There have been, in the World Series, several famous Game 6 comebacks that are often discussed: Carlton Fisk’s home run that won that game in 1975 for the Red Sox, the wild Mets comeback in 1986 and the Cardinals’ two-comeback win over the Rangers in 2011.
Here are five Game 6 wins that haven’t gotten as much attention over the years, but all of them were by teams that trailed three games to two in the Series — and every one of these five teams also won Game 7 and the World Series.
The teams had alternated victories in the first five games and the Red Sox had won Game 5, setting themselves up for a possible Series-clinching win in Game 6, for their first title in 28 years.
Harry Brecheen was the Cardinals’ starter, and he had other ideas. He threw a complete game and the Red Sox would have to wait another 58 years before they won a World Series.
I’ve included this game not so much for the score, a Cardinals blowout, but for the fact that the game was delayed by rain for over two hours with one out in the sixth inning and the Cardinals leading 8-0.
Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, famous for sitting out in the cold in Cincinnati several years earlier without being dressed for the weather, insisted on playing this game to its conclusion. When play resumed the Cardinals scored five more runs in that inning on their way to the 12-run margin of victory.
The Brewers had a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning of Game 7, but their bullpen couldn’t hold it and the Cardinals won the World Series.
This is the famous Jack Buck “And we’ll see you tomorrow night!” game, when Kirby Puckett hit a walkoff homer in the 11th.
When the Twins won the Series 1-0 behind Jack Morris in Game 7, it marked the second time in five years that the Twins had won a seven-game World Series in which the home team won every game.
At the time this was just the fourth game in World Series history where a team had scored 15 or more runs (it’s been done twice since then). The previous three games in this World Series had all been one-run affairs, Games 4 and 5 won in walkoff fashion by the Yankees.
Randy Johnson is remembered for his key relief outing in Game 7, but he also threw 104 pitches in this Game 6 win -- something no manager would allow today with his team ahead 12-0 after three innings.
This was Dusty Baker’s best chance to win a World Series, but behind 5-0 with eight outs to go, and 5-3 with six outs remaining, the Angels put together back-to-back three-run innings and won, then closed out the Giants in Game 7. Scott Spiezio and Darin Erstad homered, and Troy Glaus hit a two-run double, to win this game for the Angels.
Joe Maddon surely remembers that well, as he was the Angels’ bench coach in 2002.
The Cubs don’t have to win memorably tonight. They just have to win, any way they can, to force a Game 7 tomorrow. And Maddon certainly knows it can be done, and you can bet he’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.