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Phillies have a 12.5% chance of taking this thing

Nov 2, 2009, 10:57 AM EDT

Based on precedent anyway:

[The Phillies] are the 44th team to lose three of the first four games. Of the previous 43 teams, 41 played in a best-of-seven series. (The others were Boston in 1903, who won the next four games to take the Series, and the 1919 Reds, who won over the Black Sox).

Of the 41 teams who dropped three of the first four: They went 18-23 in Game 5. In Game 6, the remaining 18 teams went 8-10.

In Game 7, the remaining squads went 5-3. So, about one-eighth of the teams in this situation win it all. If you’re curious, the last seven teams to lose three of the first four couldn’t make the comeback.

With Cliff Lee on the mound you have to favor them to make it past hurdle number one, but I don’t see them winning out, no matter how much heart they allegedly have.

  1. jonny5 - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    Time to make history Craig. The Phills let them have those last three… Yeah, that’s the ticket. Just to make it more exciting see…. Now it’s time for them to show what they have more of….

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    We’ll see.
    I just want to hear from that guy who keeps posting “Phillies in 6! MARK MY WORDS!!!” on every post . . .

  3. jonny5 - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:18 AM

    LOL!!! I’m waiting for him too!!! MARK MY WORDS!!! Well, let’s just hope the fat lady doesn’t sing until game 7!!!!

  4. jamyen - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    Hate the Yanks all you want Phillie fans, but class is class… and when Rollins shot off his mouth, he doomed the Phillies. Have you EVER heard a Yankee predict a series win? Even now, they’re saying things like “the Phillies are tough, we expect them to battle back” That’s a far cry from “we’ll take it in 5, maybe 6 if we feel generous” Jimmy Rollins, you and your fans can learn a lot from the classy Derek Jeter and the Classy New York Yankees.

  5. John - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    So I was off one game and Rollins was off by two, hell even Nostradamus missed a couple, it happens to the best of us. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  6. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    Well, I give you points for tenacity. ;-)

  7. John - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    I can’t stop now, besides it all adds to the drama of the Philly comeback, which starts tonight with Lee! PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  8. Adam - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    Only way Phillies can win this is if they Pitch Lee each of the next three games and then they’ll need a lot of rain in between.
    Don’t see that happening, in fact, to be too suprised if the Yanks finish it tonight depite Lee pitching. He’ll be very good but not as good as game one.

  9. John - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    12.5% is better than 0% ;-)
    PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  10. Philsin7 - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    So between this snide “allegedly have” comment and the Celizic article on this site, it’s nice to know NBC sports has a pro-Yankees stance. So much for impartiality, huh?

  11. bb - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    the EASY prediciton with NO RISK is that Lee dominates again tonight and sends the series to NY.
    all of the MLB.COM guys have all taken the courageous step of making that predicition. of course, for them, it is preservation since if the Yanks win tonight…back to the golf course for them.
    i think it ends tonight. Burnett is nasty on 3 days rest and while Lee is totally unflappable, if his command is just a little off he can be hit just like CC.

  12. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    Philsin:
    1) this is a blog, and blogs are about opinion. If I’m being impartial, I’m not doing my job;
    2) Multiple Phillies fans have taken my predictions to task(I had the Phillies losing the NLCS and the WS) telling me that I’m wrong because the Phillies have more “heart,” which they apparently take to mean that whatever “heart” is allows a team to win more baseball games than the other. Given that the Phillies are now down 3-1, I think one can only conclude that such game-winning-heart is in short supply.

  13. bb - Nov 2, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    one way to up the 12.5% is to hit a-rod and tex a few more times and make them so fearful of those Philly 87-91 mph fastballs that they ask to be replaced in the line-up by Hinske and Hairston.
    even pedro doesn’t hit people anymore…they wouldn’t notice.

