Well, 21 times a team in such a position, including the 1985 Royals, has come back to win it all. Of those 21 teams, 12, again including the ’85 Royals, had home field advantage. In other words, they won the last two games at home (and KC also won the last game in St. Louis – they actually were down 3-1).
And in other words, it ain’t over till it’s over.
One more note: We know the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals have the most World Series titles – the Yanks far ahead – so naturally they are both well represented below with 12 of the 21 comebacks involving either or both teams.
But here is one area where the Cardinals excel over the Yankees. The Cards have come back from down three games to two an amazing five times (to the Yankees two).
In other words, five of the Cardinals 12 championships (41.6 percent) were born of this scenario. That’s one turnaround away from half. Wow.Follow @VinGetz
|1.||1903||Boston Americans*||Pittsburgh Pirates||5-3|
|2.||1921||New York Giants*||New York Yankees||5-3|
|3.||1924||Washington Senators*||New York Giants||4-3|
|4.||1925||Pittsburgh Pirates*||Washington Senators||4-3|
|5.||1926||St. Louis Cardinals||New York Yankees*||4-3|
|6.||1934||St. Louis Cardinals||Detroit Tigers*||4-3|
|7.||1940||Cincinnati Reds*||Detroit Tigers||4-3|
|8.||1946||St. Louis Cardinals*||Boston Red Sox||4-3|
|9.||1952||New York Yankees||Brooklyn Dodgers*||4-3|
|10.||1958||New York Yankees||Milwaukee Braves*||4-3|
|11.||1968||Detroit Tigers||St. Louis Cardinals*||4-3|
|12.||1973||Oakland A’s*||New York Mets||4-3|
|13.||1979||Pittsburgh Pirates||Baltimore Orioles*||4-3|
|14.||1982||St. Louis Cardinals*||Milwaukee Brewers||4-3|
|15.||1985||Kansas City Royals*||St. Louis Cardinals||4-3|
|16.||1986||New York Mets*||Boston Red Sox||4-3|
|17.||1987||Minnesota Twins*||St. Louis Cardinals||4-3|
|18.||1991||Minnesota Twins*||Atlanta Braves||4-3|
|19.||2001||Arizona Diamondbacks*||New York Yankees||4-3|
|20.||2002||Anaheim Angels*||San Francisco Giants||4-3|
|21.||2011||St. Louis Cardinals*||Texas Rangers||4-3|
* Home field advantage
Out of 109 completed World Series, about half – 53 – started out with one team going up two games to none over the other.
Of those, only 11 times has the team down 2-0 come back to win the championship. And of those, four – that is only four times (!) – has the team with home field advantage come back to win it all.
Let’s check the percentages on all this. Down 2-0? Then, actually not too bad considering the circumstances – you’ve got a 21 percent chance of winning the World Series.
However, if you lose those first two games at home, things dwindle to a 5.7 percent chance (three of 53). I’m not including 1921, because back then teams alternated playing at home with the home field advantage team getting Game 7.
The upshot is, if the Kansas City Royals (who gained home field advantage thanks to the American League winning the All-Star Game) lose again tonight, things won’t be looking good at all for a title. Then again, they didn’t look good in 1985, either. The Royals happened to be one of those home teams.Follow @VinGetz
|1.||1921||New York Giants*||New York Yankees||5-3|
|2.||1955||Brooklyn Dodgers||New York Yankees||4-3|
|3.||1956||New York Yankees||Brooklyn Dodgers||4-3|
|4.||1958||New York Yankees||Milwaukee Braves||4-3|
|5.||1965||Los Angeles Dodgers||Minnesota Twins||4-3|
|6.||1971||Pittsburgh Pirates||Baltimore Orioles||4-3|
|7.||1978||New York Yankees||Los Angeles Dodgers||4-2|
|8.||1981||Los Angeles Dodgers||New York Yankees||4-2|
|9.||1985||Kansas City Royals*||St. Louis Cardinals||4-3|
|10.||1986||New York Mets*||Boston Red Sox||4-3|
|11.||1996||New York Yankees*||Atlanta Braves||4-2|
* home field advantage
It seems more often than not, World Series games (if not the Series themselves) are close.
Out of all those meetings (631 of them through 2013), only 17 (2.69 percent) were blowouts of 10 runs or more. In the last 30 years, we have seen only seven such games.
There hasn’t been a beating of this kind of magnitude in a good six seasons. The Boston Red Sox were the last team to hand one out, whupping the Colorado Rockies 13-1 to open the 2007 Fall Classic sweep.
Check out what happened in 1960 – it has to be one of the greatest World Series of all time. The Yankees beat the Pittsburgh Pirates by 13 in Game 2, by 10 in Game 3 and by 12 in Game 6. But the Pirates won the Series in Game 7, thanks to Bill Mazeroski‘s walk-off home run.
UPDATED LIST: Through 2014 Game 6, where the Kansas City Royals defeated the San Francisco Giants 10-0 to force a Game 7.Follow @VinGetz
|1.||1936||New York Yankees||18||New York Giants||4||Game 2||14|
|2.||1960||New York Yankees||16||Pittsburgh Pirates||3||Game 2||13|
|2.||2001||Arizona Diamondbacks||15||New York Yankees||2||Game 6||13|
|4.||1951||New York Yankees||13||New York Giants||1||Game 5||12|
|4.||1960||New York Yankees||12||Pittsburgh Pirates||0||Game 6||12|
|4.||1968||Detroit Tigers||13||St. Louis Cardinals||1||Game 6||12|
|4.||1982||St. Louis Cardinals||13||Milwaukee Brewers||1||Game 6||12|
|4.||2002||San Francisco Giants||16||Anaheim Angels||4||Game 5||12|
|4.||2007||Boston Red Sox||13||Colorado Rockies||1||Game 1||12|
|10.||1911||Philadelphia Athletics||13||New York Giants||2||Game 6||11|
|10.||1934||St. Louis Cardinals||11||Detroit Tigers||0||Game 7||11|
|10.||1959||Chicago White Sox||11||Los Angeles Dodgers||0||Game 1||11|
|10.||1985||Kansas City Royals||11||St. Louis Cardinals||0||Game 7||11|
|10.||1996||Atlanta Braves||12||New York Yankees||1||Game 1||11|
|15.||1960||New York Yankees||10||Pittsburgh Pirates||0||Game 3||10|
|15.||1978||New York Yankees||12||Los Angeles Dodgers||2||Game 5||10|
|15.||1982||Milwaukee Brewers||10||St. Louis Cardinals||0||Game 1||10|
|15.||2014||Kansas City Royals||10||San Francisco Giants||0||Game 6||10|