Watching my Wisconsin Badgers absolute destroy Nebraska 70-31 in the Big 10 Championship Game this weekend, I couldn’t help but think about the 1996 NLCS. After falling behind the Cardinals three games to one, the Braves absolutely destroyed St. Louis three straight games to head to their second straight World Series. Game 7 was the biggest blowout of them all, with the Braves winning 15-0. That is the most runs scored in a rubber match game in postseason history.
Looking back at that game, the pitching did their part, with Tom Glavine throwing seven shutout innings while not walking anyone. This is the equivalent of seeing the Badgers rush for 540 yards tonight, the strength of the team performing even better than expected. However, the offense was way better than expected. Donovan Osborne was knocked out during the first inning after a bases-clearing triple by Glavine, the equivalent of the WR throwback to the QB and the other trick plays by the Badgers tonight. No matter how confident you were in the Braves or Badgers before their respective games, no one could have ever predicted the actual result.
Unfortunately, the Braves were on the other end of the second-highest run total in a do-or-die postseason game. The Braves lost to the Astros 12-3 in Game 5 of the 2004 NLDS to end their season. Jaret Wright kept the Braves in the game, as they were only down 4-2 after six innings. Chris Reitsma and Juan Cruz proceeded to blow up and give the Astros a berth to the NLCS. I have managed to block that game out of my memory, probably due to the horribly painful 18-inning Game 5 loss the next season to Houston.
I’d love to see some comments on their most impressive performances they’ve seen in games where both teams could have been eliminated, and hopefully yours are better than my game below.