Looking to set a Major League mark with their eighth straight one-run affair, San Francisco kept the Phillies within reach in Game 2 of the NLCS at Citizens Bank Park until Philadelphia blew the game open in the bottom of the seventh.
San Francisco's record in its last seven playoff games entering Sunday night was 4-3, and each of those contests was a one-run contest. The Phillies broke open a tight 2-1 contest with four runs in the seventh inning, including a three-run double by Jimmy Rollins.
"I think they're all going to be tight games," Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff said after the game. "I don't see how it's not with the pitching both teams have. Pitching and defense win games."
The last time the Giants ascended to the playoffs, they lost Games 3 and 4 of the 2003 NL Division Series by a run to the Marlins, who went on to defeat the Cubs in the NLCS and the Yankees in a six-game World Series.
The streak began with their 4-3 and 7-6 losses to the Marlins in Miami in '03. This year in the NLDS against the Braves, San Francisco won Game 1, 1-0; lost Game 2, 5-4, in 11 innings -- both at San Francisco -- and recorded 3-2 wins in Games 4 and 5 at Atlanta.
|Date||Opp.||Score||Pitcher of record|
|10/16/10||@ Phi.||4-3 W||Tim Lincecum|
|10/11/10||@ Atl.||3-2 W||Madison Bumgarner|
|10/10/10||@ Atl.||3-2 W||Jonathan Sanchez|
|10/8/10||Atl.||5-4 L||Ramon Ramirez|
|10/7/10||Atl.||1-0 W||Tim Lincecum|
|10/4/03||@ Fla.||7-6 L||Felix Rodriguez|
|10/3/03||@ Fla.||4-3 L||Tim Worrell|
"I didn't know that," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said when told his club had tied the record for consecutive one-run playoff games. "I know lately we've been playing a lot of one-run games. And really tonight was a tight game. We gave them some extra outs and it wasn't a clean game for us. You have to play your best ball to beat this team, and we were a little off [on Sunday night]."
Saturday night, the Giants had a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer, making it 4-3. Two Giants relievers supported the slim margin, including closer Brian Wilson, who recorded the final four outs for the save.
Three other teams have played seven consecutive games decided by one run in the postseason: The A's from Oct. 11-20, 1972; the Phillies from Oct. 9, 1915, to Oct. 6, 1950; and the Red Sox from Oct. 9, 1915, to Oct. 10, 1916.
Keeping it close
Oakland went 4-3 in its run, which spanned Games 4 and 5 of a best-of-five American League Championship Series victory over the Tigers and the first five games of their seven-game victory over the Reds in the 1972 World Series.
Philadelphia was 0-7, losing four straight as it lost the 1915 World Series to the Red Sox in five games and dropping the first two games of the 1950 Fall Classic, won by the Yankees in a sweep.
Boston went 6-1, beginning its streak with those four wins over the Phillies in 1915 and splitting the first two games of the 1916 Series against the Dodgers. The Red Sox won that World Series in five games.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.