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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. Dave V. - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:43 PM

    The Phillies and their fans are a bunch of wusses. They should be named Fillys instead. Get it through your thick heads – you’re being beaten by a better team. Nothing more and nothing less.

  2. comeonman - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:44 PM


  3. Janeen - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:44 PM

    Im a phillies fan and I have to agree with you.. Jimmy Rollins should not have done that.. Y so cocky u know?

  4. RustyShackleford - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    Class is class? Mouthing off to the umpire after you’re called out on strikes looking (Teixiera, Posada, Swisher, etc.) . . . or Melky Cabrera fake-throwing the ball to fans after catching a fly for the third out . . . or A-rod . . . this is class? Please. Step down off the soap box and just enjoy the win.

  5. Talex - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:50 PM

    Hey, give the Yankees some credit. Most people thought the Phillies would make mence-meat out of them, but the Yankees have scrapped, muscled, pushed, and had great comebacks to overtake the Phillies in all these games. I actually like the Phillies a lot and thought they would take the series, but the Yankees have shown me something–I think they are just mentally tougher than the Phillies and believe in themselves even more the Phillie believes in themselves.
    And all those that use the lame “the Yankees bought the series” is idiotic. Philly has high priced players also that they imported–Martinez, Lee, Lidge, etc., etc. The Red Sox are Yankees #2; and so are the Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Mets, etc. Also, the Yankees have had the highest payroll over the last decade and have won exactly zero World Series. The truth is that the Yankees have pushed all the top teams to be better and smarter with their money and rosters, which in turn has now forced the Yankees to be smarter with their money and roster. If you haven’t noticed the Yankees have more home-grown talent on their roster than any other top-tier team. Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, Riviera, Hughes, Chamberlain, Coke, Robertson, Aceves, Cabrera, Gardner, etc. are all home-grown. Saying the Yankees “bought the series” is sour grapes by sore losers and makes Yankee fans laugh.
    The Yankees have done more for baseball than anyone else. If the Twins or Royals or A’s or Rangers, all of whom have extremely rich owners, don’t want to invest money into their payrolls–well my friends, that is what is ruining baseball. All those owners could spend 150 million with ease, but they choose not to. And don’t tell me that those A’s teams the Yankees have been beating in the playoffs for a decade shouldn’t have won some of those series–some of those A’s teams were better than the Red Sox and/or Yankees, but they couldn’t win, not because of payroll, but because they choked.
    I think the Phillies are actually better than the Yankees right now, but it isn’t money that is making the Phillies down 3 games to 1. It’s simply who wants it more and who excecutes better.
    And I have a feeling the Yankees just might win it all tonight simply because they want it more than the Phillies.

  6. Bert - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Yankees have no advantage? They have the biggest market and largest payroll in a non salary-capped sport…..uhhh. Yes, they get the best talent because they can buy it at absurd prices. Other teams can’t pick up any player because they can’t pay them like the Yankees do with their huge city population and fan base which allows them to sell out every game and charge $12 a beer. A Rod’s salary this year is more than the entire Florida Marlins team. Any year the Yankees don’t win is a disgrace and shows how a bunch of overpaid players can’t seem to get along and play for a season. This year the stars were aligned for them. Good job having more money than everyone NY.

  7. Jack Bauer - Nov 2, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    I will enjoy watching the Phillies fans waving their white surrender towels in the stands tonight.

  8. Midwest - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    “Every team out there has a chance to pick up any free agent.”
    Okay, technically that’s true – but it’s not a realistic view of the league. The Yankees obviously play in a much larger market and have much more resources than most teams. You could argue that there are some examples of losing teams with rich owners that don’t make the right moves to improve their organizations. But by and large, most teams cannot spend the way the Yankees do and still run a good business.
    You can call adverse reactions to the Yankees winning “jealousy,” if that’s what you need to do to sleep soundly. But you cannot reasonably argue that the system promotes balanced competition in the long term. Statistically speaking, the higher payrolls consistently make it to the playoffs and the lower payrolls consistently struggle to put it together. For the sake of the smaller markets, hopefully some day baseball finds a way to keep payrolls and salaries in check, more like other American sports have.

  9. CLYDE LEFFLER - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    YANKS will take care of the PHILLIES tonight, very classy ball club, THE YANKEES are clearly the better team. GO YANKS, bring the world series title back to NEW YORK.

  10. John - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    In the immortal words of the Canadian rock trio, Triumph “Never Surrender!” PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  11. Ken in Florida - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    Why don’t they call the Rangers’ Pudge Rodriguez “P-Rod”?

