Ranking Every MLB Postseason Since 2000

It seems like every October, we get a new MLB postseason moment that will be played in highlight reels for years to come. With the 2017 postseason just around the corner, we decided to take a look back at some of the greatest playoff moments in recent memory by ranking each postseason going back to the year 2000.

Each year will be ranked on how dramatic or exciting it was as a whole. It obviously helps to have a World Series battle for the ages, but a good Championship Series, or even a good Wild Card game can factor in to where each year ranks.

Since the turn of the century, the game of baseball has been under a constant steroid watch and thus the sport have suffered in some regards. However, "America's Pastime" remains a part of the culture and moments and memories will never fade.

The following list will rank each postseason, as a whole, since the year 2000.

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16 2006

via foxxports.com

World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals

The best series from 2006 was not the World Series, but rather St. Louis vs. New York in the NLCS. It went to seven games, and no game was more dramatic than the last. It was a low scoring affair that featured an incredible Endy Chavez catch where he robbed a home run, a late inning Yadier Molina solo shot to put the Cardinals up 2-1, and rookie Adam Wainwright striking out Carlos Beltran (one of the greatest postseason hitters of his time) on a wicked curveball with the time and go-ahead runs on base.

The reason this postseason comes in last is because outside of the NLCS, no other series went to the final game, or even to game six. In the two ALDS series, it was Oakland sweeping Minnesota and the Tigers defeating the Yankees in four games. In the NLDS, the Cardinals beat the Padres in four and the Mets swept the Dodgers. In the World Series, the Cardinals defeated the Tigers in five games where David Eckstein (yes, David Eckstein) won the WS MVP.

15 2012 

via basesandbaskets.com

World Series Champions: San Francisco Giants

When you win three World Series championships in five years, it gets kind of boring. Although, it must be said – when we look back on this Giants dynasty, it will go down as one of the strangest and most unique in baseball history. Outside of Buster Posey, it seems like a new cast of heroes every time. This isn't Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Petite. It's Aubrey Huff, Marco Scutaro, and Michael Morse.

The reason this postseason ranks near the bottom is because a World Series sweep isn't the most exciting way to end a season. Giants fans might love it, but the rest of the world, not so much. One World Series moment from 2012 that will go down in history as one of the greatest single game performances goes to the WS MVP Pablo Sandoval. In his first three at bats in Game 1, "The Panda" hit three home runs to join Albert Pujols, Reggie Jackson, and Babe Ruth as the only players to hit three home runs in a World Series game.

14 2013 

via espn.go.com

World Series Champions: Boston Red Sox

One of the more memorable moments of the 2013 postseason occurred in the NL Wild Card game between the Pirates and Reds. The game took place in PNC Park, and the Pittsburgh fans were so loud that it threw off Johnny Cueto's game. With the help of their rejuvenated fan base who longed for some meaningful baseball, the Pirates would defeat the Reds to move on to the NLDS. There, they faced another division rival in the Cardinals, but would lose in five games.

That's part of the reason why this postseason ranks so low. The two World Series participants were (yawn) the Cardinals and Red Sox. Two teams who had already faced each other in the Fall Classic back in 2004. Two teams who had won multiple championships within the last ten years. Boston, like in 2004, would defeat the Cardinals to capture their third title in the last nine years. We can't mention 2013 without talking about the beard revolution that had taken place in Boston, where guys like Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes, and co. were sporting thick facial hair. Lastly, if David Ortiz' legacy was already cemented in gold, then this series helped him go certified platinum.

13 2008 

via libertycitys.com

World Series Champions: Philadelphia Phillies

What could have been one of the greatest underdog stories of the 21st century was spoiled by the Phillies defeating the Rays in the World Series. That sounds weird to say, given that it was just the second WS title in Phillies history. But Philadelphia was a power house at the time with Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, and Brad Lidge. Tampa Bay was composed of an insanely cheap roster in comparison to the rest of baseball, and was living proof that money, while important, isn't the only way to make it deep into the postseason.

Aside from that, the Rays played in an exciting David versus Goliath ALCS matchup with the division rival Red Sox. Rookie David Price came out of the bullpen to shut the door on the team he currently plays for. In the NL, the Phillies seemed to be impossible to beat. In Game 4, the Dodgers had a 5-3 lead heading into the eigth inning before the Phillies would score four runs and take all the momentum away from LA. They would win the next game as well to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1993.

