It is one of those statistics that are impressive on the surface. The Philadelphia Phillies, despite having been in continual existence since 1883, had never been pushed to a Game Seven entering Monday. They were one of four teams – joining the Padres, Mariners, and Rockies – to have never played in that winner take all final game.
That ended on Monday. The Phillies lost Game Six to the Diamondbacks, forced into a Game Seven at home. Now, for the first time in their 141 year history, the Phillies find themselves in that winner take all game.
Philadelphia Phillies Game Seven history needs perspective
Yes, the Phillies have been to the postseason 16 times in franchise history. However, even that statistic is skewed. The Phillies were one of the worst franchises in the majors from their inception until the mid-1970s. In fact, the Phillies reached the postseason just twice from 1883 through 1975. They had more 100 loss seasons (14) than playoff games (9) in those 93 years.
Those nine games came over a span of two years. The Phillies managed to reach the World Series in 1915 and 1950, winning Game One of the 1915 Series. And that was it for 83 years. Pete Alexander (who won that game) had lost an ear and been dead for 27 years before the Phillies won their next playoff game.
Also, let us keep in mind that, until 1969, the World Series was it for the playoffs. Good teams would miss the postseason, making it all the more difficult to get to Game Seven. That did not matter for the Phillies; they were within ten games of first only six times from 1883 through 1969, not counting those two seasons they won the pennant. It really is not that hard to avoid Game Seven when a team has been a dumpster fire for most of their history.
The Philadelphia Phillies will play in a Game Seven for the first time in franchise history. That is really not as big of an accomplishment as it would seem.