29 October 2010

2-0 series lead? No turning back.

Yesterday was Game 2 of the 2010 World Series in Major League Baseball. At SF's AT&T Park, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Texas Rangers 8-0. With a 9-0 lead in the bottom of the 8th inning with 2 outs and Darren O'Day pitching, San Francisco loaded the bases and eventually got 4 consecutive walks and three base hits to add six surprising runs. The Associated Press reports: "Forty of the previous 51 teams to take a 2-0 lead have gone on to win the title, including seven straight and 13 of the past 14." and "No team has overcome a 2-0 Series deficit since the 1996 New York Yankees against Atlanta. The Giants have won each time they have taken a 2-0 lead: in 1922, 1933 and 1954."

If history is any indicator, all is in favor of the Giants now. Current Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee started Game 1 last season for the Philadelphia Phillies and helped Philadelphia win over the New York Yankees, but eventually the Yankees ended up taking the Series 4 games to 2. So if the Rangers lose the Series, managers should avoid having Cliff Lee start Game 1 of the World Series. The last baseball team to win the World Series after a 2-0 lead is the Boston Red Sox, who swept Colorado Rockies in 4 games in 2007. Same happened also with the Chicago White Sox in 2005 and the Red Sox in 2004; both years had the winning teams sweep the opponents. In 2001, the Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series over the Yankees 4 games to 3 following a 2-0 edge in the beginning.

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