|The Giants and A's are longshots to advance, but it can be done. (AP)|
The A's and Giants are both tasked with coming back from down 0-2 in a best-of-five series. In other words, neither Bay Area team has any margin for error. It goes without saying the odds of a comeback are steep, but history suggests it's not impossible that the A's and Giants will somehow hawk down the Tigers and Reds, respectively.
The best-of-fiver first became a part of MLB in 1969, when American and National League teams were divvied into divisions and the League Championship Series was introduced. The LCS was a best-of-five affair until 1985, when that round was expanded to a best-of-seven format. The best-of-five made a return for the 1995 season, when a third round of play was tacked on to the postseason, and it has been with us ever since.
So that comes to a total of 104 best-of-five postseason series in all of baseball history. A team took a 2-0 lead in 65 of them or 62.5 percent of the time. And what happened in those 65 best-of-five series? Here's how they break down ...
- 41 times the team with the 2-0 lead went on to sweep.
- 17 times the team with the 2-0 lead went on to win the series but didn't sweep.
- Seven times the team down 0-2 came back to win the series.
- 1981 - Dodgers over Astros in NLDS (because of a lengthy labor stoppage, MLB opted to deviate from the usual playoff format).
- 1982 - Brewers over Angels in ALCS.
- 1984 - Padres over Cubs in NLCS.
- 1995 - Mariners over Yankees in ALDS.
- 1999 - Red Sox over Indians in ALDS.
- 2001 - Yankees over A's in ALDS.
- 2003 - Red Sox over A's in ALDS.