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An Amazing Red Sox Comeback:

Over the last few years, we have become used to impressive Red Sox postseason comebacks. But tonight's comeback from 7-0 down in the 7th inning against Tampa Bay was their best single-game comeback yet. Indeed, it was the second-biggest postseason comeback of all time (the Philadelphia Athletics came back from 8-0 down against the Cubs in the 1929 World Series).

Even if the Red Sox end up winning the series, it will not be as incredible a series comeback as their unprecedented overcoming of a 3-0 series deficit in the 2004 ALCS against the hated Yankees. A comeback from 3-1 down is not as impressive as one from 3-0, and the Rays are not the Yankees. But no single game comeback in that series or any other in the last 80 years was as amazing as this one.

Will the Red Sox be able to use their momentum to win two games and the AL pennant in Tampa Bay this weekend? Difficult to say. The two teams are fairly evenly matched right now, and there is a large amount of random chance variation influencing game outcomes in baseball. Much will depend on whether Game 6 starter Josh Beckett has recovered somewhat from the injury that has dogged him the last few weeks. Still, it was an amazing game, and will probably be an exciting weekend!

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. An Amazing Red Sox Comeback:
  2. In Praise of the Rays:
Lev Gerlovin:
Ilya--I went here looking for your post on the comeback and was not disappointed. Obviously, as a Sox fan I am ecstatic with the outcome. But, objectively, aren't games like this why many of us are fans of sports, in addition to fans of teams? I know what rivets me is watching for that infinitesimal chance of the "greatest comeback" or some other improbable, unprecedented event. Heck, if I was up in the middle of the night and noticed that the Swedish curling team (no disrespect) was going for some all-time never-been-done-before feat, I'd watch it as well. Anyways, great job by the Red Sox! (Although Tampa Bay is really good, and would be a worthy AL representative to the World Series).
10.17.2008 2:56am
CrazyTrain (mail):
A comeback from 3-1 down is not as impressive as one from 3-0

No, it's not. But I would note that the Red Sox came back from 3-1 in last year's ALCS -- I wonder if any team has done that twice in a row.
10.17.2008 3:06am
Ilya Somin:
I would note that the Red Sox came back from 3-1 in last year's ALCS -- I wonder if any team has done that twice in a row.

No. This year will be the first time, if the Sox win games 6 and 7.
10.17.2008 3:14am
John Martin:
Too bad the game wasn't on real tv.
10.17.2008 3:17am
Syd Henderson (mail):

A comeback from 3-1 down is not as impressive as one from 3-0

No, it's not. But I would note that the Red Sox came back from 3-1 in last year's ALCS -- I wonder if any team has done that twice in a row.



Ah, but in 1985 Kansas City was down 2-0 and 3-1 to Toronto, but came back to win the ALCS. Which was amazing.

Then they did the same thing to the Cardinals in the World Series. This time spotting the first two games at home.
10.17.2008 4:39am
one of many:
That'll teach me, I stopped watching at 7-0, figured it was a nice year for the Sox, but it was over. You'd think I'd know better after these years, the Sox almost always go the full series before winning or losing.
10.17.2008 4:47am
Visitor Again:
the Sox almost always go the full series before winning or losing.


There's something about those Boston teams. I'm not a fan of any of them with the exception of the Celtics. I spent three years there while at law school from 1965 to 1968 (and saw Bobby Orr's first career NHL goal against my Montreal Canadiens, watched some great Celtic teams and listened from across the river to the cheers of the Fenway Park crowd during the 1967 World Series). But I grant that they seem to have an extra amount of that intangible fighting spirit. In the old days, I never, ever counted out the Celtics in a championship game.

Wednesday night the Bruins were visiting Montreal in the home opener of the Canadiens' centennial season and were down 3-0 at the end of the first period. Naturally they equalized in regulation play, held the Canadiens scoreless in overtime and eventually lost only in the penalty shootout.
10.17.2008 6:03am
finman:
I'm sick of Boston teams and their fans. Hopefully they'll begin another 85 year World Series drought sometime soon.
10.17.2008 10:24am
Handsome Dan:
finman:

Agreed. Boston fans are some of the most annoying in sports.
10.17.2008 10:53am
LM (mail):
Impressive indeed.

Of course when I hear "comeback" I think 1978, the year the Yankees came from 14 games back, punctuated by the Boston Massacre, to force a one game playoff at Fenway, forever recalled to Sox fans by the words, "Bucky f-ing Dent." (audio)

But that's just me.
10.17.2008 11:04am
Franklin Drackman:
Wheres Bill Buckner when we really need him?
10.17.2008 11:29am
Steve:
I rather doubt that Boston's chances of coming back from a 3-0 series deficit were less than their chances of coming back from a 3-1 deficit and a 7-0 deficit in the 7th inning of Game 5.

If you're down 3-0 in the series, your mathematical chances of recovering to the point where you're only down 3-2 in the series are 25%. But if you're down 3-1 in the series and 7-0 in the 7th inning of Game 5, obviously your chances of winning the game and getting to 3-2 are far less than 25%. You pretty much need a miracle. So it would be far more impressive for Boston to come back and win this series than it was to come back from 3-0 down.

On the other hand, I seem to recall that Boston needed a late-inning rally in Game 4 against the Yankees just to stay in the series. So maybe that's the point we ought to measure from to be entirely fair.
10.17.2008 11:55am
ys:

Handsome Dan:
finman:
Agreed. Boston fans are some of the most annoying in sports.

Glad to be of service to provide a hate target for the nice VC commenters for as long as possible :-)
10.17.2008 12:13pm
MarkAH:
Any real sports fan, including Yankee fans, must admit that this was an amazing game and an amazing comeback. Put aside sports partisanship and look at the facts: this was amazing, and worthy of respect.
10.17.2008 12:19pm
Blue:
Syd, if the Royals were located in a major city the 1985 series would be justly considered by most people as one of the top 5 or 10 in Major League history.
10.17.2008 12:24pm
Nunzio:
The Mets comeback in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series is still the greatest comeback in baseball history.

Two outs, no one on base Mets down 5 to 3. Mets win 6 to 5. (Buckner's error allowed the winning run. The passed ball before that allowed the tying run).
10.17.2008 1:00pm
GMUSL '07 Alum (mail):
We get it. You love the Sux. Such a terrible decision should be expected of those who were (mis)educated at AmHerst.

But since we're otherwise inclined to agree, could you please stop bringing up your two least admirable inclinations/positions of support? There's a reason I don't read 39bitches or playingwithsamshorn.
10.17.2008 1:51pm
Ilya Somin:
We get it. You love the Sux. Such a terrible decision should be expected of those who were (mis)educated at AmHerst.

But since we're otherwise inclined to agree, could you please stop bringing up your two least admirable inclinations/positions of support? There's a reason I don't read 39bitches or playingwithsamshorn.


Gee, how could I refuse such a politely phrased request? On balance, however, I think I'll pass.
10.17.2008 2:48pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
I'm a multi-generational Red Sox fan. I'm polite, particularly when in public. (At home, in my PJs in front of the TV, maybe not so much.)

I don't think I deserve the opprobrium being heaped on my head by commenters above.
10.17.2008 5:59pm
David Warner:
Nunzio,

"Two outs, no one on base Mets down 5 to 3. Mets win 6 to 5. (Buckner's error allowed the winning run. The passed ball before that allowed the tying run)."

Talk about a buzz kill. Nice dagger twist with the parenthetical.
10.18.2008 2:06am