Worse collapse: 2010 Cardinals or 2007 Mets?

The infamous collapse of the 2007 New York Mets is one that very nearly every baseball fan knows about – the team blew a seven-game lead over the season's final 17 games, ceding the National League East to the Philadelphia Phillies and becoming the butt of jokes nationwide.

2010 Cardinals vs 2007 Mets

During Respective Collapses

Fast forward three years, and here we are in 2010. While the St. Louis Cardinals’ collapse has occurred at a different time and in a different division, the net result is almost certainly the same – the loss of the division and any shot at the playoffs. The similarities between the two collapses are striking.

While both collapses are similar in magnitude, the reason behind the slump could not be more different. The Cardinals’ bats have gone silent during the collapse, this despite the presence of Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday. On the flip side, the 2007 Mets couldn’t have done much more on offense during their collapse – they averaged nearly six runs per game – but their pitching staff's 5.96 ERA down the stretch proved to be their undoing.

Albert Pujols and David Wright

During Respective Collapses

Another interesting angle to look at is the play of the team’s superstars during the respective collapses. In baseball, one player cannot carry a team (even if that player is Albert Pujols or David Wright).

What's even more puzzling about the Cardinals slump is that the team presumably sacrificed offense for pitching at the trade deadline, swapping out OF Ryan Ludwick and swapping in SP Jake Westbrook. Matt Holliday, St. Louis' big offseason signing, is batting just .268 with a paltry .303 OBP during these 18 games.

Mercifully, the Cardinals have Thursday off to try and collect themselves before opening a 3-game set against the division-leading Reds Friday in St. Louis.