12 2009 

via si.com

World Series Champions: New York Yankees

One of the greatest NLDS games came in 2009, where Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Reds, just the second in postseason history. Other than that, only one Division series match went as far as Game 4, and the NLCS was a repeat of the year before with Philly and LA. Not only was it a repeat in opponents, but also a repeat in the result, as the Phillies defeated the Dodgers again in five games.

For the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez was finally able to get the monkey off his back with some clutch postseason hits. Before that, the New York media was on him for not delivering when it mattered most. Hideki Matsui won the WS MVP despite only starting in three out of the six WS games. In those three games, he had a home run in each and collected six RBI in the final game to help take down the reigning champs. Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Petite, and Mariano Rivera also contributed to help build upon their already incredible playoff legacy.

11 2014

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

World Series Champions: San Francisco Giants

This was the World Series victory that turned the Giants into a modern day dynasty. Madison Bumgarner captured the postseason and WS MVP award thanks to one of, if not, the greatest overall postseason pitching performance of all time. He threw a record-breaking 52.2 innings and gave up just six runs in seven overall appearances (including relief). He pitched a complete game shutout in the Wild Card game against the Pirates. He did that again in the World Series in Game 5. In Game 7, he came out of the bullpen to collect a five inning save, where he gave up zero runs on two hits.

While it was a once in a lifetime pitching performance we got to witness, many people were rooting for the feel-good story of the Kansas City Royals, who made the postseason for the first time in 29 years. The team was known for their dominant back end of the bullpen, with the idea that if they had the lead in the seventh inning, the game was over. Luckily for the Royals, they would make it back the following year and win it against the Mets.

10 2005

via chicagotribune.com

World Series Champions: Chicago White Sox

The Yankees and Red Sox dominated the 2003 and 2004 playoffs for the American League, so 2005 offered a nice change of pace. Both New York and Boston were eliminated in the DS by the White Sox and Angels. Chicago would lose the first game of the ALCS, but would strongly win the next four thanks for four straight complete games from their starting rotation. It was their first WS appearance since 1959 and their first WS win since 1917.

On the NL side, the Astros took on the Cardinals in the Championship Series for a second straight year. In 2004 it was the Cardinals who came out victorious, but thanks in part to their three headed pitching rotation, consisting of Roy Oswalt, Andy Petite, and Roger Clemens, the Astros were able to take the series in six games. They wouldn't do it without a bit of drama, as Albert Pujols would hit one of the biggest walk-off home runs in his career to force a Game 6.

In the World Series, the White Sox would sweep the Astros, but there were some notable moments. Scott Podsednik, who had no home runs in the regular season, hit a walk-off home run in the ninth inning of Game 2. In Game 3, the White Sox would score five runs in the fifth inning to take the lead in Houston after trailing 4-0. They would win that game in the 14th inning to deplete any momentum the Astros had left heading into Game 4.

9 2007

via en.wikipedia.org

World Series Champions: Boston Red Sox

The NLCS featured two teams who rarely ever made the playoffs: the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. The Rockies went on one of the most improbable runs, winning 21 of their last 22 games (no NLDS or NLCS losses) to advance to the World Series. The momentum they were carrying into WS had to be put on hold, as they awaited for a winner to emerge in the AL between Boston and Cleveland.

Cleveland was up in the series three games to one, but Boston would pull off another ALCS comeback like they did three years before by outscoring the Indians in the final three games, 30-5. The Red Sox would then sweep the Rockies in the World Series, as experts blamed all the time off from the long ALCS matchup as the reason for why the Rockies fell flat. Sadly, that would be the closest Todd Helton ever got to a World Series title in his Hall of Fame career.

8 2015 

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

World Series Champions: Kansas City Royals

Maybe there is recency bias for why this one is as high as it is, but we did get to see some great moments. For starters, Daniel Murphy went on an incredible run, hitting a home run in seven of the team's nine combined NLDS and NLCS games. In the AL, the Blue Jays dropped the first two games to the Rangers in the ALDS, only to win three straight and advance to the ALCS. Jose Bautista's home run and bat flip in the seventh inning of a controversial Game 5 was one of the greatest postseason moments in history.

In the ALCS, it was the Royals who would come out on top with their shut down bullpen to advance to the World Series for a second straight season. There, the Royals would make three late inning comebacks to defeat the Mets in five games and capture their second WS title in franchise history and first since 1985.

7 2000

via nydailynews.com

World Series Champions: New York Yankees

The 2000 postseason was all New York, as both the Mets and Yankees would be the last two teams standing. The Yankees with their star-studded roster were able to defeat the Mets in five games to cement themselves as one of the greatest dynasties in baseball history. It was their third straight championship and fourth in the last five years.

