If the Chicago Cubs can get at least one win on the road this weekend against the Milwaukee Brewers they will become the third team in the N.L Central Division to reach 95 wins in the 2015 season. This would be the first time since 1994 (when baseball went to a three-division in each league format) that three teams from one division won 95 or more games in a season.
From 1994-2014 there were 13 times when two teams from the same division won 95 games. It last happened in 2010 when the Tampa Bay Rays (96) and the New York Yankees (95) each reached the 95-win mark that year.
Here’s a look at the 13 times when two teams from the same division won 95-plus games since 1994.
1999: N.L. East (Atlanta 103, N.Y. Mets 97)
1999: N.L. Central (Houston 97, Cincinnati 96)
2002: N.L. West (Arizona 98, San Francisco 95)
1997: A.L. East (Baltimore 98, N.Y. Yankees 96)
2001: A.L. West (Seattle 116, Oakland 102)
2002: A.L. West (Oakland 103, Anaheim 99)
2003: A.L. East (N.Y. Yankees 101, Boston 95)
2004: A.L. East (N.Y. Yankees 101, Boston 98)
2005: A.L. East (N.Y. Yankees 95, Boston 95)
2006: A.L. Central (Minnesota 96, Detroit 95)
2008: A.L. East (Tampa Bay 97, Boston 95)
2009: A.L. East (N.Y. Yankees 103 Boston 95)
2010: A.L. East (Tampa Bay 96, N.Y. Yankees 95)
In eight of these 13 occasions listed above, one of the teams from that division made it to the World Series that season. Only three won the World Series that year (Anaheim 2002, Boston 2004 and N.Y. Yankees 2009). The five teams that lost in the World Series that year were Atlanta-1999, San Francisco-2002, N.Y. Yankees-2003, Detroit-2006 and Tampa Bay-2008.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
The Boston Red Sox are one win away from winning the 2013 World Series. They won last night 3-1 and now go back home to try to end the series in front of their hometown fans. The series continues on Wednesday night.
So, can the Cardinals win two games on the road to steal the series from the BoSox? Or, are the Red Sox about ready to celebrate? Let’s try to put some numbers to the crystal ball. The Red Sox and Cardinals were tied at 2-2 after four games. It was the 21st time since 1960 that the World Series was tied at two games apiece. So how did the previous 20 series end after Game 5?
In the previous 20 series tied at 2-2, five ended with the team winning Game 5 and Game 6. In seven of the series, the team that won Game 5, lost Game 6, but won Game 7 to clinch the series. In eight of the series, the team that lost Game 5 went on to win Games 6 and 7 to win the World Series. Bottom line: The team that won Game 5 after the series was tied at 2-2 won the World Series 12 times and lost eight. While this bottom line stat favors the Red Sox, the most frequent scenario in the past 20 series tied at 2-2 was that the team that lost Game 5 won the next two games and the series (that happened eight times of the 20).
But let’s dig a little deeper and look at what has happened since 1990. There were seven World series since 1990 where the two teams were tied at two games apiece going into Game 5. Four times (1991, 2001, 2002 and 2011) the team that lost Game 5 went on to win the next two games and the series. Twice (1996 and 2003) the team that won Game 5 also won Game 6 and won the World Series. The only time since 1990 that the team that won Game 5, lost Game 6 and then came back to win Game 7 was in 1997.
The above stat seems to favor the possibility of the Cardinals coming back to win Games 6 and 7. One problem… In those four games above where the team that lost Game 5 went on to win Games 6 and 7 to clinch the world championship, the team that won Game 5 was the home team. The Cards were the home team last night and lost Game 5. In the two cases where the road team won Game 5 in a World Series tied 2-2 since 1990, both times the away team that won Game 5 (which the Red Sox were last night) went on to win the World Series (once the series went six games; the other time the road team won Game 6 but the home team rebounded with a Game 7 victory).
That’s a lot of numbers and scenarios. Is it possible for the Cardinals to win two games on the road to win the series? There is a glimmer of hope because it has been done before. The last time it happened was in 1979 when the Pittsburgh Pirates, down 3-2 in the World Series, had to win Games 6 and 7 in the Baltimore Orioles ballpark to win the championship. They won Game 6 by a score of 4-0 and won Game 7 and the World Series with a 4-1 win in the finale.
