2005 National League Championship Series

The 2005 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of the 2005 National League playoffs, matched the Central Division champion and defending league champion St. Louis Cardinals against the wild card qualifier Houston Astros, a rematch of the 2004 NLCS. The Cardinals, by virtue of having the best record in the NL during the 2005 season, had the home-field advantage. The Astros won the series four games to two, and became the National League champions; they faced the American League champion Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series, where the Astros lost to the White Sox in a sweep in four games.

The Cardinals and Astros were victorious in the NL Division Series (NLDS), with the Cardinals defeating the West Division champion San Diego Padres three games to none, and the Astros defeating the East Division champion Atlanta Braves three games to one. St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who won AL pennants with the Oakland Athletics in 19888990 and the NL flag in 2004, fell short in his bid to become the first manager in history to win multiple pennants in both major leagues, although he did so in 2006 and again in 2011. The NLCS also closed with the last game ever played at St. Louis' Busch Stadium (II), which the Cardinals departed after 40 seasons.

2005 National League Championship Series
NL Championship Series 2005 Logo
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Houston Astros (4) Phil Garner 89–73, .549, GB: 11
St. Louis Cardinals (2) Tony La Russa 100–62, .617, GA: 11
DatesOctober 12–19
MVPRoy Oswalt (Houston)
UmpiresTim McClelland, Greg Gibson, Wally Bell, Phil Cuzzi, Larry Poncino, Gerry Davis
NLDS
Broadcast
TelevisionFox
TV announcersThom Brennaman, Steve Lyons,
and Bob Brenly
RadioESPN
Radio announcersDan Shulman and Dave Campbell

Summary

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Houston Astros

Houston won the series, 4–2.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 12 Houston Astros – 3, St. Louis Cardinals – 5 Busch Stadium (II) 2:29 52,332[1] 
2 October 13 Houston Astros – 4, St. Louis Cardinals – 1 Busch Stadium (II) 3:03 52,358[2] 
3 October 15 St. Louis Cardinals – 3, Houston Astros – 4 Minute Maid Park 3:00 42,823[3] 
4 October 16 St. Louis Cardinals – 1, Houston Astros – 2 Minute Maid Park 3:11 43,010[4] 
5 October 17 St. Louis Cardinals – 5, Houston Astros – 4 Minute Maid Park 3:19 43,470[5] 
6 October 19 Houston Astros – 5, St. Louis Cardinals – 1 Busch Stadium (II) 2:53 52,438[6]

Game summaries

Game 1

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 at Busch Stadium (II) in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 3 7 0
St. Louis 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 X 5 8 1
WP: Chris Carpenter (1–0)   LP: Andy Pettitte (0–1)   Sv: Jason Isringhausen (1)
Home runs:
HOU: Chris Burke (1)
STL: Reggie Sanders (1)

The Cardinals struck first in Game 1 when David Eckstein hit a leadoff single in the first off of starter Andy Pettitte, who was struck by a batted ball during batting practice but made the start as scheduled, then Reggie Sanders's home run two outs later put them up 2−0. Mark Grudzielanek singled to lead off the second, moved to third on Abraham Nunez's single one out later, and scored on Chris Carpenter's sacrifice bunt. In the fifth, Nunez again hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on Eckstein's single with Eckstein reaching second on right fielder Jason Lane's throw to home. One out later, Albert Pujols's RBI single made it 5−0 Cardinals. Carpenter pitched six shutout innings before pinch hitter Chris Burke's two-run home run put the Astros on the board in the seventh. Brad Ausmus's sacrifice fly in the ninth off of Jason Isringhausen made it 5−3 Cardinals before pinch hitter Jose Vizcaino grounded out to end the game as the Cardinals went up 1−0 in the series.

