bridegrooms188907201417764 5.5 13.37
1911AL Detroit Tigers2Philadelphia Athletics191107201548470 5.5 13.39
1992NLWCincinnati Reds2Atlanta Braves199207071628181 6.0 13.50
2001NLEPhiladelphia Phillies2Atlanta Braves2001060116253109 8.0 13.63

So now the Phils division/league winner with the fewest days in first in a non-strike year since 1871. Actually, the tie—it's kizmit—the '64 Cardinals:

YrLgTm# DaysFirstLastWLPCTWon Div?Won Lg?Won WS?POSGBGA
1981ALKansas City Royals119810408198104085053.485YNN4110
1871NAPhiladelphia Athletics31871070418711030217.750 Y 102
2007NLPhiladelphia Phillies620070926200710018973.549Y??101
1964NLSt. Louis Cardinals619640929196410049369.574 YY101
1951NLNew York Giants719510417195110039859.624 YN101
1938NLChicago Cubs1119380418193810028963.586 YN102
1934NLSt. Louis Cardinals1219340417193409309558.621 YY102
1981ALMilwaukee Brewers1319810408198110056247.569YNN101
1981NLPhiladelphia Phillies1319810408198108115948.551YNN32.50
1959NLLos Angeles Dodgers1419590426195909298868.564 YY102
1942NLSt. Louis Cardinals16194209121942092710648.688 YY102
1935NLChicago Cubs17193504161935092910054.649 YN104
1981NLMontreal Expos1719810408198105076048.556YNN220
1956NLBrooklyn Dodgers1819560423195609309361.604 YN101
1967ALBoston Red Sox1819670412196710019270.568 YN101
1883NLBoston Beaneaters1918830904188309306335.643 Y 104
1973NLNew York Mets2019730405197310018279.509YYN101.5

Oh and by the way, those Cardinals won the World Series. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more.

2007-10-01 10:44:04
1.   Ken Arneson
I think you're missing the 2006 Minnesota Twins from your second table.
2007-10-01 10:49:33
2.   dianagramr
Nice work (as always).

In table 1, it would be interesting (but probably a bit of over-kill) to note how many games the two contending teams played against each other over the last X games, since each of those games would be a 2-game swing in the standings, and thus could be incorporated somehow into the "collapse factor".

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.