The Rockies steaming to a 6-0 record in the postseason thus far is an extremely impressive feat for a team that won 90 games in the regular season and only got over .500 to stay on the 28th of July. The ability to win in the postseason is, famously, unpredictable, and often seems to bear only a mild relationship to regular season success. But the ability to avoid losing games at all in the postseason is almost exclusively the province of outstanding teams. Since the introduction of divisional play in 1969, only 6 teams have won the World Series while losing just one game, and only 1 had gone undefeated:

Year/Team Post W-L Reg W-L
1976 Reds 7-0 102-60
2005 White Sox 11-1 99-63
1999 Yankees 11-1 98-64
1989 A’s 8-1 99-63
1970 Orioles 7-1 108-54
1984 Tigers 7-1 104-58
1969 Mets 7-1 100-62

Interestingly, four of these teams – the 99 Yanks, 89 A’s, 70 O’s and 76 Reds – were coming off seasons in which they won even more games in the regular season.
The Rockies still have a high mountain to climb to match these teams; history is not on their side, even if they do manage to go all the way.

14 thoughts on “Avalanche”

  1. I know their record wasn’t that impressive, but they did have the best pythagorean record in the NL.

  2. I expect an AL walkover in the WS regardless of the ALCS victor. As several Met fans noted during last year’s NLCS, a young, playoff inexperienced team (Rockies/Tigers) is ill suited to a week or more of inactivity. An inferior Cardinal team made short work of the Tigers; I believe a superior AL Champ will do the same to Colorado.

  3. You wrote:
    Interestingly, four of these teams – the 99 Yanks, 89 A’s, 70 O’s and 76 Reds – were coming off seasons in which they won even more games in the regular season.
    What does that mean? Isn’t that obvious (and didn’t all 7 of the teams listed win more than during the regular season?) Or am I not parsing the statement correctly?

  4. History is filled with teams like the ’06 Cardinals who got hot and won the World Series. The AL champ better hope the Rockies cool off, because if they don’t, they, the Rockies, will win the WS.
    By the way, the ’06 Tigers were not really a young team. Pudge, Rogers, Jones and Casey were all seasoned vets with experience in the post season. Yes, they did have a young core, but they would not have made it to the WS without the vets.

  5. “The AL champ better hope the Rockies cool off”
    Mad, that is exactly my point. A season ending run that’s never been seen before. Then 7-10 days off before playing a game? AL in a walkover is what I see, but that’s why they play the games.

  6. Lets not forget the 1971 Orioles, as a case study in how quickly the worm can turn. Dynastic defending WS champ that ran away with its division. Won its last 11 games of the season; swept a very good Oakland team in the LCS, and won the first two games of the World Series handily. Then, riding a 16-game winning streak, proceeded to lose 4 of the next 5, and the Series to the Clemente-led Pirates.

  7. Hey Crank, be nice to my Royals.
    Let’s remember that the Rockies had a long layoff after the division series. Another thing to remember about the ’71 Pirates. They had two HOF’ers on the roster and several other really good players.

  8. The Rockies are a legitimately good team. Not great, but definitely good enough to “deserve” what they’ve done. They can keep it up.
    In the NL, the Rockies led the league in ERA and WHIP after the All Star Break. I know that post-humidor Coors isn’t quite the Baker’s Bowl it used to be, but it’s still the best offensive park in the majors. Their bullpen is top notch, at least for this one season.
    For the past decade or so, that seems to be the single biggest factor in post-season success. Along with one starter pitching like an ace (Francis), good defense and base running, and two real hitters in Helton & Holliday, they have what it takes. Think of the ’02 Angels and ’05 White Sox. Very similar teams.

  9. Great. The 76 Reds. Another reason for that blowhard, Joe Morgan to brag about that 1976 Reds team being the best there ever was. To him 1975-1976 was the greatest era of baseball in history because whenever he has been asked to compare that team to say the 1998 Yankees for 1927 Yankees, he starts in with his, “It was a different era, so you cannot really compare.” But he knows they were the best.
    I can guarantee that it Colorado were to somehow pull off a World Series sweep, Joe would find a way to diminish the Rockies accomplishment in comparison to his precious Reds.

  10. Since the multi round playoffs began in 1995, the team that lost fewer games that post season than its WS opponent has won the World Series, 8 times and lost only twice.
    The exceptions are the 2000 Mets and the Tigers last year.
    In 2003 the Marlins and Yanks both took 11 games winning their pennants, and in 2001 the DBacks and Yanks both won in 10.
    Does playing more games throw your rotation that much out of wack, or do the more innings result in your front staff starters having to pitch more beyond their seasonal physical limit?
    The Rockies to me look most like the 87 Twins or 96 Yankees more than anyone. Too bad they don’t have four at home.

Comments are closed.