According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no team has ever missed the playoffs after holding a lead of eight games or more in September. The Red Sox could be the first -- with a game to spare.
At 83-52, the Red Sox entered September with the best record in the American League. They had a 1½ -game edge over the New York Yankees in the AL East and a nine-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for the wild card. CoolStandings.com gave Boston a 99.4 percent chance at the postseason when the month began.
It is by any measure it is one of the most spectacular collapses in sports history, and I don't think any Sox fan is surprised. Every year they anticipate this kind of thing and now that it has come, it simultaneously leaves us aghast and comforted. Those two teams who won the World Series. Not typical. This? Typical.
I'm considering a Massive Collapse IPA to celebrate. 297 BUs of pure bitterness. If they make the playoffs, I may knock it back to 203. I will go back to the cringing.
Postscript: And there it is. Paps blew the save in the 9th, a toxic cherry on top of a toxic season. Rays go to the playoffs, Sox go in the history book.