  14. jonny5 - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    “I think one can only conclude that such game-winning-heart is in short supply.”
    See they have so much heart, they decided to allow the Yankees to win some before beating them in 7. Get it Craig? ;>)~
    Does Celizic work in a cube down the hall from you? If so, please explain that plunking A-roid was nothing more than unintentional. It’s not as if he was performing well before being plunked.. I swear Celizic is the dumbest sports writer to ever leave his keystrokes open for public viewing. Also tell him the Sean Connery look is played out.

  15. aweb - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    I would hope someone would have noticed that 12.5% is exactly what one would expect if the teams had a 50/50 chance of winning every game in the series. That is, a team winning 3 of the first 4 doesn’t seem to have any noticeable advantage over the other team at all, aside from being ahead in the series. Which makes sense given the series generally matches two of the best teams against each other.

  16. lex - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    Jimmy was asked by Leno in front on millions what he thought. What the hell else would he say. What would have Jeter said “DAH I really don’t know”. Gimme a break

  17. Ber - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    No Craig you are totally wrong. Had the Phillies swept or won in 5, that would prove that they have a good team NOT that they have heart. They had to let it go to 7 to show us how muc heart they have.

  18. ber - Nov 2, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    I had no problem with what Jimmy said. That was what he should say being put on the spot like that.
    But it didn’t stop there. Phillies players, and even the manager, were talking trash about the atmosphere in Yankee stadium. Well, I wasn’t so impressed by it over the last 2 days. I was clearly able to hear Yankees cheers at many points during the game.
    This is usually a non-issue to me, I don’t care whose fans are louder or more obnoxious. But if you’re going to make an issue out of it, you better back it up.

  19. terry - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:24 PM

    Yankees are buying the WS anyway with an overblown salary scale.

  20. wreckanize - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:31 PM

    The Yankees will never win another game without them having some “advantage” over the other team. It’s retarded. They have the most talented team in baseball, bottom line. Every team out there has a chance to pick up any free agent. It isn’t the Yankees fault other teams don’t do it right. It’s ok, we don’t need you to give us any credit. Every time you come to our stadium, you can take a look up and see all the banners laugh at you from above. The 26 (probably 27) championships do all the talking we need. Jealously is a sin. Have an anti depressant.

  21. rafalweb - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    I’m no Yankee fan, but I have to agree with you. The Y’s have never shot off at the mouth about anyone. They are the classiest team in baseball.

  22. Michael - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    If the Phils lose this series, Ryan Howard will be a major reason. It is always a problem when the player with the most strikeouts is not your starting pitcher, but your cleanup batter!!

  23. Pete - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    There is about 40% chance that Yankees will win tonight. It’ll be a tough going. However, any picture will fatigue after about 8th inning, and if the Yanks play the card well on pictching which I think Giraldi has, they have a shot. If the score is in favor of the Phillies by more than 4 by end of 6th inning, it’s a wild card. Mr.Lee is good, but he’s not the all time best. However, in the end, Yankees will prevail, and Phillies will stay home and eat their Cheese Steaks!

  24. Joe D - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    for the last 8 years the Yankee had the highest payroll and didnt win so dont start the “Yankees bought a World Series”
    George Steinbrenner is the greatest owner in the history of sports.
    Tonight its over…………. #27 finally

  25. comeonman - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    HE COULD HAVE TAKEN THE HIGH ROAD LIKE JETER WOULD HAVE AND SAID
    “JAY, WE ARE THE CHAMPS THE YANKEES ARE A GOOD TEAM, IT WILL BE A GOOD SERIES AND I WANT TO WIN , AGAIN” BUT NO JIMMY BUTTER ROLL STUCK HIS FOOT IN HIS MOUTH, JUST LIKE LAST YEAR AT THE CELEBRATION , HE HAD TO BRING UP JOHAN SANTANA, NO CLASS.JETER IS PROBABLY REMINDING BUTTER ROLL EVERYTIME HE GET’S TO SECOND, WELL THAT ONLY HAPPENED TWICE BECAUSE HE CAN’T HIT NOTHING,ZIP,NADA,ZERO.
    JOE BUCK WILL MAKE THE CALL FOR THE YANKEES….
    “THE YANKEES ARE CHAMPIONS OF BASEBALL”……….

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