As the St. Louis Cardinals return home to complete the 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers, here are some numbers from past Series. There should be something for everyone here…
2011 marks the 62nd time in World Series history that one team led the other, three games to two. Of the previous 61 occurrences, the team with the 3-2 lead won Game 6 just 24 times (39.3%). However, the team with the 3-2 lead went on to capture the World Series title 41 times of 61 (67.2%).
Closer to home
The Cardinals have been down 3-2 in the World Series on five previous occasions. In those five occurrences, St. Louis won Game 6 four times, with the only Game 6 defeat in 1930 to the Philadelphia Athletics. That was also the only time the Cardinals lost the Series after being down 3-2 after five games.
The four Game 6 wins when the Cardinals were down 3-2 occurred in 1982 against Milwaukee, 1946 against Boston, 1934 versus Detroit and 1926 versus the Yankees. Of course, St. Louis also took all four Game 7s.
In Major League Baseball’s current best-of-seven format, a team has come back to win the World Series after trailing 3-2 on 18 occasions: They include the aforementioned four Cardinals teams.
The Cardinals also were on the wrong end of this stick three times – in 1968 against Detroit, 1985 against Kansas City and 1987 versus Minnesota.
Home team down 3-2
The Cardinals are the 33rd team in World Series history to trail 3-2 when going home for Game 6 in a best of seven World Series: Of the 32 previous occasions, the club down 3-2 won 23 (71.9%) and lost just nine Game 6s. The most recent case was in 2003, when the New York Yankees were defeated in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium.
Of the 32 previous occasions when a team trailing 3-2 came home for Game 6, it won the World Series 12 times (37.5%). However, the tables have turned in recent years, with seven of the last nine since 1982 coming back to take the Series. The most recent was the Anaheim Angels over the San Francisco Giants in 2002. Exceptions during that time were the Yankees in 2003 and the 1992 Atlanta Braves.