High Hopes

Kyle - October 21, 2010

Utley_hope
   
(Source: World Anthems)

The Giants appear to have all of the momentum now with a dramatic walk-off win and a 3-1 series lead. They are poised to close out the series tonight. Then again, when asked about momentum in baseball, legendary manager Earl Weaver dismissively said, "Momentum? Momentum is the name of the next day's starting pitcher." (Weaver also said lots of other colorful things, like this).

But according to Jayson Stark, before 2010 there were 72 occasions where a team trailed 3 games to 1 in a 7-game series. And only 11 came back to win the series. However, two recent comebacks give me some optimism because the circumstances were similar: the Braves in the 1996 NLCS and the Red Sox in the 2007 ALCS. When looking for some glimmer of hope after the disappointing loss, I immediately thought of those series. Both teams were playoff-tested and in both situations the underdogs took a surprising 3-1 lead in the series with a chance to close it out at home in Game 5, facing the other team's ace pitcher.

The 1996 Braves trailed the Cardinals 3-1, but had their three aces on full rest set to pitch the final three games – John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine. Granted, the Cardinals pitching staff in 1996 was nowhere near as good as the Giants staff is today (I think Todd Stottlemyre was their #1). But the Braves won Game 5 on the road behind a shutout by Smoltz, and then won 2 straight at home behind Maddux and Glavine, allowing a total of 1 run over the final 27 innings of the series.

The 2007 Red Sox were even more similar. They trailed the Indians 3-1, but had their 3 aces going on full rest the final three games – Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling, and Dice K. Beckett out-dueled CC Sabathia in Game 5 on the road. And then the Red Sox never lost again that postseason. They went back to Boston and won Games 6 and 7 handily, and then swept the upstart Rockies in the World Series.

The patient is in critical but stabile condition and the doctor will begin the revival process at 7:57pm. You traded for an ace like Roy Halladay to win games like tonight. If they can send the series back to Philly, they have a decent chance to pull this off.

The odds are long, but there is still hope.


 

19 Comments

  • Adam October 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    You just gotta BELIEVE! Refuse to lose! Not saying that our situation is the greatest, cause it sucks monster cock…. but if i had to pick one team that i would Want if i HAD to be in this position, it would be the Fightin PHILS!

    Reply
  • andrew October 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve got high hopes.

    Reply
  • skippy October 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    again i’d like to send a special shout out to all you idiots rooting for the giants to beat the braves last round because “beating the braves will be too easy” and because “phillies vs giants will be sooooooo much fun” and “halladay vs lincecum will be soooooooo great”…..
    yeah this is really fucking great you morons. we probably would have swept the braves tonight instead we’re down 3-1 to the giants. hope you guys are happy.

    Reply
  • John E. October 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    @Skippy. I don’t recall seeing anyone posting about wanting the Giants because Braves would be too easy. But I’ll take your word for it. I wanted the Braves. Or at least I wanted that series to go 5 games so Lincecum wouldn’t be able to pitch until Game 3.
    I took some heat for picking the series to go at least 6 games. This isn’t the kind of vindication I was looking for. I thought the “Phils in 5” people were way too dismissive of the Giants.

    Reply
  • Tyson October 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    This is where I make my bold prediction. If Big Roy can bring us back to Philly tonight, we will win the series.
    Little Roy is undefeated at home. Cole Hamels will pitch his ass of for game 7.

    Reply
  • John E. October 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    @Tyson…yeah I can Sanchez being a little rattled again here for Game 6. And if they get Cain here in Game 7, they’ll score off of him. They used to hit Cain well. He made adjustments. Now this time around Phils will make adjustments. First things first…gotta find a way to win tonight. All hands on deck.

    Reply
  • Iron Balls McGinty October 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    That recording of Weaver. They did that as a prank and never did air until years later (and heavily edited). Before the dawn of the digital age, the raw version went viral the old fashioned way—Buddies would copy tapes from other buddies. With the Internet and SiriusXM the clip is of course now much more ubiquitous.
    http://www.wnep.com/news/bal-sp.maese23may23,0,5389733.column

    Reply
  • Iron Balls McGinty October 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    PS: I got high hopes but I ain’t past finding a higher bridge to jump off of!

    Reply
  • skippy October 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    my point is all you people who rooted for the giants to beat the braves are getting what you wished for.
    congrats.

    Reply
  • Chuck C. October 21, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I hoped for the Giants because I wanted the better team. The Giants are clearly the better team and if our offense wasn’t DOA right now we would be leading this series easily. I didn’t want a breeze to the World Series, what kind of fun is that? If they win these next three games and crush the Giants like the Flyers crushed Boston it will be a hundred times better than a sweep of the Braves. So yes, I got what I wanted and the Phils blew it with horrible offense. If they turn it around tonight, we def win the next two at home. So stop crying, its a game and its not over yet.

    Reply
  • bigmyc October 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Skippy, please shut yer f’n keyboard.
    Beat it. If the Phillies were indeed the “Greatest Phillie Team of All Time,” it wouldn’t matter who they played.
    What makes you think they wouldn’t have played this crappy vs. the Braves? Now, that would’ve been painful.
    Let it go. You get no award points for being a loud, bleating jackass.

    Reply
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