10/07/07 6:54 PM ET
Rockies' run ranks among best
Colorado goes into NLCS with 17 wins in last 18 games
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
Not only are the Rockies in the National League Championship Series for the first time in franchise history after completing the three-game sweep of the Phillies on Saturday night in the NL Division Series, their 17-1 record over the last 18 games has them within striking distance of some of the best finishes in Major League history.
The Rockies' 14-1 run to end the regular season tied the 1983 Phillies and 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record over the final 15 games of the season in National League history.
"If you look at their team, they've got some real good players, and their streak at the end right now is probably one of the best streaks I've ever seen a team have, at the end of the season especially," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said.
Counting their last 15 regular-season games and the NLDS, the Rockies are on a pace to land among the best finishes for the period covering the last 15 games of the regular season and the postseason.
"We've created a dominance here [at Coors Field], and we've recreated it in different ways with good execution, defensively [and] we pitched well," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "Everybody counts in the clutch, everybody shows up."
After baseball split into four divisions prior to the 1969 season, only one team has run the table in October. The 1976 Reds were a perfect 7-0 in the playoffs that year, as the "Big Red Machine" swept the Phillies in three games and the Yankees in four to claim the franchise's second straight World Series crown. But the Reds, having sewn up the division by early September, were only 8-7 during the final weeks of the regular season.
Baseball added another round of playoffs in 1995 with the advent of the Wild Card, giving teams more opportunities for October victories.
In 1998, the Yankees won 11 of their last 14 regular-season games and 11-of-13 postseason games en route to the World Series. Their 22-6 record marked the most victories by any team over the span.
The 2005 White Sox (10-5 to end the regular season and 11-1 in the postseason) are a close second at 21-6, and the 1999 Yankees (20-7) and 1986 Mets (20-8) were the other teams to reach 20 wins over the final 15 regular-season games and the playoffs.
The '86 Mets went 12-3 to end the regular season, then beat Houston in six games and Boston in seven.
The 1970 Orioles (19-4), '89 A's (19-5), '75 Reds (18-7) and '84 Tigers (18-5) also put together some of the best finishes in history, and all four won the World Series.
So did the Amazing Mets of '69, whose 18-5 mark made the top 10. The Mets went 11-4 in the final 15, including 9-1 in the last 10, before winning seven of eight postseason games.
The Rockies are the 10th team to win 13 or more of their final 15 regular-season games. Of those 10, six made the playoffs, two won pennants and one, the '65 Dodgers, won the World Series.
"We know we're good," Colorado pitcher Jeff Francis said. "We've lost one game in the last three weeks. We're just doing what we have to do to win."
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.