History Against Nationals as They Attempt to Avoid Elimination

Down 2-0 in the NLDS, the Nationals will send Doug Fister -- he of the seven postseason starts in the past three years -- to the mound Monday, with their season at stake against the Giants. 

In need of three straight wins to salvage the season, Washington will have to not only defeat San Francisco, but also trump major-league history that suggests that the Nationals have little chance to rebound from their deficit. 

ESPN further explains the odds stacked against the Nationals:

  • From 1995 through 2013, there were 76 best-of-five division series. In 44 of those, a team lost the first two games. Only five of those teams came back to win the series.
  • Just 14 of those teams lost the first two games at home, like the Nationals did Friday and Saturday. Only two of those 14 scrambled back to win the next three games: the 2001 Yankees and the 2012 Giants, who won the World Series. 
  • Counting all best-of-five series in baseball history, 26 teams have lost Games 1 and 2 at home. Only those 2001 Yankees and 2012 Giants won those series. And just two other teams -- the 2010 Rays and 1981 Brewers -- even forced a Game 5.
  • In National League postseason history, the Nationals are the 14th team ever to lose the first two games of a best-of-five postseason series at home. The only one of the previous 13 teams to win the series was the 2012 Giants.

The Giants are proof that a team can indeed win a championship after falling behind so early. Whether the Nationals can replicate that feat remains to be seen.

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