  12. Michael Fihare - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    I marked your words at 6—your credibility is gone

  13. Old Gator - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:05 PM

    Five games, eh, Jimmy?
    You better hope Cliff Lee brings his A-game tonight or you’re gonna be hearing THAT one from your grandchildren, bubba.
    Having said that, I have to like the Feelies’ chances tonight. Unless Lee is so overstoked that he’s high in the zone all night, I don’t see any reason why we should expect the Borg to be able to solve him any more than they did last week. Two or three runs should be all the Feelies need, and their chances of getting those off Burnett are a damned sight better than the Borg getting that many off of a composed and focused Lee.

  14. Jack Bauer - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    You can pay a player anything you want. A higher salary doesn’t produce more athletic ability. The Yankees attract talent because people WANT to play for them. To say that because they have a larger payroll gives them an advantage is ludicrous. I hear a lot of envy in your message. New York is the greatest city in the world and home of the greatest baseball team in history.

  15. RustyShackleford - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:08 PM

    “Most people thought the Phillies would make mence-meat out of them”
    What planet are you on? Every baseball pundit in the country had the Yankees winning this series. They were odds-on favorites in Vegas too. Don’t even try the underdog angle, that’s just ridiculous.

  16. KingCorran - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    Gotta love those classy Yankees.
    Seriously… the ‘classy’ home team (from a NY fan’s POV) is just another example of self-delusion. I’m the same way about my home team… but in honest moments, I realize they’ve got no moral high ground either.
    Classy? Please. The Yanks are the most stuck-up full-of-themselves team out there, and they pride themselves on it.

  17. John - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    As I said above so I was off one game, sue me. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  18. Jeff D. - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    I completely agree with the comment about Howard. 1 hit in the last 3 losses. He doesn’t necessarily have to get homeruns but he needs to hit or get on base more often to give the phils a chance.

  19. Jeff D. - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:20 PM

    A-Rod was striking out left and right until the homerun in Game 3 and hits in Game 4 when steroids were introduced back into his diet.

  20. Russell - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:21 PM

    If the Yankess win maybe we can all believe in the sport again if the Phillies come back (as if their victory last year, the White Sox & 2 Red Sox World Champions weren’t enough proof already) we will all certainly know that the sport is fixed.

  21. JAY - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    To say that the Yankee payroll had anything whatsover to do with the outcome of the series is 100% insane………. if that was true the Yankees during the Steinbrenner years would have won the WS every year…….Plain and simple this Yankee teamm is better than the Phillies…… more heart more grit more toughness add it all up and you get a victory and another parade in NYC
    Way to go Yanks #27 and counting

  22. bh0673 - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:30 PM

    Hey King it isn’t that we are stuck up or full of ourselves but the difference we have tasted victory more then Boston or Philly fans. We enjoy victory but deal with defeat. This year’s Yankees team is for once a very god team so if there is an air of confidence in our voice we have good reason. On the other side we have 86 years of practice knowing how to get under someones skin just ask any Red Sox fan. For the first time since 1998 I feel this team can take it all. I have said Yankees in 6 and as much as I think there is no better way to christen the new stadium then with a World Series Title it would be good to win tonight. Let’s not forget the fact that the Philly fan have been just as confident with their team winnng it all, if you take a step back from a baseball perspective, as close as the two teams are the Yankees do have the edge. I am hoping for a game six I have tickets but as a friend said to me “I always believe that one needs to slay the dragon as fast as possible, so they don’t have a chance to put you on fire”.

  23. John - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:33 PM

    MLB is fixed because the Red Sox & White Sox were allowed to win a WS Pennant? What about the Cubs? They’ve been the sad sack team of MLB the longest. Baseball is not fixed and the Phillies will come back to win it all. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  24. Amie - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    Yeah…the Yankees haven’t won a World Series Since 2000. I’m sick of the money excuse. Talent draws talent…and frankly, how many boys have uttered the words, “when i grow up, I wan’t to be a Philly”. The Yankees don’t whine and complain and talk trash. They dig in and focus and go for broke even in the 9th inning. We’ve had plenty of chances to win over the last 9 years, and Boston came back to haunt us to boot, we’ve had bullpen problems, and batter slumps…JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Just give them credit–this is a Worls Series, Ring Wearing Team–over and OUT.

  25. bh0673 - Nov 2, 2009 at 2:36 PM

    Forget the Yankee payroll excuse, 75% of it went to retaining their own free agents, good trades and 17 players at the league min. Yes the $200 million is for the 40 man roster not the 25 man or playoff rosters. The big difference is George invested in his team instead of putting the money n his pocket and as it is said in Field Of Dreams, “If you build it whey will come” and the Yankees went from a losing team that CBS couldn’t wait to unload to a team worth 100 times the selling price.

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