Monday, October 22, 2012

Looking at 3-1 Comebacks

The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants have crawled out of their own graves several times of late, but one will be going home for good after tonight's winner-take-all Game Seven.

The Giants have fought back from 3-1 down to become the 17th team in MLB postseason history to force a seventh game. 11 of the previous 16 finished the job and completed the comeback.

UPDATE: The Giants won Game Seven en route to a World Series sweep and second title in three years. Teams that went from down 3-1 to 3-3 are 12-5 in Game Seven.

Down 3-1, came all the way back  
1925 Pittsburgh Pirates (WS)
1958 New York Yankees (WS)
1968 Detroit Tigers (WS)
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates (WS)
1985 Kansas City Royals (ALCS)
1985 Kansas City Royals (WS)
1986 Boston Red Sox (ALCS)
1996 Atlanta Braves (NLCS)
2003 Florida Marlins (NLCS)
2004 Boston Red Sox (ALCS)
2007 Boston Red Sox (ALCS)
UPDATE: 2012 San Francisco Giants (NLCS)

Down 3-1, forced seventh game, came up short

1912 New York Giants (WS)
1967 Boston Red Sox (WS)
1972 Cincinnati Reds (WS)
1992 Pittsburgh Pirates (NLCS)
2008 Boston Red Sox (ALCS)

Of the 12 teams to come back, six of them did it by winning the final two games on the road.

Of the 17 teams to force a Game Seven, eight of them have done it as the Giants have, winning the fifth game on the road before coming home and winning the sixth. Those teams that snatched the momentum are 6-2 in Game Seven.

According to, this NLCS marks the fourth time that the team hosting Game Seven had gone L-W-L-L-W-W. The 1925 Pirates and 1986 Red Sox completed their comebacks and won the series over the Washington Senators and California Angels, respectively.

The Cards will look to the example set by their 1967 predecessors. St. Louis nearly blew a 3-1 World Series lead to the Red Sox, but Bob Gibson turned in a ten-strikeout complete game (and swatted a home run) for a 7-2 win at Fenway.

Still, squandering a 3-1 lead is a familiar feeling for the Redbirds, as they now account for four of the 12 times it's happened (1968 WS, 1985 WS, 1996 NLCS, 2012 NLCS).

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