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Originally published Monday, September 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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MLB Notebook | Another collapse for Mets in finale

Mets Collapse, the sequel. Doomed by a dreadful bullpen that failed them again Sunday, the New York Mets completed their second consecutive...

Seattle Times news services

NEW YORK — Mets Collapse, the sequel.

Doomed by a dreadful bullpen that failed them again Sunday, the New York Mets completed their second consecutive September slide with a 4-2 loss to Florida that knocked them out of playoff contention in the final game at Shea Stadium.

Scott Schoeneweis and Luis Ayala served up back-to-back homers in the eighth inning that put the pesky Marlins ahead, and New York (89-73) lost out to Milwaukee (90-72) for the NL wild card on the last day of the season.

"We failed. We failed as a team," David Wright said. "There's no pointing fingers. There's no excuses. We as a unit didn't get the job done."

What followed was an awkward scene at Shea.

The Mets brought in former greats from Tom Seaver and Willie Mays to Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry for closing festivities that felt more like a funeral than a party.

As New York played Florida, the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1, earning the league's last postseason spot.

It was an eerily similar scenario to last year, when New York lost at home to Florida on the final day of season, ending its playoff hopes.

Notes

Even though the Mets missed the playoffs, it appears Jerry Manuel will return as manager. After New York's loss to Florida, a person familiar with Mets management discussions said there's a very good chance Manuel will be brought back next season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because a final decision had not been made.

Josh Beckett's first start in the AL first-round playoffs series against the Los Angeles Angels was pushed back to Game 3 after the Boston Red Sox ace injured his side throwing a bullpen session.

• Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia has 213 hits, tying Jim Rice for the fourth-highest season total in team history.

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• Arizona 3B Mark Reynolds struck out twice to extend his major-league record to 204 for the season.

• The Diamondbacks were eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday, but word apparently didn't reach the marketing department. An illuminated sign on the loge said, "Buy 2009 season tickets now and guarantee 2008 postseason rights."

• Atlanta 3B Chipper Jones (.364) walked in his only at-bat against Houston and earned his first National League batting title, edging St. Louis' Albert Pujols.

• Cincinnati LHP Adam Pettyjohn was the first left-hander to start for the Reds this season.

• The Detroit Tigers fired pitching coach Chuck Hernandez and bullpen coach Jeff Jones.

• All-Star SS Hanley Ramirez was out of Florida's starting lineup with a stiff left shoulder.

• Houston catcher Brad Ausmus ranks ninth all-time in games caught (1,887).

• Dodgers manager Joe Torre planned to give the team a break today and not hold a workout until Tuesday in Chicago. ... Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo will not pitch in the NL Division Series as a precaution because of a possible condition with his circulation.

• Phillies left-handed ace Cole Hamels will pitch Game 1 of the division series when the NL East champions open Wednesday at home against the Milwaukee Brewers.

• Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said CF Shane Victorino should be OK and ready to go for the NLDS. Victorino was hurt in a collision with Jimmy Rollins on Saturday night.

Tampa Bay put Carl Crawford in the outfield for two innings, then pinch-hit for him in the eighth. The two-time All-Star returned to the Rays Friday after being out for nearly six weeks with a finger injury.

• Rays 1B Carlos Pena missed a second consecutive game to recover from an illness.

Texas CF Josh Hamilton won the AL RBI title with 130.

• The last-place Washington Nationals fired five coaches, a complete overhaul of manager Manny Acta's staff after finishing with the worst record in the majors. Bench coach Pat Corrales, base coaches Tim Tolman and Jerry Morales, bullpen coach Rick Aponte and hitting coach Lenny Harris were all told they would not return. Only pitching coach Randy St. Claire kept his job.

Division series
Best-of-five playoff series begin Wednesday (all on TBS)
AMERICAN LEAGUE
# Teams When # Teams When
1 Minn/CWS @ Tampa Thur. 1 Boston @ Angels Wed.
2 Minn/CWS @ Tampa Fri. 2 Boston @ Angels Fri.
3 Tampa @ Minn./CWS Sun. 3 Angels @ Boston Sun.
4* Tampa @ Minn./CWS Oct. 6 4* Angels @ Boston Oct. 6
5* Minn./CWS @ Tampa Oct. 8 5* Boston @ Angels Oct. 8
NATIONAL LEAGUE
# Teams When # Teams When
1 Milwaukee @ Phil. Wed. 1 Dodgers @ Cubs Wed.
2 Milwaukee @ Phil. Thur. 2 Dodgers @ Cubs Thur.
3 Phil. @ Milwaukee Sat. 3 Cubs @ Dodgers Sat.
4* Phil. @ Milwaukee Sun. 4* Cubs @ Dodgers Sun.
5* Milwaukee @ Phil. Oct. 7 5* Dodgers @ Cubs Oct. 7
* if necessary

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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