The Best Two Words in Baseball: 10 Wild Facts About ‘Game 7’

With the Philadelphia Phillies set to host the Diamondbacks for our second Game 7 in as many days, we look back at the history of Game 7 in MLB.

The Philadelphia Phillies bench reacts after Nick Castellanos (not pictured) hit a home run in the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves during Game Four of the Division Series at Citizens Bank Park.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 12: The Philadelphia Phillies bench reacts after Nick Castellanos #8 (not pictured) hit a home run in the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves during Game Four of the Division Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 12, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

It’s the best thing to hear as a baseball fan: “Game 7 tonight.”

Teams don’t accidentally fall into a Game 7 — it’s destiny. A winner-take-all game means one team moves on and the other goes home. Come on, what else could you want?

Whether it’s the World Series or the League Championship, Game 7s are must-watch baseball for every fan, where anything can happen.

On Monday, the Texas Rangers bested the Houston Astros in the battle of the state while the Arizona Diamondbacks forced a Game 7 in Philadelphia.

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As baseball fans are treated to a Game 7 on consecutive nights, here are some wild facts about Game 7s in the history of the Major Leagues.

1. How many Game 7s have there been in MLB history?

There have been 59 winner-take-all Game 7s in the Bigs, between the World Series and the League Championship Series.

(Including the 1912 World Series, which required an 8th game, due to an earlier tie.)

2. Home teams like Game 7s

Since the LCS expanded to the best-of-seven format in 1985, home teams are 11-6 in Games 7s.

3. Cardinals like winner-take-alls

The St. Louis Cardinals have played in the most winner-take-all Game 7s in MLB history with 16, going 11-5.

The franchise’s most recent Game 7 was in 2011 during a thrilling World Series against the Texas Rangers.

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The Yankees have played in 14 Game 7s (6-8), followed by the Red Sox with 10 (4-6).

(The Astros are 2-3 in Game 7s and the Rangers only appeared in one other postseason Game 7 — in 2011.)

4. Extra innings & walk-off Game 7s

Six Game 7s have gone into extra innings.

Extra inning Game 7s have happened five times in the World Series and once in the ALCS. Home teams have won five out of six Game 7s in extras.

(The only exception was when the road team Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in 10 for the 2016 World Series.)

5. Only two Game 7s have ended with walk-off home runs

In MLB history, only two Game 7s have ended like we all dream it as kids: a walk-off home run.

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The Pirates’ Bill Mazeroski hit a game-winner off Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry in 1960, and Aaron Boone launched a dramatic solo shot off Red Sox reliever Tim Wakefield in the bottom of the 11th inning in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

6. One-run feuds in Game 7s

In the history of Game 7s, 18 have been one-run affairs. The most recent was the Dodger’s 4-3 win against the Braves in the finale of the 2020 NLCS.

7. Biggest Game 7 rout

Alternatively, the biggest rout in a Game 7 belongs to the Braves who beat the Cardinals 15-0 to end the 1996 NLCS.

8. Charlie Morton = Game 7 G.O.A.T

Charlie Morton is the only pitcher to win three Game 7s.

He won Game 7 of both the ALCS and the World Series for the Astros in 2017 and Game 7 of the 2020 ALCS for the Rays.

9. No pitcher has saved more than one Game 7

There has never been a pitcher in MLB history to save more than one Game 7.

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The most innings pitched to save a Game 7, however, was Madison Bumgarner’s five scoreless to close out the 2014 Fall Classic for the Giants over the Royals.

10. “The Mick” has appeared in the most Game 7s

No player in MLB history has appeared in more Game 7s than Mickey Mantle, with eight.

The Yankees great played in eight Game 7 World Series finales in his 18-year career, one more than both Yogi Berra and Elston Howard.