Journal of Arcane Baseball Research

Update: The Giants won, and that means they're the first team to come back from a two-nothing deficit at home to win a five-game series with three straight wins on the road. This was the second five-game series (the history goes back to 1969) in which a home team didn't win a single game (the first was Texas-Tampa Bay in 2010, when the Rangers clinched at the Rays' dome). 


"Arcane baseball research." Is there any other kind?

That fine point aside, the San Francisco Giants have a chance for a rare playoff achievement today: They could become the first team in baseball history to lose the first two games of a five-game playoff series at home, then go on to win the final three games on the road. In fact, the Giants are only the fourth team to force a fifth game after losing the first two games of a five-game series on their home field. Here's how that history breaks down:

Teams that forced a fifth game in five-game series after losing first two at home*:

2-3 configuration (two at home followed by three on the road; 1969-1998, 2012):

  • 2012 Giants (vs. Reds; series tied 2-2).
  • 1981 Brewers (vs. Yankees; Yankees won 3-2. at Milwaukee).

2-2-1 configuration (two at home-two on road-one at home; 1999-2011):

  • 2001 Yankees (vs. A's; Yankees won 3-2; fifth game at home).
  • 2010 Rays (vs. Rangers; Rangers won 3-2; fifth game on the road).

Other teams that lost first two at home in five-game series (and result), any configuration:

  • 2010 Twins (vs. Yankees; Yankees won 3-0).
  • 2008 Angels (vs. Red Sox; Red Sox won 3-1).
  • 2008 Cubs (vs. Dodgers; Dodgers won 3-0).
  • 2007 Phillies (vs. Rockiers; Rockies won 3-0).
  • 2006 Twins (vs. A's; A;s won 3-0).
  • 2006 Padres (vs. Cardinals; Cardinals won 3-1).
  • 2004 Angels (vs. Red Sox; Red Sox won 3-0).
  • 2002 Diamondbacks (vs. Cardinals; Cardinals won 3-0).
  • 2001 Astros (vs. Braves; Braves won 3-0).
  • 2000 White Sox (vs. Mariners; Mariners won 3-0).
  • 1997 Mariners (vs. Orioles; Orioles won 3-1).
  • 1996 Dodgers (vs. Braves; Braves won 3-0).
  • 1995 Rockies (vs. Braves; Braves won 3-1).
  • 1984 Royals (vs. Tigers; Tigers won 3-0).
  • 1981 Royals (vs. A's; A's won 3-0).
  • 1979 Reds (vs. Pirates; Pirates won 3-0).
  • 1979 Phillies (vs. Dodgers; Dodgers won 3-1).
  • 1976 Phillies (vs. Reds; Reds won 3-0).
  • 1974 Pirates (vs. Dodgers; Dodgers won 3-0).
  • 1970 Twins (vs. Orioles; Orioles won 3-0).
  • 1970 Pirates (vs. Reds; Reds won 3-0).
  • 1969 Braves (vs. Mets; Mets won 3-0).

*100 5-game series since 1969; approximately 52 with 2-3 configuration. Twenty-five teams have started a five-game series with two games at home and lost both those games. Prior to this year, one won the series 3-2; two lost the series 3-2; five have lost 3-1; 17 have lost 3-0.

Streetside Escape


Spotted yesterday on Mariposa Street, just up from Harrison: a van mural depicting, among other things, the famous 1962 escape (or possible escape) from Alcatraz. I love the three happy-looking stick men in the raft and the figure of the guard in the background. Also the legend, “Stay Free Yo.” It looks like local taggers have been adding their bit to the art. Also visible here: allusions to the Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary earlier this year and occasional forays into the bay by passing whales.