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Blame it on Gatorade (Donít Blame It on Me)
2007-10-04 09:20
by Mike Carminati

It wasn't rust, flatness, or just a bad day, it was Gatorade that killed their bats!

Colorado closer Manny Corpas "Delicti" was reportedly captured by the TBS cameramen pouring a liquid that was possibly Gatorade on the front of his uniform and then rubbing dirt on the spot prior to entering the game. He then went to that spot repeatedly during the game. However, any tampering was not evident due to the Rockies black Chico's Bail Bonds-esque softball T's.

Before you start ranting like Mortimer "Mor-Tay" Duke at the end of "Trading Places" demanding that they reopen the stock market, er, replay the inning, the Phils could have faced their own relievers—Joe Table, perhaps?—, or even worse the world's greatest choking closer, Trevor Hoffman, and still they wouldn't have scored the two requisite runs to keep their hopes of winning the game alive. Especially when the plate ump was ready to punch Ryan Howard out on a ball that is a half foot inside. It just wasn't their day. It remains to be seen whether this is their series, however.

One thing is for sure, losing the first game at home in a best-of-five puts the "favorite" team at a severe disadvantage. The Rockies now have to go no worse than 2-2 over the rest of this series with potentially two of those games at home. In order to advance The Phils have to go no worse than 3-1 to survive, which means they have to win at least one road game.

Maybe we should blame the best-of-five format.

In the history of the best-of-five, when the team with home field advantage in the first game loses that game, they lose the series over two-thirds of the time and get sweep a third of the time.

Here are the series results per scenario when the home team loses game one of a best-of-five:

WL# Series%
031433%
131024%
23614%
31819%
32410%
Loser 3071%
Winner 1229%
Total42100%

It's only slightly better for road teams. After losing game one on the road, the average team wins a best-of-five series just 62% of the time. Then again, they are typically the inferior, or at least lower-seeded, team. Overall, a team that wins game one win the best-of-five series 67% of the time. That's tough.

Now, the Phils must rely on a pitcher who was in Double-A three months ago. The Rockies also have a rookie pitcher—one with less experience than Kyle Kendrick—going, but then again, they are up 1-0 on the road.

Should the Phils fall behind 2-0 in the series, the odds getting even steeper. Just one team, the 2001 Yankees, were able to overcome an 0-2 deficit at home in a best-of-five series (over the A's in the ALDS). That's one winner in 21 tries or just under 5%.

That's better odds than the odds were of a team overcoming a seven-game deficit with seventeen left to play before the Phils did it this year. But, how many historic marks do they need to challenge? Let's just win today, baby.

By the way, here are the results for home teams that trailed 2-0 in a best-of-five series all time. Two-thirds end up getting swept—Yikes!:

WL# Series%
031467%
13524%
2315%
3215%
Loser 2095%
Winner 15%
Total21100%

And by the way, road teams fair only slightly better. They still lose 79% of the time when they fall behind 0-2 and are swept 62% of the time. Overall, falling behind 0-2 in a best-of-five results in a series loss 86% of the time.

By the way, did anyone catch, the Charlie Manuel postgame gaffe? Speaking to reporters with Cole Hamels on the dais to his left, Uncle Chahlie opined that the Phils, and I am paraphrasing here, that "We just have to lose again tomorrow". Hamels started howling, and after a moment to recalibrate, Manuel corrected himself, "I mean win". It's nice to see that Manuel can keep them loose even in this pressure situations. Willie Randolph could have used a bit of that in the final week of the season. (That's the nicest thing I have ever said about Charlie Manuel.)

Comments
2007-10-05 07:03:24
1.   kylepetterson
It's nobody's fault, but it just seems to be Gatorade's turn.

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