Post-season Gameday Thread #22: Can the Cards come back?

Elsa

Last night's was a blowout, propelled equally by awful fundamentals by the Cardinals, and the impotent nature of their offense. What happened in previous World Series that opened in such a one-sided fashion?

det_medium

Michael Wacha, RHP
2013 Reg: 4-1, 2.78
2013 Post: 3-0, 0.43
bos_medium

John Lackey, RHP
2013 Reg: 10-13, 3.52
2013 Post: 2-0, 3.00

5:07pm Arizona time, Fox. Red Sox lead 1-0.
It was the sixth time in World Series history that the opening game was decided by a margin of seven runs or higher. What happened in the rest of those series?

The team which won the opening blowout went on to take four of the five World Series. Though overall, they didn't dominate the rest of the games as much as you might expect, going 13-10 of the 23 games played the rest of the way. Two of the series ended in sweeps, but two went to a win-or-die contest; the fifth saw the Yankees lose the first two games against the Braves, before coming back. Even more impressively, the first two defeats were in New York, before they swept the three contests in Atlanta, and clinched back at Yankee Stadium. That does show it's possible for St. Louis to come back - but it won't be easy.

It's likely the mere defeat which is problematic, not necessarily the size of it. Most teams who lose Game One end up losing the World Series. Since those Yankees prevailed after being blown out in the opener, the only who won after dropping the first decision were the 2009 Phillies and 2002 Angels. That's two in 16 seasons, significantly less than you'd expect by chance (in an even series, if you're 1-0 down in a best of seven set, you've got about a one in three chance - 22 in 64 to be precise - of taking the four of six necessary to come back from 1-0). It seems the psychological impact of that first defeat is significant.

We'll see if Wacha, the MVP of the NL Championship Series, can continue his strong run of playoff performances and square the series. Considering he didn't even make his major-league debut until May of this year, his success has been startling, but the Cardinals will need to step up the other aspects of their game, notably deficient last night, if they're to have any chance of preventing the Red Sox from going two up. And that would be a mountain which could be approaching the insurmountable.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join AZ Snake Pit

You must be a member of AZ Snake Pit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at AZ Snake Pit. You should read them.

Join AZ Snake Pit

You must be a member of AZ Snake Pit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at AZ Snake Pit. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker