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Postseason History Says The Cubs' Task Just Got Much Tougher

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Lose the first two games of a seven-game MLB series and it becomes very difficult to win the series.

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Sunday, I wrote about teams losing the first game of a seven-game series in the League Championship series round and how quite a number of them had come back to win -- 22 of 60 since the LCS went to seven games in 1985.

Lose the first two games? Well... that becomes a much more difficult proposition.

In the LCS round since 1985, of the 22 teams that came back to win after losing Game 1, just three of them managed to do so after also dropping Game 2:

2004: Red Sox. Lost first two on the road, won the series four games to three after also losing Game 3 at home. This is the only team in MLB history to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three.

1985: Cardinals. Lost first two on the road, then won four straight to take the series.

1985: Royals. Lost first two on the road and eventually went down three games to one before taking the last three to win four games to three.

That's it for LCS history. Three teams out of 60 since the LCS round went to best-of-seven.

There have been 110 World Series played since 1903. In 10 percent of them -- 11 times -- a team has come back to win after losing the first two games. Here are those 11 series:

1921: Giants over Yankees. This one gets a tiny asterisk, as all the games were at the same park, the Polo Grounds, which the teams shared until Yankee Stadium was built in 1923. The teams alternated as "home" from game-to-game, Giants were the "home" team in Game 1, the "road" team in Game 2. The Giants won five games to three after losing Games 1 and 2 -- this was the last best-of-nine World Series.

1955: Dodgers over Yankees. Dodgers lost the first two on the road, eventually won four games to three.

1956: Yankees over Dodgers. The Yankees returned the previous year's "favor," losing the first two on the road, eventually winning four games to three.

1958: Yankees over Braves. The Yankees lost the first two games in Milwaukee and eventually won four games to three; they were down three games to one, then won three straight.

1965: Dodgers over Twins. The Dodgers lost the first two on the road, then won four games to three.

1971: Pirates over Orioles. The Pirates lost the first two on the road, then won four games to three.

1978: Yankees over Dodgers. The Yankees lost the first two on the road, then won four straight to win the Series.

1981: Dodgers over Yankees. The reverse of 1978 -- the Dodgers lost the first two on the road, then won four in a row to win the Series.

1985: Royals over Cardinals. The Royals lost the first two at home and were down three games to one -- just as they were in the ALCS that year -- and won three straight to take the Series.

1986: Mets over Red Sox. The Mets lost the first two at home, then won four games to three.

1996: Yankees over Braves. The Yankees lost the first two at home, then won four straight to take the Series. The '85 Royals, '86 Mets and '96 Yankees are the only teams to lose the first two at home and win the World Series.

So that's it. There have been 170 best-of-seven (or more than seven) postseason series in major-league history through 2014. 14 times a team has come back from down two games to none to win, eight percent. It won't be easy, but the Cubs can still do it, though they now must win four times in the next five games to accomplish this feat.

This year's Blue Jays are in the same position as the Cubs, having lost the first two ALCS games to the Royals. Three of the previous 14 occurrences were in 1985 (both LCS and the World Series). 30 years later, could we have a repeat?