Phillies Make Playoffs As Mets Collapse

Monday, October 1st 2007, 7:09 am
By: News On 6

Philadelphia did the celebrating instead of the flopping. And while the fate of the Phillies and New York Mets is certain, Colorado and San Diego will need a tiebreaker game to determine the major leagues' final playoff spot.

The Fightin' Phils advanced to the postseason for the first time since 1993, riding Ryan Howard's 47th homer and 5 1-3 gutsy innings from 44-year-old Jamie Moyer to a 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.

``This has been an incredible ride and we've got to keep going,'' Pat Burrell said.

The Mets, who led the NL East by seven games with 17 to play on Sept. 12, completed one of baseball's greatest collapses with an 8-1 loss to Florida. Tom Glavine gave up seven runs in the first and got just one out at Shea Stadium as the Mets lost for the 12th time in 17 games.

New York became just the third team to have a seven-game lead in September and not finish first, joining the 1934 New York Giants and 1938 Pittsburgh Pirates.

``It's something that's going to take a while for us to get over,'' said Glavine, who pitched for possibly the last time in his major league career.

In Denver, a single by would-be batting champion Matt Holliday set up the Rockies' go-ahead, three-run burst in the eighth inning, then closer Manny Corpas held off Arizona's two-run rally in the ninth for a 4-3 victory, Colorado's 13th win in 14 games.

That left the Rockies tied with San Diego (89-73), which lost 11-6 at Milwaukee. If the Mets had won, New York also would have been 89-73. That would have required an NL East tiebreaker, followed by a three-team, two-day wild-card tiebreaker.

Padres ace Jake Peavy is to start Monday night's tiebreaker at Coors Field against Josh Fogg, whose tendency to beat other teams' aces of late has earned him the nickname ``Dragon Slayer.'' This will be baseball's first one-game playoff since 1999, when the New York Mets beat Cincinnati 5-0 for the NL wild card.

``I don't think anything will help us tomorrow other than going out and getting hits off Jake Peavy,'' Holliday said. ``Everything's out the window. Tomorrow's one game. Everything in the last two weeks is in the past and now we've got to focus on beating the Padres for a chance to go to the playoffs.''

Arizona, the NL West champion, hosts Central winner Chicago when the postseason starts Wednesday. The wild-card winner opens that day at Philadelphia.

In games with no postseason implications Sunday, Cincinnati beat the Cubs 8-4, Houston defeated Atlanta 3-0 and San Francisco routed Los Angeles 11-2.

At Philadelphia, Moyer (14-12) allowed one unearned run and five hits, striking out six. He baffled hitters with a typical mix of offspeed pitches and a fastball that barely reached 80 mph. Tom Gordon, J.C. Romero and Brett Myers finished with 3 2-3 scoreless innings.

Rollins singled leading off the bottom of the first against Jason Bergmann (6-6). He stole second and third and scored on Chase Utley's sacrifice fly.

Philadelphia nearly squandered an opportunity in the third when Utley popped out with the bases loaded. But Howard came through with a two-out single just second baseman Ronnie Belliard, who was positioned in shallow right field.

Somehow it seemed fitting the Phillies enjoyed success the same season they became the first team in professional sports to lose 10,000 games.

A team known for one of the biggest collapses in baseball _ they blew a 6 1/2-game lead with 12 games left in the 1964 NL race _ took advantage of a colossal fold to finish first. The Phils won 13 of their last 17.

``There's only one more celebration to try and go for now and that's the whole thing,'' Howard said.

Marlins 8, Mets 1

The seven runs matched the most Glavine (13-8) allowed in an inning during his 21 years in the majors, the Elias Sports Bureau said. He also gave up seven to Colorado in 1996. It also was the second-shortest start of his brilliant career _ and perhaps his last.

The Mets had chances to climb back in against Dontrelle Willis, but left eight runners on base in the first three innings. Logan Kensing (3-0) replaced Willis with two out and the bases loaded in the third and pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings.

``It's just a tough life lesson in baseball,'' Mets manager Willie Randolph said.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3

Brad Hawpe drove in three runs as the Rockies won their 13th in 14 games, and Holliday went 1-for-3, leaving his batting average at .340. He leads Atlanta's Chipper Jones by three points for the batting title and will win the crown provided he doesn't go 0-for-5 on Monday.

Former closer Brian Fuentes (3-5) struck out four in 1 2-3 innings in relief of Ubaldo Jimenez, who struck out 10 in 6 1-3 stellar innings.

Brewers 11, Padres 6

Milwaukee pushed across two in the fourth, chased Brett Tomko (4-12) during a four-run fifth and added three more in the sixth on a bases-loaded triple by Gabe Gross. Doug Brocail threw a tantrum in the dugout after giving up Gross' triple, knocking equipment off a shelf and winging his hat to the floor.

San Diego scored three runs off Jeff Suppan (12-12) in the first, but managed only one more run against him in the next five innings.

Reds 8, Cubs 4

Alfonso Soriano set a Cubs record with his 14th homer in September, and Ryan Dempster (2-7) allowed a three-run homer to Joey Votto, who had five RBIs. At Cincinnati, Homer Bailey (4-2) helped stop the Reds' seven-game losing streak.

Astros 3, Braves 0

Craig Biggio doubled off Buddy Carlyle (8-7) in his first at-bat and scored in the first inning of his final game for Houston, played before a record crowd of 43,823, at Minute Maid Park. Biggio, who played his entire 20-season career in Houston, became the 27th player to reach 3,000 hits on June 28.

Giants 11, Dodgers 2

Barry Zito (11-13) allowed two runs in eight innings, light-hitting Omar Vizquel homered, and visiting San Francisco (71-91) completed its worst season in 11 years.

Cardinals 6, Pirates 5

Skip Schumaker went 5-for-5 and drove in two runs as visiting St. Louis won its fifth straight. The Cardinals tied a major league record held by using 10 pitchers in a nine-inning game, and the combined 18 pitchers set a record. Kip Wells (7-17) was the winner, and Bryan Bullington (0-3) the loser.