One of the most infamous moments of the series occurred when Mets star player Mike Piazza was jammed by a pitch from Roger Clemens. The pitch broke his bat, and part of it went sailing in the direction of Clemens, who then proceeded to pick up the broken wood and chuck it towards Piazza. Piazza started to slowly walk towards Clemens and the benches cleared to separate both men before any fight broke out. After the game, Clemens would say that he thought the broken bat was the ball.

Outside of the World Series, the Championship Series match-ups included the future Yankee, Alex Rodriguez, and the Mariners losing in six games to New York. The Mets faced the Cardinals who were missing key players like Mark McGuire and Mike Matheny. Rick Ankiel was a rookie pitcher at the time, who would go through one of the strangest pitching occurrences in baseball history, where he simply lost all of his command. Ankiel would end up changing positions and work his way back to the majors as a strong-armed outfielder.

6 2002

via nfl.com

World Series Champions: Anaheim Angels

California got their own version of a Subway Series in 2002 when both the Angels and Giants reached the World Series. At this point in time, both team's fanbases carried around a long history of defeat, and the Angels in particular had never won a World Series. With San Francisco up 3-2 and one win away from their first title since the move to California, the Angels put together one of the greatest comebacks in World Series history.

Down 5-0 in the seventh, the Angels would score three runs in the inning and another three runs in the eighth to take a 6-5 lead and force a game seven. There, they jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and never looked back. While the Angels would go on to have a number of successful seasons afterwards, they have yet to reach the World Series again, even in the Mike Trout Era.

5 2010

via sfcitizen.com

World Series Champions: San Francisco Giants

The 2009 World Series featured the Yankees and Phillies, and 2010 was nearly a repeat of that as both of those teams got to the Championship Series in their respective leagues. Had the Phillies advanced to the World Series, it would have been their third straight appearance. The Giants, with their cast of unlikely heroes, home grown players, and strong pitching were able to prevent that from happening. Cody Ross, Edgar Renteria, Aubrey Huff, and Juan Uribe all contributed on offense to the Giants dethroning the Phillies, while Tim Lincicum, Matt Cain, and Brian Wilson got the job done on the mound.

On the AL side, the Rangers were able to take part in a dethroning celebration as well, in addition to winning the Pennant for the first time in franchise history. Josh Hamilton won the series MVP, but was unable to continue that momentum in the World Series, going just 2-20 at the plate. The series would end in five games with Brian Wilson striking out Nelson Cruz to give the Giants their first of three championships this decade.

4 2011

via espn.go.com

World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals

In one of the most memorable back-and-fourth World Series match-ups, the Cardinals were able to escape defeat not once, but twice. So lets go through this one game by game. Game 1 featured six strong innings of two run ball from Chris Carpenter, and an even better performance from the number of relievers that followed after. Cardinals won it 3-2. Game 2 was another low scoring affair, with the Cardinals leading 1-0 heading into the ninth. The Rangers were able to string together hits and two separate sacrifice flies to go up 2-1. The series was tied. In Game 3, St. Louis pounded Texas in front of their home crowd to a final score of 16-7. Albert Pujols had a home run and six RBI on the night. Cardinals lead the series 2-1.

In Game 4, Derek Holland quieted the red birds bats, shutting them out for 8.1 innings on two hits before giving the ball to the young fire-baller Neftali Feliz. Mike Napoli contributed with a three-run home run and the series was tied again heading into a pivotal Game 5. With the score tied 2-2 in the eighth inning, Mike Napoli came up big again, driving in two runs with a double. Neftali Feliz closed the game out, and the Rangers led for the first time in the series, 3-2. Next up came one of the craziest Game 6's in history.

After both teams had successfully scored runs throughout the game, the score was 7-5 in favour of the Rangers heading into the ninth. Neftali Feliz came out for the save, just like he had for the entirety of the postseason. He got two outs, but allowed Pujols and Berkman to reach first and second. With two strikes, David Freese would become a hero and hit an opposite field triple over Nelson Cruz in right field. Both runners scored and the game was tied at seven. In the top of the 10th, Josh Hamilton put a temporary dagger in the hearts of the Cardinals, hitting a two-run homer to put the Rangers up 9-7. In the bottom half, the Cardinals would miraculously come back to tie it up again with two strikes and two outs on a Berkman single. Then in the bottom of the 11th, Davide Freese went from hero to legend in a matter of two innings by hitting a walk-off home run to send Busch Stadium into a frenzy. There was still one game left to play to decide it all.

