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) /
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(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

The 2011 Philadelphia Phillies join the biggest MLB Postseason loser list.

The 2011 season marks the Phillies’ most recent playoff appearance. It was also perhaps their most frustrating.

The Phils entered as winners of 102 games, six games better than any other National League opponent. Their dominant mound staff compiled a 127 team ERA+, led by starters Roy Halladay (163), Cliff Lee (160), Cole Hamels (137), and Roy Oswalt (104). How was anybody supposed to beat the Phillies when nobody could hit them?

The draw pitted Philadelphia against the wild card St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series.  It was a conspicuously bad bit of luck for the NL East champs, who had lost six times in nine regular-season starts against the Cardinals. In fact St. Louis was one of only two teams – Washington being the other – with a season edge on Philadelphia.

In the division series, the Cardinals demonstrated anew that they were immune to the Phillies’ talent advantage. The clubs split the first four games, sending the decision to a fifth game matchup between Halladay and Cardinal ace Chris Carpenter. The first Cardinal batter, Rafael Furcal, tripled off Halladay and the second, Skip Schumaker, doubled him home.

That was all the offensive damage Halladay would allow, but it was enough. Carpenter silenced Phillies offensive stars Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard on just three hits, none of them after the sixth inning. The 1-0 decision set St. Louis on a course to an eventual World Series win over the Texas Rangers.

The favored Phillies went home, where they have remained.