Game 2

Thursday, October 13, 2005 at Busch Stadium (II) in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 4 11 1
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0
WP: Roy Oswalt (1–0)   LP: Mark Mulder (0–1)   Sv: Brad Lidge (1)
Home runs:
HOU: None
STL: Albert Pujols (1)

The Astros struck first in Game 2 when Chris Burke tripled with one out in the second and scored on a passed ball by starter Mark Mulder. In the fifth, Brad Ausmus hit a leadoff double, moved to third on Roy Oswalt's sacrifice bunt and scored on Craig Biggio's ground out. Albert Pujols's leadoff home run off of Oswalt in the sixth put the Cardinals on the board, but they would get nothing more. The Astros scored two insurance runs in the eighth off of Julian Tavarez on Chris Burke's RBI single that scored Lance Berkman from third. followed by Adam Everett's RBI triple. Brad Lidge pitched two shutout innings for the save as the Astros' 4−1 win tied the series at 1−1 heading to Houston.

Game 3

Saturday, October 15, 2005 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 3 7 1
Houston 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 X 4 11 0
WP: Roger Clemens (1–0)   LP: Matt Morris (0–1)   Sv: Brad Lidge (2)
Home runs:
STL: None
HOU: Mike Lamb (1)

In Game 3, Cardinals' starter Matt Morris pitched three shutout innings before walking Morgan Ensberg to lead off the fourth, then Mike Lamb's home run put the Astros up 2−0. In the fifth, the Astros' Roger Clemens allowed back-to-back leadoff singles to Yadier Molina and Abraham Nunez. Morris's sacrifice bunt moved them up one base each before David Eckstein's sacrifice fly put the Cardinals on the board. Clemens again allowed back-to-back leadoff singles next inning to Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds before Larry Walker's sacrifice fly tied the game. In the bottom of the inning, Lamb hit a one-out double and scored on Jason Lane's single. After Brad Ausmus singled, Brad Thompson relieved Morris and Adam Everett hit into a fielder's choice that allowed Lane to score to put the Astros up 4−2. Chad Qualls pitched two hitless innings before Brad Lidge retired the first two batters in the ninth and walked John Rodriguez. Rodriguez then moved to second on defensive indifference before scoring on John Mabry's double. This is the first run Lidge allowed against the Cardinals since May 29, 2003, but held on for the save to give the Astros a 2–1 series lead. It was Clemens' twelfth career postseason win, fifth in League Championship Series games.

Game 4

Sunday, October 16, 2005 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 1
Houston 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 X 2 6 0
WP: Chad Qualls (1–0)   LP: Jason Marquis (0–1)   Sv: Brad Lidge (3)
Home runs:
STL: None
HOU: Jason Lane (1)

Brandon Backe provided a strong outing, and the Astro bullpen continued its strong performance. The Cardinals struck first in the fourth when David Eckstein drew a leadoff walk, moved to third on Jim Edmonds's double, and scored on Albert Pujols's sacrifice fly, but the Astros tied in the bottom of the inning on Jason Lane's home run off of Jeff Suppan. The Astros loaded the bases in the seventh off of Jason Marquis on two walks and an error when Morgan Ensberg's sacrifice fly put them up 2−1. Tony La Russa and Jim Edmonds were both ejected for arguing balls and strikes on separate instances—LaRussa in the bottom of the seventh, Edmonds in the top of the eighth, at a key moment. Edmonds's ejection came with a 3–2 count, two outs, and a runner on base. Edmonds was replaced by pinch hitter John Rodríguez, who flied out to deep center field to end the scoring threat. The Cardinals once again had an opportunity to tie the game or take the lead in the ninth inning against closer Brad Lidge. Albert Pujols and Larry Walker led off the inning with back-to-back singles, putting runners at first and third base with no outs. Reggie Sanders grounded to third; Pujols went home on contact and was thrown out at the plate. Larry Walker advanced to third when the Astros failed to call timeout after the play at the plate. John Mabry ended the threat by grounding into a double play. La Russa's ejection marked the first time a manager was ejected from a postseason game since 1998, when Mike Hargrove was thrown out of a game between his Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees. Houston was one game away from the franchise's first visit to the World Series after a 2–1 Game 4 win.

