It wasn’t easy, but the Cubs rallied for a 9-8 win against the Nationals to claim the NL Division Series on Thursday, and now advance to the NLCS against the Dodgers, which opens on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Big deal? Well, the Cubs are attempting to become the first team to win back-to-back World Series since the Yankees won three in a row 1998-2000. More than that they are attempting to become the fourth NL team to win back-to-back World Series. The Cubs? Well prior to last season the only World Championships in franchise history came when they won back-to-back titles against the Tigers in 1907-08.
While NL teams have won consecutive world championships only three times AL teams have had 11 stretches of multiple championships, including the Yankees winning five in a row (1949-53), four in a row (1936-39) and three in a row (1998-2000). The A’s also won three in a row (1972-74)
NL Teams with Back to Back World Championships
|1976||Cincinnati Reds||New York Yankees||4-0|
|1975||Cincinnati Reds||Boston Red Sox||4-3|
|1922||New York Giants||New York Yankees||4-0|
|1921||New York Giants||New York Yankees||5-3|
|1908||Chicago Cubs||Detroit Tigers||4-1|
|1907||Chicago Cubs||Detroit Tigers||4-0|
Kyle Hendricks worked four innings, giving up four runs on Thursday, but the Cubs rotation still has the lowest ERA of the post-season so far at 1.69. Cubs starters had allowed only three runs in the four previous post-season games. The Nationals have the second lowest rotation ERA in the post-season at 2.22.
Rotation Post-Season ERA
|Los Angeles Dodgers||2||0||3||15.1||10||7||7||6||6||18||4.11|
|New York Yankees||2||1||6||27.1||22||15||13||5||10||32||4.28|
|Boston Red Sox||0||2||4||11.1||23||16||16||6||6||12||12.71|
Starting pitchers have averaged only 4 1/3 innings a game so far this post-season. Fourteen starters, however, have worked in relief so far, including David Price of the Red Sox and Kenta Maeda of the Dodgers making two appearances apiece. One of the biggest moments was when Max Scherzer got the call for the Nationals to start the fourth inning Thursday with a 4-3 lead to protect. He retired the first two batters of the inning, but then gave up three hits, a walk and four runs, two earned, allowing the Cubs to take a lead they never relinquished in a 9-8 NLDS clinching victory. The Cubs advanced to the NLCS against the Dodgers with Game 1 on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
Starters in Relief in the Post-Season
|Lance McCullers Jr.||Hou||0||0||1||None||3||3||2||2||0||2||4||6.00|
|Starters in Relief||2||2||16||None||39 1/3||31||19||16||4||13||41||3.66|
|Relievers||8||6||22||11 of 14||132 1/3||120||63||58||15||55||138||3.94|
|Bullpens||10||8||127||11 of 14||171 2/3||151||82||74||19||68||179||3.88|
Wade Davis carried a heavy load for a closer. He pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for the save in Game 5, one of 10 relievers to work more than two innings to earn a post-season save since 1986. Madison Bumganrer ranks No. 1 on the list with a five-inning save against the Royals in the 2014 World Series.
A product of 1969 expansion as the Montreal Expos, the Nationals and Mariners, who were a part of expansion in 1977, remain the only teams to have never appeared in a World Series. The Nationals made it to the post-season once in Montreal — they lost to the Dodgers in the NLCS in 1981 — and are now 0-for-4 in Washington, having reached the post-season four of the last six seasons, but failing to advance past the first round.
|2017||NL East||1st||97||65||0.599||–||Dusty Baker||Div lost to ChC 3-2|
|2016||NL East||1st||95||67||0.586||–||Dusty Baker||Div lost to LAD 3-2|
|2015||NL East||2nd||83||79||0.512||7||Matt Williams|
|2014||NL East||1st||96||66||0.593||–||Matt Williams||Div lost to SF 3-1|
|2013||NL East||2nd||86||76||0.531||10||Davey Johnson|
|2012||NL East||1st||98||64||0.605||–||Davey Johnson||Div lost to StL 3-2|