The Fall Classic Facts: Make history or be history
CHICAGO – For the first time in the 2016 playoffs, the Cubs enter a game not knowing if they will be able to play another game after tonight.
It’s a rare place for the Cubs who are facing elimination from the playoffs for the first time the latest since they had a chance to be eliminated in Game 6 of the 1945 World Series.
But if the Cubs want to play another day they’ll have to make history or become it on Sunday night in Game 5 at Wrigley Field.
In their playoff history the Cubs have never rallied to win a series when down 3-1. In the National League Playoffs it has only happened once – 1989. They trailed the Giants 3-1 after losses in Games 3 and 4 of the League Championship Series in San Francisco then proceeded to lose Game 5 3-2 as their season came to an end.
The Cubs have also never won a World Series when trailing 3-1 – losing the four times it happened.
1910 – Down 3-1 to A’s – Lost Game 5 7-2 in Chicago at West Side Grounds
1918 – Down 3-1 to Red Sox – Won Game 5 3-0 at Fenway Park – Lost in Game 6
1929 – Down 3-1 to A’s – Lost Game 5 at Shibe Park 3-2
1935 – Down 3-1 to Tigers – Won Game 5 at Wrigley 3-1 – Lost Game 6 in Detroit
IT HAS BEEN DONE BEFORE
While Cubs history has never seen a rally from 3-1 down in the World Series to bring a championship, a few others in history have managed to pull it off.
But it’s been a while.
The last team to do it was the Kansas City Royals in 1985 who won Game 5 in St. Louis then the final two at home to win their first World Series championship.
A more relevant scenario for this year’s Cubs team took place in the 1968 and 1979 World Series. In the first year the Tigers fell behind 3-1 but won Game 5 at home to force a trip back to St. Louis. When they got there they turned it up a notch, winning Game 6 13-1 and then Game 7 4-1 for their first World Series win since beating the Cubs in 1945.
Eleven years later, the Pirates fell behind to the Orioles 3-1 but rallied at home in Game 5 for a 7-1 win to keep the series alive. Pittsburgh then went on the road and knocked off the Orioles in Baltimore in Game 6 and 7, outscoring them 8-1 in a pair of victories.
The 1958 Yankees and the 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates were the other teams to win the World Series after trailing 3-1.
THREE-STRAIGHT WINS? NO SWEAT
If you want to not look to the past for reasons for the Cubs to believe there is hope, than just look at this season.
Seventeen different times the Cubs won at least three-or-more games in a row, the amount needed over the next four days to win the World Series.
That does include a three-game winning streak in this postseason. After a Game 3 loss to the Dodgers, the Cubs won the next two in Los Angeles and then another in Chicago to win their first National League pennant in 71 years.