Game 5

Monday, October 17, 2005 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 9 1
Houston 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 4 9 2
WP: Jason Isringhausen (1–0)   LP: Brad Lidge (0–1)
Home runs:
STL: Albert Pujols (2)
HOU: Lance Berkman (1)

The Astros struck first in Game 5 on Craig Biggio's RBI single in the second off of starter Chris Carpenter, but the Cardinals loaded the bases on two hits and a walk off of Andy Pettitte when Mark Grudzielanek's two-run single put them up 2–1. Lance Berkman gave excited Astros fans a 4–2 lead with one swing on a pitch from Carpenter in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Astros were one strike away from claiming their first NL Pennant and trip to the Fall Classic before David Eckstein singled with no one on base, Jim Edmonds walked, and Albert Pujols hit a dramatic, towering three-run home run off Astros closer Brad Lidge that bounced off the side of the closed Minute Maid Park roof before landing on the railroad tracks in left field. The home run gave the Cardinals a 5–4 lead in the top of the ninth inning. Jason Isringhausen retired the Astros in order in the bottom of the inning. The Cardinals guaranteed that another game would be played at historic Busch Stadium (II). The win also broke the Cardinals' seven-game losing streak in road NLCS games. The Astros' lead was trimmed from two games to one in the series.

Game 6

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 at Busch Stadium (II) in St. Louis, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 0 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 5 11 0
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 1
WP: Roy Oswalt (2–0)   LP: Mark Mulder (0–2)
Home runs:
HOU: Jason Lane (2)
STL: None

The Astros shook off the effects of their Game 5 loss, and rolled to win their first National League pennant in 44 seasons of existence with a decisive 5–1 win over the Cardinals. The Astros scored a run in the third when the Cardinals' Mark Mulder threw a wild pitch to Craig Biggio with runners on second and third, then Biggio's RBI single scored another. Jason Lane's home run in the fourth put them up 3−0. Roy Oswalt pitched seven strong innings, allowing only a sacrifice fly to John Rodriguez in the fifth. The Astros scored one run in the sixth on Adam Everett's sacrifice bunt off of Jason Marquis and another in the seventh on Morgan Ensberg's RBI single off of Julian Tavarez. This was the final game at Busch Stadium (II). This would also be the Astros' last postseason win as a member of the NL, as they would get swept in the World Series, move to the AL in 2013, and would not win another postseason game until the 2015 American League Wild Card Game.

Roy Oswalt was named the series MVP. In two starts, he went 2–0 with a 1.29 ERA in fourteen innings.

Composite box

2005 NLCS (4–2): Houston Astros over St. Louis Cardinals

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston Astros 0 2 2 4 1 3 7 2 1 22 55 3
St. Louis Cardinals 2 1 2 1 4 2 0 0 4 16 39 5
Total attendance: 286,431   Average attendance: 47,739

Notes

  1. ^ "2005 NLCS Game 1 - Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "2005 NLCS Game 2 - Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "2005 NLCS Game 3 - St. Louis Cardinals vs. Houston Astros". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "2005 NLCS Game 4 - St. Louis Cardinals vs. Houston Astros". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "2005 NLCS Game 5 - St. Louis Cardinals vs. Houston Astros". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "2005 NLCS Game 6 - Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.

External links

2005 Houston Astros season

The Houston Astros' 2005 season was a season in which the Houston Astros qualified for the postseason for the second consecutive season. The Astros overcame a sluggish 15–30 start to claim the wild card playoff spot, and would go on to win the National League pennant to advance to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. It was longtime Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell's final season and first World Series appearance.

2005 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 2005 season was the team's 124th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 114th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 100-62 during the season and won the National League Central division by 11 games over the NL Wild-Card Champion and eventual NL Champion Houston Astros. In the playoffs the Cardinals swept the San Diego Padres 3 games to 0 in the NLDS. However, the Cardinals lost to the Astros 4 games to 2 in the NLCS.

