Tracy Ringolsby

Ponderings as the ALCS and NLCS move forward

Ringolsby: Ponderings as the LCS move forward

Ponderings as the ALCS and NLCS move forward
Postseason ponderings:

The longer the grind, the harder it becomes for a team to win a postseason series.

Detroit goes into Game 3 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night holding a 2-0 edge in the best-of-seven series, winning both games at Yankee Stadium.

Can the Tigers complete the sweep?

Since the creation of the LCS in 1969, 18 of the 84 series have ended in a sweep, 21.4 percent.

The LCS began in 1969 as a best-of-five. It was expanded in 1985 to a best-of-seven. And while it has remained a best-of-seven ever since, the grind has increased since the addition of the best-of-five Division Series in 1995, giving baseball a third round of postseason play.

• From 1969-84, when the LCS was a best-of-five, 13 of the 32 series were three-game sweeps, 40.6 percent. There were nine four-game series (28.1 percent) and 10 five-game series (31.3 percent).

• Since the expansion of the LCS to a best-of-seven in 1985, only five of the 52 LCS have resulted in sweeps (9.7 percent), 14 have ended in five games (26.9 percent), 19 have ended in six games (36.5 percent), and 14 of the 52 series have gone the full seven games (26.9 percent).

• With the addition of the Division Series in 1995, only eight of the 34 LCS have gone the full seven games (23.5 percent) with 13 six-game series (38.2 percent), 10 five-game series (29.4 percent) and three sweeps (8.8 percent).

• During the nine years of a best-of-seven LCS before the addition of the Division Series, there were two sweeps in 18 series (11 percent), four five-game series (22 percent), six six-game series (33 percent) and six seven-game series (33 percent).

• Seven of the 20 World Series sweeps have come since the expansion of the LCS to seven games in 1985, and five since the addition of the Division Series in 1995. Oakland swept San Francisco in 1989 and was swept by Cincinnati in '90. The Yankees swept San Diego in '98 and Atlanta in '99. Boston swept St. Louis in 2004 and Colorado in '07. The Chicago White Sox swept Houston in '05.

• There have been only 20 World Series four-game sweeps, 12 prior to the expansion of the postseason to the LCS in 1969. In addition to the seven sweeps since 1985, Cincinnati swept the Yankees in 1976.

• The Yankees have been involved in 11 World Series sweeps. They have swept eight, and been swept in three. They enjoyed back-to-back sweeps of San Diego in 1998 and Atlanta in '99; the Chicago Cubs in 1938 and Cincinnati Reds in '39; and Pittsburgh in 1927 and St. Louis in '28, They also swept the Cubs in 1932 and the Philadelphia Phillies in 1950. The Yankees were swept by the New York Giants in 1922, Los Angeles Dodgers in 1963 and the Reds in 1976.

• Cincinnati is the only NL team with a sweep since the Dodgers swept the Yankees in '63. The Reds swept the Yankees in 1976 and Oakland in 1990.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.