Sensational Sunday (Update 4)

The Mets’ collapse is complete. A loss to the Florida Marlins and a Phillies victory over the Washington Nationals vaults Philadelphia to the playoffs for the first time since Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams, Lenny Dykstra and the gang went to the World Series in 1993.

The results, as mentioned earlier, exorcise the ghost of Gene Mauch and the Phillie Phailure of 1964. Meantime, a winter of hard questions for Mets manager Willie Randolph. In a way, this ending is every bit as painful, if not more so, than losing a do-or-die Game 7, as New York did to St. Louis in the National League Championship Series a year ago. On Sept. 12, the Mets were in charge. From that point on, they went 6-11, while the Phillies went 14-3.

One other note that will pain the Mets in the offseason. They were swept in their final three series against Philadelphia.

Meantime, big-time hope for the Rockies. Milwaukee has exploded for eight unanswered runs vs. San Diego, and has a 10-4 lead. If that result holds, a Rockies win over Arizona will force a wild-card tiebreaker. The Rockies and D’backs are coming down to the end; the two teams are tied 1-1 in the seventh inning.