NLDS: Cubs Advance In Bid to Repeat As Champs

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

SEASON WINNER LOSER SERIES
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

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

Team W L G IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
Chicago Cubs 1 1 5 26.2 17 7 5 3 12 26 1.69
Washington Nationals 1 1 5 28.1 13 9 7 2 12 40 2.22
Houston Astros 2 0 4 18.2 22 8 8 1 8 20 3.86
Cleveland Indians 1 2 5 20.1 19 13 9 4 9 28 3.98
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
Arizona Diamondbacks 0 3 4 14 18 15 15 3 12 14 9.64
Boston Red Sox 0 2 4 11.1 23 16 16 6 6 12 12.71
Minnesota Twins 0 0 1 2 3 4 4 2 2 0 18
Colorado Rockies 0 1 1 1.1 7 4 4 1 0 2 27
Mat Scherzer

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

Player Team W L G Saves IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
David Price Bos 0 0 2 None 6.2 5 0 0 0 2 6 0.00
Zack Godley Ari 0 0 1 None 5 4 3 2 0 2 5 3.60
Chris Sale Bos 0 1 1 None 4.2 4 2 2 1 0 6 3.86
Jon Lester ChC 0 0 1 None 3.2 1 1 1 0 1 3 2.45
Jose Berrios Min 0 1 1 None 3 5 3 3 1 0 4 9.00
Lance McCullers Jr. Hou 0 0 1 None 3 3 2 2 0 2 4 6.00
Jaime Garcia NYY 0 0 1 None 2.2 0 0 0 0 2 3 0.00
Justin Verlander Hou 1 0 1 None 2.2 1 1 1 1 2 0 3.38
Robbie Ray Ari 0 0 1 None 2.1 2 1 1 0 0 3 3.86
Kenta Maeda LAD 1 0 2 None 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.00
Tyler Anderson Col 0 0 1 None 1 2 2 2 1 0 1 18.00
Rick Porcello Bos 0 0 1 None 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Max Scherzer Was 0 1 1 None 1 3 4 2 0 1 1 18.00
Jose Quintana ChC 0 0 1 None 0.2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
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
Rotations 9 11 38 None 165 1/3 154 98 88 33 77 192 4.79
Wade Davis

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.

Player Date Tm Opp IP Sv
Madison Bumgarner 10/29/2014 SF KC 5 1
Brian Anderson 10/22/1997 Cle Fla 3 1
Bob Stanley 10/19/1986 Bos NYM 3 1
Mike Stanton 10/22/1992 Atl Tor 3 1
Bob Walk 10/9/1991 Pit Atl 3 1
Todd Worrell 10/9/1987 StL SF 3 1
Aroldis Chapman 10/30/2016 ChC Cle 2.2 1
Wade Davis 10/12/2017 ChC Was 2.1 1
Ken Dayley 10/21/1987 StL Min 2.2 1
Jay Howell 10/19/1988 LA Oak 2.1 1

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.

Year Division Pos W L Pct GB Manager Postseason
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

 

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