The Chicago Cubs have made it a point to make history throughout this season, and it looks as though they’re going to have to do it again if they’re going to want to beat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.
In the past 14 World Series, the team that has won the first game of the series has gone on to win 13 of those times. The only exception to that came in 2009, when the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Yankees in Game 1 but ultimately lost the series to the Yankees.
While that history suggests that the Cubs are in for a long haul, there are several bits of history that Cubs fans should keep in mind as the series continues on. Before the NLCS, the Cubs had never come back from a 2-1 series deficit to win a postseason series, and they did just that in winning three straight games (including two in Los Angeles) over the Dodgers.
In addition, Cubs fans can look back to the last time the team was in the World Series for some inspiration. In that series, the Cubs beat the Detroit Tigers 9-0 to take a 1-0 series lead in Game 1, but they ultimately lost the series in seven games as the Tigers roared back and clinched the title.
Finally, the 1975 Cincinnati Reds, one of the most famous incarnations of the “Big Red Machine,” lost the opening game of the 1975 Fall Classic by a score of 6-0 (the same score that the Cubs lost by on Tuesday night) and ended up coming back to win the series, making them the last team to lose by that exact score that came back to win the series.
Even if all of that isn’t enough to convince fans that a comeback is entirely within the realm of possibility, consider this: even with their Game 1 win, the Indians still only have a 55 percent chance of winning the series according to Five Thirty Eight. That’s essentially still a coin flip, and the Indians used both of their best pitchers in extended action on Tuesday night.