Biggest National League Pennant upsets

There was the World Series upsets, the American League pennant upsets, now the big upsets for the National League title.

While these are not the biggest ever, or ones that defied the largest odds, this covers some of the most memorable in baseball’s illustrious history.

These are some of the biggest upsets that happened in the National League.

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New York Mets defeat Cincinnati Reds (1973)

The Mets won the National League East with a 82-79 record.  Meanwhile, the Reds trounced opponents to a 99-63 in 1973 as this was a part of the feared Big Red Machine.  While Cincy failed to win a title in the 70s to that point, this team went to the fall classic in 1970 and ’72.

In this matchup, people assumed Pete Rose and the Reds clobber the Mets, and advance to another World Series.

The teams split games 2-2 before the decisive game five.  This was the game where Rose’s infamous slide took out Mets’ shortstop Bud Harrelson, and that caused a huge brawl.

But New York got the last laugh as it crushed Cincinnati 7-2 that clinched the NLCS in a huge upset against one of the most fabled teams in baseball history.

Florida Marlins defeat Atlanta Braves (1997)

The Atlanta Braves owned perhaps the best rotation in the 90s with John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. Arguably the National League team of the 90s, Atlanta played in four World Series heading into 1997.

With 101 wins, the Braves headed into the NLCS taking on the 92-win Marlins. This was the first winning season in a small team history for Florida, meanwhile Atlanta looked to rebound from a World Series loss in 1996.

In a pivotal game five of the series, rookie Livan Hernandez pitched a gem as he struck out 15 hitters that won the game for Florida. Kevin Brown, the original starter for that game had a stomach virus, but later pitched in game six. Despite being sick earlier, Brown pitched a complete-game shutout that lifted the Marlins into the World Series.

St. Louis Cardinals defeat New York Mets (2006)

In 2006, the New York Mets ran away with the NL East division on a 97-65 record. The pitching staff consisted of Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez and Billy Wagner. The lineup featured Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes and David Wright.

Poised for a deep push in the postseason, New York faced St. Louis in the 2006 NLCS.

While the Cardinals clinched the NL Central division, the record of 83-79 paled in comparison to the Mets.

St. Louis pushed New York to a game seven in Queens. This game became a postseason classic as both teams played well in a 1-1 contest. In the top of the ninth inning, a young Yadier Molina stepped the plate with one on and one out. He blasted the third pitch of the at-bat for a dramatic two-run homer that gave the Cardinals a 3-1.

Adam Wainwirght came in the bottom of the ninth to save the game, and send the Cardinals to the World Series.