The season was the last one played in Busch Memorial Stadium by the Cardinals and they moved to the new Busch Stadium the next year. The Cardinals also moved their radio broadcasts from KMOX after a 55-year affiliation to KTRS after the season. After the 2010 season, the Cardinals would move their radio broadcasts from KTRS back to KMOX, starting in 2011.

First baseman Albert Pujols won the MVP Award this year, batting .330, with 41 home runs and 117 RBIs. Chris Carpenter won the Cy Young Award this year, with a 2.83 ERA, 21 wins, and 213 strikeouts. Outfielder Jim Edmonds won a Gold Glove this year. The Cardinals pitching staff led Major League Baseball by having the lowest (ERA) (3.49), conceding the fewest earned runs (560) and pitching the most complete games (15).

2005 World Series

The 2005 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2005 season. The 101st edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the American League (AL) champion Chicago White Sox and the National League (NL) champion Houston Astros; the White Sox swept the Astros in four games, winning their third World Series championship and their first in 88 seasons. Although the series was a sweep, all four games were quite close, being decided by two runs or fewer. The series was played between October 22–26, 2005.

Home-field advantage was awarded to Chicago by virtue of the AL's 7–5 victory over the NL in the 2005 MLB All-Star Game. The Astros were attempting to become the fourth consecutive wild card team to win the Series, following the Anaheim Angels (2002), Florida Marlins (2003) and Boston Red Sox (2004). Both teams were attempting to overcome decades of disappointment, with a combined 132 years between the two teams without a title. The Astros were making their first Series appearance in 44 years of play, while the White Sox had waited exactly twice as long for a title, having last won the Series in 1917, and had not been in the Series since 1959, three years before the Astros' inaugural season.

Like the 1982 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers, the 2005 World Series is one of only two World Series in the modern era (1903–present) with no possibility for a rematch between the two opponents, because the Astros moved to the AL in 2013. However, the Brewers did meet the Cardinals in the 2011 NL Championship Series. The Astros would return to the World Series in 2017 as an AL franchise, where they would win in seven games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

2017 American League Championship Series

The 2017 American League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the Houston Astros against the New York Yankees for the American League pennant and the right to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series. The Astros defeated the Yankees in 7 games after falling behind 3 games to 2. The home team won every game in the series.

This was the first time in history that the ALCS and NLCS teams were from the four most populous U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.For the first time, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; this ALCS was sponsored by Camping World and was officially known as the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World.The Astros would go on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in seven games, winning their first World Series championship in franchise history.

2017 American League Division Series

The 2017 American League Division Series were two best-of-five-games series held to determine the participating teams in the 2017 American League Championship Series. The three divisional winners (seeded 1-3) and a fourth team—the winner of a one-game Wild Card playoff—played in two series.

These matchups were:

(1) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champions) versus (4) New York Yankees (Wild Card Game winner)

(2) Houston Astros (West Division champions) versus (3) Boston Red Sox (East Division champions)For the first time, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; Doosan acquired presenting sponsorship to the ALDS, and thus the series was officially known as the American League Division Series presented by Doosan.

José Vizcaíno

José Luis Vizcaíno Pimental (born March 26, 1968) is a Dominican former professional baseball player. He was a backup infielder for most of his Major League Baseball (MLB) career. He, along with Darryl Strawberry, and Ricky Ledée are the only Major League Baseball players to have played for all four (former and current) New York teams—the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Francisco Giants. With the Yankees, he won the 2000 World Series against the Mets.

Kevin Eschenfelder

Kevin Eschenfelder is an American sportscaster who currently serves as a host of "Houston Basketball Central" on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. Eschenfelder also works in radio as the play-by-play announcer for Houston Cougars football games since their start in the American Athletic Conference in 2013.

Larry Walker

Larry Kenneth Robert Walker (born December 1, 1966) is a Canadian former professional baseball right fielder in Major League Baseball (MLB). During his 17-year career, he played for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals. In 1997, he became the only player in major league history to register both a .700 slugging percentage and 30 stolen bases in the same season, on his way to winning the National League (NL) Most Valuable Player Award (MVP). The first player in more than 60 years to hit at least .360 in each of three consecutive seasons from 1997 to 1999, Walker also won three NL batting championships. Honors include induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009, and acclaim from Sports Illustrated in 1999 as the 13th greatest sporting figure from Canada.

