The Dodgers found themselves on the wrong side of Sunday's classic back-and-forth Game 5 of the World Series, which saw the Astros come back three times on three game-tying home runs then walk off with a 13-12 win.Now for the Dodgers to capture their first World Series crown since 1988,
The Dodgers found themselves on the wrong side of Sunday's classic back-and-forth Game 5 of the World Series, which saw the Astros come back three times on three game-tying home runs then walk off with a 13-12 win.
Now for the Dodgers to capture their first World Series crown since 1988, Los Angeles will have to fight back from a 3-2 deficit by winning the next two games. That'll be tough, but it's certainly doable. After all, the Astros just came back from 3-2 down in the American League Championship Series by winning Games 6 and 7 at home, and in last year's World Series, the Cubs won Games 6 and 7 on the road. This Series heads back to L.A. for Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7.
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Going bigger picture: Since 1985, when the LCS switched to a best-of-seven format, teams with a 3-2 advantage in any best-of-seven series have gone on to win 37 of 56 times (66.1 percent). However, they are a modest 14-14 when going on the road for Games 6 and 7, compared with 23-5 when going back home.
Since 1985, teams down 3-2 in any best-of-seven series have come back to win 19 of 56 times (33.9 percent). In that span, teams going home down 3-2 win series half the time, 14 of 28. Interestingly enough, when they win Game 6, they're 14-2 in Game 7. That suggests that it behooves Houston to end this on Tuesday.
In the World Series specifically, 20 teams have come back from 3-2 deficits to win. Of those teams, 14 did so by winning Game 6 and Game 7 at home.
Here's a look back at the most recent 3-2 comebacks the Dodgers can look to as a blueprint heading into Game 6.
Pirates over Orioles, 1979 World Series
Prior to the Cubs winning Games 6 and 7 in Cleveland last year, this was the last time a team came back to win the final two games on the road in the World Series. The Pirates did it by beating Jim Palmer in Game 6, then future 20-game winner Scott McGregor in Game 7, both in Baltimore. Willie Stargell hit the decisive two-run home run in Game 7.
Cardinals over Brewers, 1982
St. Louis pounded Don Sutton and ran away with a 13-1 victory in Game 6, then overcame a 3-1 deficit late in Game 7. Bruce Sutter's two-inning save locked up the deciding game.
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Royals over Cardinals, 1985
The Royals were actually down, 3-1, in the I-70 Series before winning Game 5 to send it back to Kansas City. There, they won Game 6 after first-base umpire Don Denkinger's eighth-inning missed call sparked one of the most famous and controversial rallies in World Series history. The next night, Kansas City scored 11 runs behind a two-hit shutout by Bret Saberhagen, and the Royals had their first title.
Mets over Red Sox, 1986
Talk about a memorable Game 6. This Series may have featured the most famous one of all time. Bill Buckner. Mookie Wilson. Because of all that drama, few remember the Mets also fought back from a three-run deficit to win Game 7.
Twins over Cardinals, 1987
Down, 5-2, and five innings from elimination, the Twins fought back to score eight runs in two innings and eventually took Game 6, 11-5. World Series MVP Frank Viola then outdueled Joe Magrane in Game 7 to send Minnesota to its first World Series title.
Twins over Braves, 1991
Four years later, the Twins found themselves in a similar situation: down 3-2 with the World Series headed back to Minnesota. What followed were two thrilling, classic extra-inning games, both of which ended with the Twins on top. Jack Morris' 10-inning shutout in Game 7 is still considered one of the greatest postseason performances of all-time.
D-backs over Yankees, 2001
The Yankees sent this epic series back to Arizona with consecutive late-inning comebacks against D-backs closer Byung-Hyun Kim. But that only set the stage for Arizona to come back and win the next two games behind series co-MVP's Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. Johnson and Schilling combined to throw 15 2/3 of the Series' last 18 innings, and the D-backs walked off against Mariano Rivera to end Game 7.
Angels over Giants, 2002
The Giants crushed the Angels behind two Jeff Kent homers in Game 5, but the Halos fought back to notch a come-from-behind win in Game 6. They took Game 7 behind a 23-year-old rookie starter named John Lackey.
Cardinals over Rangers, 2011
The Rangers were in control of what turned into one of the wackiest World Series of all-time, at least after five games. But back in St. Louis, the Series descended into madness. David Freese tripled. Then David Freese homered, and the Cardinals somehow won Game 6. Chris Carpenter won Game 7 to make sure the Cards' crazy comeback a night before didn't go for naught.
Cubs over Indians, 2016
The Dodgers have the luxury of having an example as recent as last year for some World Series comeback inspiration. Remember, the Cubs initially fell behind, 3-1, to the Indians after losing two of three at Wrigley Field. Albertin Chapman's eight-out save in Game 5 kept their season alive before Chicago went on the road for Game 6. The Cubs won that in Cleveland behind Jacob Arrieta and squeezed out the 10-inning classic that was Game 7, remembered as one of the most thrilling World Series games ever played.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.