In 2011, for the second-straight year, the Phils were ousted from the post-season in a series where they scored more runs than the team they were playing. After outscoring the Giants 20-19 while losing the 2010 NLCS, the Phils outscored the Cardinals 21-19 while dropping that NLDS three games to two in 2011.
It sure seems like that should be pretty unusual, given that the object of the game is to score more runs than your opponent.
But it’s not. At least it hasn’t been in 2011. No matter who wins the World Series, it will be true that teams that scored fewer runs than their opponents in a given 2011 playoff series will have a better record than teams that scored more runs than their opponent. Of the six series that have been played so far in the 2011 post-season, the team that scored fewer runs has won four of them. Look:
That’s nuts. The teams that scored more runs than their opponents overall in those series went 2-4. The Yankees outscored the Tigers by 11 runs while losing their five-game NLDS, thanks to a 9-3 win in game one and a 10-1 win in game four.
So maybe it happens all of the time? But it doesn’t. Usually the team that scores more runs just wins. Kinda like you would expect.
The Phils lost to the Giants in an NLCS series in 2010 where they scored more runs than San Francisco, but before that it hadn’t happened since 2004. Coming into the 2011 playoffs, teams that had scored fewer runs than their opponent in a post-season series since 2004 had gone 2-47 in those series. Before the Giants topped the Phils in the 2010 NLCS, the last team to lose a post-season series in which they had scored more runs than their opponent were the 2004 Yankees.
In 2010, the Phils lost to the Giants despite outscoring them:
After that you need to go back to 2004 to find a post-season series where the team that scored the most runs didn’t win.
Teams came close a couple of times, in 2006 the Cardinals scored one more run that the Mets in winning the NLCS four games to three, but from 2005 through 2009 there were 35 post-season series played and the team that scored the most runs won all 35 of them.
Since the start of the 2004 post-season and not including the ’11 World Series, teams scoring the most runs in a playoff series have gone 49-6. Four of the six series losses happened this year and two of the six losing teams were the Phillies.