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.

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