clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

League Championship Series History Says The Cubs Aren't Anywhere Near Done

New, 71 comments

The Cubs lost Game 1 of the LCS. But teams who have done that have gone on to win the series quite a number of times.

The 2013 Red Sox celebrate their LCS win -- accomplished after they lost Game 1
The 2013 Red Sox celebrate their LCS win -- accomplished after they lost Game 1
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Feeling bad after the Cubs' Game 1 loss?

I'm here to tell you that it's not really that big a deal. The history of League Championship Series tells us so.

Now, I want to preface this by saying that the history of LCS is just that -- history. The 2015 Cubs and Mets are different teams than any that have gone before them and they will write their own history over the next week.

But in checking out what previous LCS teams won their series after losing Game 1, I was somewhat surprised to find out it had happened frequently. I looked at all the LCS since 1985 -- the first year the LCS went to a best-of-seven format. Conveniently, that's 30 seasons' worth, from 1985 through 2014, 60 series.

In 22 of those 60 series -- 37 percent -- the team that lost Game 1 won the series. 12 of those 22 teams lost Game 1 at home and still won the series. Two of the clubs lost Game 1 and then won four straight to advance to the World Series.

So have faith, Cubs fans. It happens fairly often. Here are all 22 teams that dropped the first game of their League Championship series but went on to take the series. In addition, I'll note where the game was lost and what the result of the series was.

2013 Red Sox: lost at home. Series result: 4-2
2012 Giants: lost at home. Series result: 4-3
2011 Cardinals: lost on the road. Series result: 4-2
2010 Rangers: lost at home. Series result: 4-2
2008 Rays: lost at home. Series result: 4-3
2006 Cardinals: lost on the road. Series result: 4-3
2005 White Sox: lost at home. Series result: 4-1
2005 Astros: lost on the road. Series result: 4-2
2004 Red Sox: lost on the road. Series result: 4-3
2003 Yankees: lost at home. Series result: 4-3
2003 Angels: lost on the road. Series result: 4-1
2000 Yankees: lost at home. Series result: 4-2
1997 Indians: lost on the road. Series result: 4-2
1995 Indians: lost on the road. Series result: 4-2
1992 Blue Jays: lost at home. Series result: 4-2
1991 Braves: lost at home. Series result: 4-3
1990 Reds: lost at home. Series result: 4-2
1988 Dodgers: lost at home. Series result: 4-3
1986 Red Sox: lost at home. Series result: 4-3
1986 Mets: lost on the road. Series result: 4-2
1985 Royals: lost at home. Series result: 4-3
1985 Cardinals: lost on the road. Series result: 4-2

Of the 22 teams, 12 of them went on to win the World Series, including the most recent three. Note that's really 12 of 19 chances, since three times both teams accomplished this feat in the same year.

Obviously, as the saying goes: "Past performance does not guarantee future results." But I thought it was interesting this has happened quite often in LCS history. Oh, and one more odd little coincidence? The losing pitcher for Game 1 for the first team on that list, the 2013 Red Sox? Jon Lester.

Feel better now?