The St. Louis Cardinals take on the Phillies at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park on Friday evening in the deciding Game 5 of their National League Division Series.
Normally, one would think the home club would have a decided edge in such an important contest, but that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, as we saw on Thursday evening, Detroit eliminated New York by winning Game 5 of the ALDS on the hallowed soil of Yankee Stadium.
In the Senior Circuit, past results of these Game 5 NLDS showdowns indicate a decided edge by the visiting club – unless the Cardinals were involved, that is.
Friday’s Cardinals-Phils and Diamondbacks-Brewers matchups are just the seventh and eighth such games in NL history. Two of the previous six should have an asterisk applied as they occurred in the strike-interrupted 1981 season, when first- and second-half winners faced off.
In the other four deciding Game 5’s, one held each year from 2001-04, the road team took three.
Interestingly, the Atlanta Braves of the NL East were the home losers each time. The collapse of the 2011 Braves helped open the door for the Cardinals to make the playoffs. That division also is the home of the Phillies, of course.
The recent losing visitor was the Cardinals at Arizona on October 14, 2001. The 2-1 defeat was nothing to be ashamed of as the Curt Schilling– (and Randy Johnson-) powered Snakes then went on to take the World Series. Future Cardinals outfielder Reggie Sanders’ homer was first run scored by Arizona that night.
Albert Pujols is the only common thread between that game ten years ago and Friday’s contest here in 2011. There are, however, other Cardinals familiar with the situation. In the most recent occurrence of an NL Game 5 road victory, Lance Berkman’s Houston Astros defeated Rafael Furcal’s Braves on October 11, 2004.
Home team results in NLDS Game 5
Thanks to researcher Tom Orf for the above table.