Widely considered a five-tool talent of prodigious athleticism and instincts, Walker hit for both average and power, combined with well above-average speed, defense and throwing strength and accuracy. He was recognized as the top Canadian athlete in 1998 with the Lou Marsh Trophy. Other awards include five MLB All-Star selections, seven Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, and nine Tip O'Neill Awards. His career slugging percentage (.565) ranks 12th all-time. Walker is one of only 19 hitters in history to accomplish a .300 batting average, 400 on-base percentage (OBP), and .500 slugging percentage (SLG) with at least 5,000 plate appearances, and one of six whose careers began after 1960. Considering advanced metrics, he is one of three players in history to rank within the top 100 of each of batting runs, baserunning runs, and defensive runs saved; the others are Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.

From the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Walker spent his youth playing hockey with consuming NHL goaltender aspirations. That dream never materialized; however, the Expos saw his baseball potential and signed him in 1984. By 1990, Walker became their starting right fielder, propelling them to the majors' best record in 1994 when that year's strike stopped their first serious World Series run. He signed with the Rockies as a free agent following the season, and, during a six-year period starting in 1997, was the major league batting leader three times while finishing second in the NL twice. In 1997, he also led the league in home runs, OBP, SLG, while joining the 30–30 club, registering 12 outfield assists and leading his position with four double plays turned.

Desiring a trade to a contending team, the Rockies sent Walker to St. Louis in the middle of their 105-win season of 2004 and he made his first World Series appearance while tying or setting three Cardinals postseason records. He announced his retirement from playing baseball after Game 6 of the 2005 National League Championship Series. Following his playing career, Walker has served as a guest instructor for the Cardinals, and, since 2009, has coached the Canadian national team. In that time, Team Canada has competed in three World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournaments, and twice at the Pan Am Games, winning consecutive Pan Am gold medals in 2011 and 2015. Active on the American Baseball Hall of Fame ballot as of 2019, he has appeared nine times in ten years of eligibility, receiving 54.6 of 75 percent required to gain election.

List of Houston Astros seasons

This is a list of seasons completed by the Houston Astros, originally known as the Houston Colt .45s, professional baseball franchise.

The Astros have completed 56 seasons in Major League Baseball, qualifying for the postseason eleven times and reaching the World Series twice (2005 and 2017). Established as an expansion franchise in 1962, the team's first winning season was in 1972. In 1980 the Astros made their first postseason appearance. From 1997–2005, the team made postseason appearances in six out of nine seasons. From 2006 to 2013 the franchise experienced a steady decline with consecutive 100-loss seasons in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2015 the team defeated the New York Yankees in the 2015 American League Wild Card Game. This was the Astros' first postseason appearance as an American League team, and first overall since 2005. It was also the Astros' first playoff win since Game 6 of the 2005 National League Championship Series. Houston would qualify for the playoffs again in 2017, defeating the Boston Red Sox in the 2017 American League Division Series and the New York Yankees in the 2017 American League Championship Series. The team would go on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, winning the championship for the first time in team history.

Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award

The Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award is presented by Major League Baseball (MLB) to the player who is judged to have "re-emerged on the baseball field during a given season." The award was developed in 2005, as part of a sponsorship agreement between MLB and Viagra. In 2005 and 2006 representatives from MLB and MLB.com selected six candidates each from the American (AL) and National Leagues (NL) and one winner for each league was selected via an online poll on MLB.com. Since then, the winners have been selected by a panel of MLB beat reporters. Under the current voting structure, first place votes are worth five points, second place votes worth three, and third place votes worth one with the award going to the player with the most points overall. Past winners have often overcome injury or personal problems en route to their award-winning season.

