Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

This article was printed from, originally published .

Read more news at:

Game 6 wins often set the tone for Game 7s

Game 6 victors in LCS and World Series have gone 19-6 in past 25 Game 7s

The Dodgers and Tigers both have their backs against the wall, down 3-2, in their respective best-of-seven League Championship Series, and both face must-win games this weekend.

However, things look promising -- at least statistically -- should Los Angeles and Detroit extend their series to a decisive seventh game.

View Full Game Coverage
Close it out
Teams winning Game 6 to force Game 7 of an LCS or World Series have won 29 of the 50 series.
Series Game 6 result Game 7 winner
2012 NLCS Giants 6, Cardinals 1 Giants
2011 WS Cardinals 10, Rangers 9 (11) Cardinals
2008 ALCS Red Sox 4, Rays 2 Rays
2007 ALCS Red Sox 12, Indians 2 Red Sox
2006 NLCS Mets 4, Cardinals 2 Cardinals
2004 NLCS Cardinals 6, Astros 4 (12) Cardinals
2004 ALCS Red Sox 4, Yankees 2 Red Sox
2003 ALCS Red Sox 9, Yankees 6 Yankees
2003 NLCS Marlins 8, Cubs 3 Marlins
2002 WS Angels 6, Giants 5 Angels
2001 WS D-backs 15, Yankees 2 D-backs
1997 WS Indians 4, Marlins 1 Marlins
1996 NLCS Braves 3, Cardinals 1 Braves
1992 NLCS Pirates 13, Braves 4 Braves
1991 WS Twins 4, Braves 3 (11) Twins
1991 NLCS Braves 1, Pirates 0 Braves
1988 NLCS Mets 5, Dodgers 1 Dodgers
1987 WS Twins 11, Cardinals 5 Twins
1987 NLCS Cardinals 1, Giants 0 Cardinals
1986 WS Mets 6, Red Sox 5 Mets
1986 ALCS Red Sox 10, Angels 4 Red Sox
1985 WS Royals 2, Cardinals 1 Royals
1985 ALCS Royals 5, Blue Jays 3 Royals
1982 WS Cardinals 13, Brewers 1 Cardinals
1979 WS Pirates 4, Orioles 0 Pirates
1975 WS Red Sox 7, Reds 6 (12) Reds
1973 WS A's 3, Mets 1 A's
1972 WS Reds 8, A's 1 A's
1971 WS Orioles 3, Pirates 2 (10) Pirates
1968 WS Tigers 13, Cardinals 1 Tigers
1967 WS Red Sox 8, Cardinals 4 Cardinals
1965 WS Twins 5, Dodgers 1 Dodgers
1964 WS Yankees 8, Cardinals 3 Cardinals
1962 WS Giants 5, Yankees 2 Yankees
1960 WS Yankees 12, Pirates 0 Pirates
1958 WS Yankees 4, Braves 3 (10) Yankees
1957 WS Yankees 3, Braves 2 Braves
1956 WS Dodgers 1, Yankees 0 (10) Yankees
1955 WS Yankees 5, Dodgers 1 Dodgers
1952 WS Yankees 3, Dodgers 2 Yankees
1947 WS Dodgers 8, Yankees 6 Yankees
1946 WS Cardinals 4, Red Sox 1 Cardinals
1945 WS Cubs 8, Tigers 7 (12) Tigers
1940 WS Reds 4, Tigers 0 Reds
1934 WS Cardinals 4, Tigers 3 Cardinals
1931 WS A's 8, Cardinals 1 Cardinals
1926 WS Cardinals 10, Yankees 2 Cardinals
1925 WS Pirates 3, Senators 2 Pirates
1924 WS Senators 2, Giants 1 Senators
1909 WS Tigers 5, Pirates 4 Pirates
World Series was only postseason round until LCS play started in 1969. LCS was best-of-five series until 1985, when it moved to a best-of-seven series.

Of the 50 teams that have won a Game 6 to force a Game 7 in the LCS or World Series, 29 have gone on to win the series.

St. Louis and Los Angeles will meet in Friday's National League Championship Series Game 6 (8:30 p.m. ET on TBS) at Busch Stadium, while the Red Sox and Tigers will tangle in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET on FOX unless the NLCS is over, in which case ALCS Game 6 starts at 8 p.m.) at Fenway Park. The Dodgers won Game 5 on Wednesday to force another elimination game, while the Red Sox took a series lead with a 4-3 win over the Tigers on Thursday night in Detroit.

The odds of winning a series after forcing a Game 7 have gotten even better recently, as Game 6 winners of the LCS or World Series have gone 19-6 in Game 7 over the past 25 occurrences.

While recent history may be on the Dodgers' side, they like their chances against the Cardinals mainly because of their starting pitching. Clayton Kershaw will take the mound in Game 6, with Hyun-Jin Ryu ready for a possible Game 7 on Saturday.

"We feel pretty confident," said infielder Nick Punto. "We've got our pitchers lined up. I think we feel great. We feel pretty good about our chances in Game 6 with Kershaw."

Same goes for the Tigers, who have Max Scherzer to start Game 6 on Saturday and Justin Verlander for a possible Game 7 on Sunday. The two have been stellar in the postseason, combining for a 3-1 record in six appearances (five starts), striking out 57 in 39 innings, while allowing just 18 hits and five runs in that span.

"If you had a tiger, and he was backed in a corner, he couldn't go left, he couldn't go right, he couldn't go behind him, what's he going to do? Fight through," Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter said after Thursday's loss. "That's what we're going to try to do. That's what Tigers do.

"Our back is against the wall. We can't go left, we can't go right. We're going to go right through it. I like being down, 3-2."

Los Angeles has been on both sides of the equation.

The Dodgers lost Game 6 of the 1988 NLCS to the Mets but rebounded in Game 7 and went on to beat the A's in the World Series. They have not been to the Fall Classic since.

The Brooklyn Dodgers forced Game 7 in the 1956 World Series only to see the Yankees walk away with the hardware. Of course, that was a reversal of the 1955 World Series between the two rivals. In the '52 World Series, the Yankees beat the Dodgers in Games 6 and 7. During Jackie Robinson's rookie season in 1947, the Dodgers won Game 6 of the World Series over the Yankees but lost Game 7.

All of that is in the past, though, and these Dodgers are focused on the present.

"We've just got to worry about Game 6 and win that game," said closer Kenley Jansen.

More recent history is against the Tigers. In each of the previous four instances in which a best-of-seven ALCS has been tied at 2-2, the Game 5 winner has gone on to win the series. In three of those previous four times, the Game 5 winner wrapped up the series in six.

And although the Dodgers are seeking to become the first club to win consecutive games at Busch Stadium this October, they say the pressure is on the Cardinals, who have never closed out an NLCS in which they held a 3-1 advantage.

"We're within striking distance," said Dodgers setup man Brian Wilson. "We just have to go over there and win a series, and then wait on the ALCS."

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for

Los Angeles Dodgers, Detroit Tigers