MLB Postseason: The biggest losers of the past decade

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: Zack Greinke #21 of the Houston Astros is taken out of the game against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: Zack Greinke #21 of the Houston Astros is taken out of the game against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
11 of 11
Next
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The biggest MLB Postseason loser? You guessed it! The 2019 Houston Astros.

The Astros’ recent success has been frequently – and justly – vilified by the team’s reliance on illegal sign-stealing methods during at least some of that stretch. But for pure talent, Houston’s post-season failures both in 2018 and 2019 illustrate the perilous journey that MLB postseason formula represents.

In 2019, the Astros appeared to successfully navigate the most difficult parts of the journey. After winning a majors’ best 107 games, the eliminated a very good Tampa Bay Rays team in a five-game division series.

More from MLB News

That threw them against the 103-win Yankees in the ALCS. Houston won in six games, establishing the Astros as prohibitive World Series favorites against the National League champions, the surprising wild card Washington Nationals.

But baseball is a funny game, particularly at the World Series level. The Nats swooped into Houston and took both of the first two games, defeating the Astros aces, Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, in the process.

Only when the Series traveled to Washington did the Astros assert their dominance. In three games played at the National League park, they out-scored the Nats 19-3, decisively reasserting their status as Series favorites. That sweep sent the Series back to minute Maid park for a sixth game in which the Astros were heavy favorites.

But in this series when neither home field nor favored status meant anything, the Nationals defeated Verlander 7-2 to square the series at three games each. In the seventh game, Houston scored a pair of early runs and Zack Greinke carried a 2-0 lead into the seventh.

dark. Next. Red Sox: Tanner Houck cements role for 2021

But Anthony Rendon homered, Juan Soto walked and after Greinke was lifted in favor of Will Harris, Howie Kendrick also homered to push Washington in front. The rest was all downhill: The Nats added three more runs to complete one of the biggest upsets in recent World Series history.