clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tuesday night’s game was the Phillies’ first-ever Game 7

How does that compare to the Cubs and other teams?

MLB Photos via Getty Images

Before Tuesday’s NLCS Game 7 I saw a factoid posted that is hard to believe at first: The Phillies had never played a Game 7 in any postseason series in their franchise history. You’ve probably heard this now, as it was mentioned a number of times before and during the game.

So here’s a bit of Game 7 history.

At first you’d think — a franchise that’s been around for 140+ years? Never?

Then you remember that for the first 97 of those years, the Phillies had been in just three World Series — 1915, 1950 and 1980, and didn’t win one until their 1980 victory over the Royals. None of those series went seven games. And then from 1981-2006, the Phillies were in just one WS (1993) and no seven-gamers, and none in the years since 2007.

The Cubs have a few more playoff years than the Phillies (21 since 1900 to the Phillies’ 16), but in their 157-year franchise history they’ve played just three Game 7s. (Note for the sticklers to history: This is for the Modern Era only, since the current World Series began in 1903. It doesn’t include any of the primordial 19th Century postseason series.)

You certainly remember Game 7 in 2016. The other two: The 1945 World Series, which pitcher Hank Wyse said to his dying day that the Cubs would have won if they’d started him instead of bringing Hank Borowy back on one day’s rest. (He might very well have been right.) And, Game 7 against the Marlins in the 2003 NLCS, about which we will not say anything more.

It turns out that the Phillies aren’t the only team to not previously had a decisive Game 7. Now that the Phillies have one, four remain, three of which are expansion teams: Mariners, Rockies and Padres. The last one is the White Sox, who technically did play a “Game 7” in 1919. I’m not including that year along with a couple of others — not because of the Black Sox scandal, but because the 1919 World Series was best-of-nine and so a Game 7 would not have been decisive, which is the point here. Along with 1919, the World Series was best-of-nine in 1903, 1920 and 1921, so those four years are excluded from this count.

I am including 1912’s Game 8 as a “Game 7” here because it only happened because one of the previous seven was a tie game.

All that said, here are the number of Game 7s for each of the 26 MLB teams who have now played one, along with their W-L record in those games (including 2023):

Cardinals: 16 (11-5)
Yankees: 12 (6-6)
Red Sox: 10 (3-7)
Dodgers: 9 (5-4)
Braves: 7 (4-3)
Giants: 7 (3-4)
Pirates: 7 (5-2)
Astros: 5 (1-4)
Tigers: 5 (2-3)
Twins: 5 (3-2 overall, 1-1 as the original Washington Senators)
Mets: 4 (2-2)
Athletics: 3 (2-1)
Cubs: 3 (1-2)
Indians: 3 (0-3)
Reds: 3 (2-1)
Royals: 3 (2-1)
Angels: 2 (1-1)
Brewers: 2 (0-2)
Diamondbacks: 2 (2-0)
Marlins: 2 (2-0)
Orioles: 2 (0-2)
Rangers: 2 (1-1)
Rays: 2 (2-0)
Blue Jays: 1 (0-1)
Nationals: 1 (1-0)
Phillies: 1 (0-1)