10/15/07 1:50 AM ET
D-backs need epic comeback
Down 0-3, Arizona must defy odds to earn World Series trip
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
If the D-backs are going to climb out of the Grand Canyon-sized hole they find themselves in in this National League Championship Series, they'll have to accomplish something only one team in Major League history has been able to do: Come back and win a best-of-seven LCS after losing the first three games.
In dropping Sunday night's Game 3 to Colorado, 4-1, at Coors Field, the NL West champions face a hurdle only seven teams have previously encountered since the LCS went to seven games in 1985, and 29 times overall counting all postseason best of seven sets.
Of those 29 only the Boston Red Sox, who came back to beat the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship series, managed to come all the way back and advance to the World Series.
In some ways, Arizona's task seems arguably more daunting that what the Red Sox faced three years ago. At least the Yankees had lost a game during that postseason.
The Rockies, on the other hand:
Have won 20 of their last 21.
Are only the third team in history to start a postseason 6-0 since divisional play began in 1969, joining the 1976 Cincinnati Reds and the 1970 Baltimore Orioles. The Reds ended up 7-0, while the Orioles dropped Game 4 of the World Series to Cincinnati before winning in five and finishing the postseason 7-1.
Of the 56 innings the Rockies have played during this postseason, they have trailed after only three. They have led after 40 and were tied after the other 13.
Have a team ERA of 1.24 in the series after allowing just four earned runs in three games.
To run off four straight wins against a team rolling like the Rockies would seem to be the height of improbability, but at least one Diamondbacks player knows firsthand it can be done.
"I know the odds, but I was on the field the last time it happened," said first baseman Tony Clark, who was a member of that 2004 Yankees team that squandered a 3-0 ALCS lead to Boston. "You wish things would have started out differently, you wish some of the balls that were hit would have fallen in, you wish you could have got on the board first, there's a lot of hoping and wishing of things you could have done early on during the course of the last three games, but the fact remains we're coming to the locker room tomorrow and getting dressed for another ballgame.
"So until that last out is made and they've won four and we haven't, I refuse to believe that we won't have an opportunity to win."
The Diamondbacks have had one lead in three games -- 1-0 following the first inning of Game 1 when Stephen Drew scored on Eric Byrnes' double -- and have been tied or trailed in the 28 innings since.
"I think there's definitely a possibility that we could do it," Byrnes said. "Is it going to take a lot of luck in our direction? Absolutely. Is it going to take us playing a lot better than we have? One hundred percent. We need both of those things to happen and if they happen you never know.
"As much as I'm sure everyone's ready to write us off again, and again I don't blame you [media] guys, but we're not going to quit."
Up 3-0 in LCS
|Only the 2004 Red Sox have come back from a 3-0 deficit in a League Championship Series. The teams that have gone up 3-0 in an LCS:|
|2007||NLCS||COL||ARI||To be determined|
|2006||ALCS||DET||OAK||Won (DET 4, OAK 0)|
|2004||ALCS||NYY||BOS||Lost (BOS 4, NYY 3)|
|1999||NLCS||ATL||NYM||Won (ATL 4, NYM 2)|
|1998||NLCS||SD||ATL||Won (SD 4, ATL 2)|
|1995||NLCS||ATL||CIN||Won (ATL 4, CIN 0)|
|1990||ALCS||OAK||BOS||Won (OAK 4, BOS 0)|
|1988||ALCS||OAK||BOS||Won (OAK 4, BOS 0)|
"You have to keep pushing, no doubt," center fielder Chris Young said. "It's not a secret we're in a bad position but we're not on our backs yet. We've just got to find a way to win and try to get back home."
If they can find a way to win Monday, the series will have a day off Tuesday, which could enable the D-backs to bring back Brandon Webb for Game 5 on Wednesday. If a Game 6 is needed the series would move back to Phoenix.
"This is new territory to us, we played in that Cubs series and it seemed like everything went our way," Byrnes said. "And I'm sure the Cubs were feeling a lot like we are now when everything wasn't going their way. So we're just going to keep fighting as much as the odds are no where near in our favor if we pull the next one out we've got our ace and our Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb going the next day and if we could possibly bring this thing back to Arizona you never know."
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.