A Comeback Player of the Year Award has been given by The Sporting News since 1965 but its results are not officially recognized by Major League Baseball. Since the beginning of the MLB award in 2005, the recipients have been identical with the following exceptions: 2008 NL (MLB honored Brad Lidge, TSN honored Fernando Tatís), 2010 AL (MLB honored Francisco Liriano, TSN honored Vladimir Guerrero) and 2016 (TSN honored Jose Fernandez and Mark Trumbo, MLB honored Anthony Rendon and Rick Porcello. Francisco Liriano is the only person to win the MLB award multiple times (2010 AL, 2013 NL), and the first to win it in each league.

Twelve players were named to the Major League Baseball All-Star team in their Comeback Award-winning season: Jim Thome, Nomar Garciaparra, Dmitri Young, Cliff Lee, Brad Lidge, Aaron Hill, Tim Hudson, Lance Berkman, Jacoby Ellsbury, Buster Posey, Fernando Rodney, and Mariano Rivera. Two players who were not named to the All-Star team in their winning year—Jason Giambi and Ken Griffey, Jr.—were named to the All-Star team in their previous season. Several winners have won other awards in their winning season. Carlos Peña, Posey, Ellsbury, Griffey and Hill won the Silver Slugger Award along with the Comeback Award. Posey won the NL MVP in his comeback season. Lee won the Cy Young Award in his winning season and Lidge won both the Rolaids Relief Man and DHL Delivery Man Awards the same year. Rodney was also named Delivery Man in his comeback 2012 season. The most recent winners, announced in November 2018, are Jonny Venters from the NL and David Price from the AL.

Patrick O'Neal (sportscaster)

Patrick O'Neal (born September 14, 1967) is an American former actor, now a studio host/reporter for Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket.

Roy Oswalt

Roy Oswalt (; born August 29, 1977) is a former American professional baseball pitcher who played for the majority of his career with the Houston Astros. He also played for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Texas Rangers, and the Colorado Rockies.

Oswalt was selected by the Astros in the 1996 MLB draft. He made his major league debut with the club in 2001 and finished with a win–loss record of 14–3. He was a back-to-back 20-game winner in 2004 and 2005. He helped the Astros to their first World Series appearance in 2005, and was named Most Valuable Player of the 2005 National League Championship Series (NLCS). When he left the Astros in 2010 his wins (143) and strikeout total (1,593) was second in franchise history to Joe Niekro (144) and Nolan Ryan (1,866). He is a three-time All-Star, selected from 2005 to 2007. As of the 2012 season his career strikeout total was in the top 100 all-time.

As a member of Team USA, Oswalt won a gold medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics.

World Series

The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.Prior to 1969, the team with the best regular season win-loss record in each league automatically advanced to the World Series; since then each league has conducted a championship series (ALCS and NLCS) preceding the World Series to determine which teams will advance. As of 2018, the World Series has been contested 114 times, with the AL winning 66 and the NL winning 48.

The 2018 World Series took place between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox from October 23–28, with the Red Sox winning in five games to earn their ninth title. This was the first World Series meeting between these two teams since 1916. Having previously lost to the Houston Astros in the 2017 World Series, the Dodgers became the 11th team to lose the World Series in consecutive seasons.In the American League, the New York Yankees have played in 40 World Series and won 27, the Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics have played in 14 and won 9, and the Boston Red Sox have played in 13 and won 9, including the first World Series. In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals have appeared in 19 and won 11, the New York/San Francisco Giants have played in 19 and won 8, the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers have appeared in 20 and won 6, and the Cincinnati Reds have appeared in 9 and won 5.

As of 2018, no team has won consecutive World Series championships since the New York Yankees in 1998, 1999, and 2000—the longest such drought in Major League Baseball history.

Until 2002, home-field advantage in the World Series alternated from year to year between the National League and American League. From 2003 to 2016, home-field advantage was given to the league that won that year's All-Star Game. Starting in 2017, home-field advantage is awarded to the league champion team with the better regular season win-loss record.

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