In Game 7, Texas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, only for Freese to tie it in the bottom half with a two-run double. The Cardinals would score six runs in the contest to hold off the Rangers from capturing their first championship.

3 2003

via fishstripes.com

World Series Champions: Florida Marlins

The great postseason of 2003 featured no shortage of compelling storylines. First was the Cubs and Red Sox, each trying to break the curses that had allegedly stopped both teams from winning the World Series since the early 1900s. For Boston, they would have to get through the arch-rival Yankees, the most successful franchise in baseball history. The Red Sox would force a game seven where they could give the ball to Cy Young winner, Pedro Martinez. The future Hall of Famer pitched a strong seven innings, but ran out of gas in the eighth, giving up three runs and tying the game. It would go into extras, where Aaron Boone, of all people, would hit a walk-off home run in the 11th to send the Yankees to the World Series and the Red Sox home, yet again.

The Cubs would suffer a familiar fate as well, only instead of being down three games to two like the Red Sox, they were up three-two. In the eighth inning, with just five outs separating them from a World Series birth, the unimaginable happened. A catchable pop fly into the stands of left field would not be caught thanks in part to a fan interfering with Cubs left fielder Moises Alou. The inning would continue, but from that point on, nothing would go the Cubs way. An inning-ending double play ball hit to one of the best fielding shortstops, Alex S. Gonzalez, would be misplayed, loading the bases for the Marlins. Derek Lee would hit a double to tie the game at three. When the inning was over, the Marlins were on top 8-3. They would win Game 7 as well to advance to their second ever Fall Classic.

On the biggest stage, the Marlins young pitching would thrive, as Josh Beckett would throw two gems, including a Game 6 clincher on short rest. The 23-year-old mowed down the Yankees hitters as he threw a complete game shutout to help the Marlins shock the world.

2 2001

via nydailynews.com

World Series Champions: Arizona Diamondbacks

October in 2001 was one of the most somber times to be in the United States for obvious reasons. For New Yorkers, that was even more so. The Yankees had a chance to bring some joy into the city by winning their fourth straight World Series Championship – a feat only achieved in baseball by the 1936-1939 Yankees and the 1949-1953 Yankees, who won five straight. They defeated the Athletics in five games in a Division Series that saw Derek Jeter make a pure instincts play where he shuffled a relay throw to home plate from a spot on the field where he wasn't supposed to be. Then they defeated the Mariners who had won 116 regular season games. The only team that stood in their way was the Diamondbacks.

The two teams put on a classic back and forth series, trading blow for blow all the way to Game 7. Derek Jeter hit a walk-off home run in Game 4 off reliever Byung-Hyun Kim. Kim would blow a save chance the following night by allowing a two-run home run to Scott Brocius in the ninth to tie a game that Arizona would eventually lose in extra innings. The Diamondbacks would overcome the Yankees late inning heroics thanks to the arms of their two starters, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, who shared the World Series MVP award. In Game 7, the D-Backs had their own late-inning moment off the greatest reliever of all time, Mariano Rivera. Luis Gonzalez was jammed by a cutter inside, but his pop up traveled just far enough passed the infield that was playing in with the bases loaded. The winning run would score to give Arizona their first and only World Series win to date.

1 2004

via boston.sportsthenandnow.com

World Series Champions: Boston Red Sox

Let's save the best for last and start with what happened on the NL side. The Cardinals and Astros battled it out in a seven game series that featured a historic performance from Carlos Beltran. He would hit a home run in each of the first four games of the series, and would reach a total of eight postseason home runs. The Astros would lose the series in seven games as Albert Pujols put on a memorable performance of his own, going 14-28 with four homers.

The Red Sox/ Yankees ALCS meeting in 2004 was a series 86 years in the making. You know how the story goes – the Red Sox hadn't won a World Series since 1918 all because they traded away some guy named Babe Ruth to the Yankees, which would catapult them into becoming the most successful franchise in baseball while simultaneously placing a curse on the Sox. It's also important to remember that the two rivals had a historic seven game ALCS the year before, which ended on an Aaron Boone walk-off home run in extra innings to send the Yankees to the World Series.

After Boston dropped the first three games in the series, including a 19-8 loss in game three, it seemed like all hope was lost. But David Ortiz' game winning hits, Curt Schilling's bloody sock, and Johnny Damon's game seven performance would help complete the greatest comeback in baseball history. They would go on to the World Series and dominate the Cardinals with a four game sweep where they never trailed in a game.

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