Can the Cardinals take a piece of history and repeat the Pirates 1979 World Series comeback?
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The Pittsburgh Pirates finally scratched a 21-year itch when they defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 6-2, in the National League Wild Card game on Tuesday night. It was the Pirates first post-season win since 1992.
Of the eight remaining teams in the MLB playoffs, the Atlanta Braves have the longest drought of not winning a post-season contest. The Braves last won a playoff game in 2005. In the American League, the Boston Red Sox have not won a post-season game since 2008, the longest wait of the four teams remaining in the A.L.
The Kansas City Royals still hold the current longest wait for a post-season win. The Royals, who won 86 games this season, the most since they won 92 in 1989, have not won a post-season game since 1985. They won the World Series that season. In the N.L., the Cubs and Marlins are tied for the longest post-season win wait; both have not had a playoff win since 2003.
One note of interest: Of the five teams that have not won a post-season game in the last 10 years (Royals, Blue Jays, Mariners, Cubs and Marlins) three of those teams, Kansas City, Toronto and Miami, last won a post-season game in the year they won the World Series.
Following is the last season each MLB team won a post-season game (includes Pittsburgh and Tama Bay’s wins in the Wild Card contests)
Kansas City… 1985
Chicago White Sox… 2008
L.A. Angels… 2009
N.Y. Yankees… 2012
Tampa Bay… 2013
Chicago Cubs… 2003
N.Y. Mets… 2006
San Diego… 2006
L.A. Dodgers… 2009
St. Louis… 2012
San Francisco… 2012
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain pitched a one-hitter last night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving up a sixth-inning single to James McDonald. Had Cain tossed a no-hitter against the Pirates, it would have ended the second-longest active timeframe since a team has been no-hit. The last time the Pirates were held hitless in a game was on August 14, 1971 when they were no-hit by St. Louis’ Bob Gibson.
Following is the last time each MLB team was no-hit.
National League, last time team was no-hit (pitcher)
Pittsburgh… 8-14-1971 (Bob Gibson, St. Louis)
Philadelphia… 4-16-1978 (Bob Forsch, St. Louis)
St. Louis… 6-29-1990 (Fernando Valenzuela, LA Dodgers)
NY Mets… 9-8-1993 (Darryl Kile, Houston)
LA Dodgers… 4-8-1994 (Kent Mercker, Atlanta)
Colorado… 9-17-1996 (Hideo Nomo, LA Dodgers)
Washington (as Montreal Expos)… 7-18-1999 (David Cone, NY Yankees)
San Francisco… 4-27-2003 (Kevin Millwood, Philadlephia)
Arizona… 9-6-2006 (Anibal Sanchez, Florida)
Milwaukee… 6-12-2007 (Justin Verlander, Detroit)
Houston… 9-14-2008 (Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs)
San Diego… 7-10-2009 (Jonathan Sanchez, San Francisco)
Atlanta… 4-17-2010 (Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado)
Cincinnati… 10-6-2010 (Roy Halladay, Philadelphia)
American League, last time team was no-hit (pitcher)
Oakland… 7-13-1991 (four different Baltimore pitchers)
Boston… 4-22-1993 (Chris Bosio, Seattle)
Seattle… 5-14-1996 (Dwight Gooden, NY Yankees)
Minnesota… 5-7-1998 (David Wells, NY Yankees)
LA Angels… 9-11-1999 (Eric Milton, Minnesota)
NY Yankees… 6-11-2003 (six different Houston pitchers)
Texas… 4-18-2007 (Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox)
Baltimore… 9-1-2007 (Clay Buchholz, Boston)
Kansas City… 5-19-2008 (Jon Lester, Boston)
Tampa Bay… 6-25-2010 (Edwin Jackson, Arizona)
Detroit… 7-26-2010 (Matt Garza, Tampa Bay)
Chicago White Sox… 5-3-2011 (Francisco Liriano, Minnesota)
Toronto… 5-7-2011 (Justin Verlander, Detroit)
Cleveland… 7-27-2011 (Ervin Santana, LA Angeles)