SAN FRANCISCO -- Postseason ponderings ...
Once down three games to one in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series, the San Francisco Giants have won back-to-back games to set up Monday's Game 7 against the St. Louis Cardinals, the winner advancing to the World Series to face the Detroit Tigers.
The game will be at AT&T Park, which should give the Giants an edge.
This will be the 51st Game 7 in a best-of-seven series, 15 of the previous 50 being in LCS play and 35 in the World Series. The home team has gone 29-21 in those games.
Since the LCS was expanded to a best-of-seven in 1985, the home team has gone 9-6 in Game 7s. When a team was ahead 3-1 in a series -- like St. Louis was -- and had to win a Game 7 on the road -- like St. Louis needs to do -- it has lost five of seven games.
Prior to 1969, when the World Series was baseball's only postseason event, the home team was 10-12 in Game 7s.
The home team has won nine of the past 12 seventh games, all since the addition of a third round of postseason play in 1995.
The expanded playoffs appears to have lessened the potential of having a Game 7 in the World Series. There have been 13 Game 7s in the last 43 World Series. There were 22 in the first 64 (three of which, 1919-21, were best-of-nines).
In the 17-year stretch from 1952-68, 11 of the World Series had a Game 7, the road team winning nine times. The New York Yankees lost the two Game 7s on the road, against Pittsburgh in 1960 and St. Louis in 1964.
A seven-game LCS and a seven-game World Series have occurred in the same year four times. In 1985, Kansas City needed seven games to beat Toronto in the ALCS and St. Louis in the World Series. In 1986, Boston beat California in the ALCS and lost to the Mets in the World Series. In 1987, St. Louis beat San Francisco in the NLCS and lost to Minnesota in the World Series. And in 1991, Atlanta beat Pittsburgh in the NLCS and lost to the Twins in the World Series.
The ALCS and NLCS both went seven games in 2003 and '04. Boston lost to the Yankees in 2003 but beat them in 2004. Florida beat the Chicago Cubs in 2003 and St. Louis beat Houston in 2004.
The Cardinals are 11-4 in Game 7s. The Cardinals are 3-1 in Game 7 of an NLCS. They beat the Giants at home in 1987, lost to the Braves in Atlanta in 1996, beat the Astros at home in 2004 and the Mets in New York in '06.
The Giants are 0-5 in Game 7s, 0-3 since they moved West from New York in 1958. They lost in seven games to St. Louis in the 1987 NLCS, and in the World Series, to the Anaheim Angels in 2002, the Yankees in 1962, Washington Senators in 1924 and Boston Red Sox in 1912 (the latter of which was actually a Game 8, since Game 1 ended in a 6-6 tie).
This will be only the second time the Giants have hosted a Game 7. The first time was in 1962, when they lost 1-0 in a game that was decided on a Willie McCovey line drive that was caught by Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson for the final out.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com.