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:

Year Series Winner Runs Loser Runs
2011 ALCS TEX 39 DET 25
2011 ALDS DET 17 NYY 28
2011 ALDS TEX 16 TBAY 21
2011 NLCS STL 43 MIL 26
2011 NLDS STL 19 PHI 21
2011 NLDS MIL 23 ARI 25

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:

Year Series Winner Runs Loser Runs
2010 WS SF 29 TEX 12
2010 ALCS TEX 38 NYY 19
2010 ALDS TEX 21 TBAY 13
2010 ALDS NYY 17 MIN 7
2010 NLCS SF 19 PHI 20
2010 NLDS PHI 13 CIN 4
2010 NLDS SF 11 ATL 9

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.

Year Series Winner Runs Loser Runs
2009 WS NYY 32 PHI 27
2009 ALCS NYY 33 LAA 19
2009 ALDS NYY 15 MIN 6
2009 ALDS LAA 16 BOS 7
2009 NLCS PHI 35 LAD 16
2009 NLDS LAD 13 STL 6
2009 NLDS PHI 20 COL 15
2008 WS PHI 24 TBAY 15
2008 ALCS TBAY 43 BOS 28
2008 ALDS BOS 18 LAA 13
2008 ALDS TBAY 21 CWS 13
2008 NLCS PHI 25 LAD 20
2008 NLDS LAD 20 CHI 6
2008 NLDS PHI 15 MIL 9
2007 WS BOS 29 COL 10
2007 ALCS BOS 51 CLE 32
2007 ALDS BOS 19 LAA 4
2007 ALDS CLE 24 NYY 16
2007 NLCS COL 18 ARI 8
2007 NLDS ARI 16 CHI 6
2007 NLDS COL 16 PHI 8
2006 WS STL 22 DET 11
2006 ALCS DET 22 OAK 9
2006 ALDS DET 22 NYY 14
2006 ALDS OAK 16 MIN 7
2006 NLCS STL 28 NYM 27
2006 NLDS NYM 19 LAD 11
2006 NLDS STL 14 SDP 6
2005 WS CWS 20 HOU 14
2005 ALCS CWS 23 LAA 11
2005 ALDS CWS 24 BOS 9
2005 ALDS LAA 25 NYY 20
2005 NLCS HOU 22 STL 16
2005 NLDS STL 21 SD 11
2005 NLDS HOU 25 ATL 21
2004 WS BOS 24 STL 12
2004 ALCS BOS 41 NYY 45
2004 ALDS BOS 25 LAA 12
2004 ALDS NYY 21 MIN 17
2004 NLCS STL 34 HOU 31
2004 NLDS STL 22 LAD 12
2004 NLDS HOU 36 ATL 21

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.