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Can the Angels make history?

Oct 24, 2009, 4:56 PM EDT

The media has been quick to hand the
Yankees their 40th pennant. Mets fans are already picking which side of
hell they will be rooting for in the World Series. But a dramatic
comeback win on Thursday night was enough to remind you that these
Angels still have some fight left in them. As Game 6 looms, let’s take
a quick look and see if history is on their side.

Since the introduction of seven-game LCS play
in 1985, 30 teams have taken a 3-1 lead. This includes the 2009
Phillies, who defeated the Dodgers in five games to advance to the
World Series, and the 2009 Yankees, who will attempt to close out the
ALCS as Andy Pettitte opposes Joe Saunders in Game 6.

Excluding the Yankees, 23 of the other 29 teams have advanced to the World Series. So, who beat the odds?

1985 Royals: 
The first year of the best-of-seven format, the Royals caught fire
after a shutout by Danny Jackson in Game 5 to surge past the Blue Jays.
Though it wasn’t without controversy, the Royals went on to defeat the
Cardinals in seven games for their only World Series championship.

1986 Red Sox:
The season was rightly marred by the end result, but their comeback
against the Angels was remarkable in its own right. The late Donnie
Moore famously blew a save in Game 5 and the Angels never recovered.
Neither did Moore.

1996 Braves:
Behind lights-out pitching from John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg
Maddux, the Braves outscored the Cardinals 32-1 over the final three
games of the series on their way to becoming the first National League
team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in LCS play.

2003 Marlins:
This series is best — and unfairly — remembered for the Steve Bartman
incident in Game 6, but the Cubs actually had three chances to advance
to the World Series. Kerry Wood came up small in Game 7, allowing seven
runs over 3 2/3 innings as the upstart Marlins dashed Chicago’s hopes
at their first World Series since 1908. The Marlins went on to upset
the heavily-favored Yankees in the World Series.

2004 Red Sox:
The comeback by which all comebacks have become measured. Capped by
Curt Schilling’s “bloody sock” in Game 6 and Johnny Damon’s two homers
in Game 7, the Red Sox became the first ever team to win a series after
being down three games to none. The Red Sox swept the Cardinals in the
World Series for their first championship since 1918.

2007 Red Sox:
Boston walloped the Indians over the final three games of the series by
a score of 30-5, taking the final two games at Fenway Park. They were a
buzzsaw in the World Series, cruising right past a well-rested Rockies
team for their second World Series title in four seasons.

Of the six teams highlighted above,
only the 1985 Royals, 2003 Marlins and 2004 Red Sox were able to
complete the comeback on the road. With Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia
in their way, the Angels have a heckuva hill to climb, but history
doesn’t preclude it from happening.

  1. GimmeSomeSteel - Oct 24, 2009 at 5:39 PM

    What is with the quotation marks around bloody sock? Does anyone have credible evidence (beyond pro-Yankee or anti-Sox revisionism) to suggest that the blood was fake?

  2. D.J. Short - Oct 24, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    No ill intent behind it.

  3. mary r - Oct 24, 2009 at 6:42 PM

    player>>>> oh mom , dad we lost the game
    Mom>>>> oh cry baby
    dad>>>>>. its ok boy lets go and have a hamburger we try to
    morrow again
    we could win without the ump thats so true,but they have to have there pic in the paper to you know
    Mom>>> its just a game peopl play.
    Is there steel in the bats

  4. John - Oct 24, 2009 at 9:19 PM


  5. Seriously - Oct 25, 2009 at 1:03 AM

    What is with this genius comment? Seriously, as long as you aren’t 100% sure about something, you’re not allowed to post it. That’s completely against every single rule of decency regarding posting articles. In fact, the best way to deal with it is to say, “You guys are just haters, those quotation marks are an insult to my pride, so now I’m going to complain about it.”

  6. John2 - Oct 25, 2009 at 1:07 AM

    If I predicted the world would end tomorrow and said “MARK MY WORDS!!!” and it actually happened, would that mean I have psychic powers? No, it would mean I said something ridiculous and got lucky. Another great pointless statement from a moron. Oh wait, what else would I have expected?

  7. John - Oct 25, 2009 at 2:40 AM

    You are not psychic John2 for the world will not end tomorrow but the Angels will win the ALCS in seven. MARK MY WORDS!!!

  8. Graves - Oct 25, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    Not gonna lie, I still think the Twins have a pretty good chance to pull this one off.
    Go Twins!

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