FanPost

Those Five-Game Series

Philadelphia Phillies

This is the eleventh best-of-five series in Phillies history. This includes the 1981 Division Series between the Phillies and the Expos, which is sometimes overlooked in record books.The total involves five National League Championship Series under the original format and the most recent five years in the National League Division Series. What is the total record so far? Amazingly even.

 

It is even by the number of series won - currently five won, five lost, one to be determined on Friday. And nearly even by games won in those series. There have been 21 wins and 22 losses in the eleven series so far.

Each of the six Division Series has followed a different sequence of wins and losses. There was the two losses, two wins, game five loss pattern that happened in 1981. There have been two sweeps - three losses in 2007 and three wins in 2010. There were two different ways of winning in four games in 2008 and 2009. And now there is another game five to be played after four games of alternating wins and losses. The record so far in Division Series is 3-2 with 13 games won and 10 games lost.

When we look at the best-of-five LCS history, like the Division Series story it started out with consecutive losses, three in this case, and then went into consecutive wins. Most Phillies fans know of the futility in the NLCS from 1976-78, when the team won only two games and suffered heartbreaking losses to the Dodgers. That was followed by the historic five-game series against the Astros in 1980, when the team rallied from down two games to one and won games four and five on the road, in extra innings. In 1983, the LCS was less memorable but just as satisfying in that the opponent was the Dodgers, and that time the Phillies won in four games, losing only game two in L.A. The record in best-of-five LCS was 2-3 with 8 games won and 12 games lost.

Of course, the five-game series is only part of the Phillies' overall postseason record. They have also played eleven best-of-seven series, seven World Series plus four NLCS, Their record in those is not quite as good as it is in the shorter series. They are 5-6 for the series and 28-31 in games won/lost. Considering that the team had never won a series before 1980 and had a record of 3-17 in games to that point, it's remarkable that we can now speak of teams with an overall record of 49-53 in postseason games.

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