Last week’s record

It happened last week. On May 2, the Braves came back from a 6-0 deficit to defeat the Phillies and Roy Halladay. Then, after an intervening 4-2 loss, they came back from 5-0 down to beat the Rockies on May 4 and from 6-0 down to win on May 5. That’s three big comebacks in four days.

And it was the fastest such set of comebacks in baseball history. Using the Retrosheet game log database, I found 1,799 games where the winning team came back from 5-0 or worse. (Note that I am not looking at all leads here—only leads where the ultimately winning team has not yet scored.) A total of 137 teams performed this feat three times or more in a season. Six teams did it five times in one season, the most recent being the 1987 Cincinnati Reds.

I then looked to see how quickly these teams got three such wins. Until last week, the record was held by the 1949 Boston Braves, who came from 6-0 down to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers on 5/28, from 5-0 down to beat the Phillies on 5/31 and from 5-0 down to beat Pittsburgh on 6/1. That’s three big comebacks in five days.

Also notable are the 1997 Anaheim Angels, who came back from 5-0 down three times in six days: 5/12 (White Sox), 5/14 (Orioles) and 5/17 (Brewers). And honorable mention goes to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who came back to win both ends of a doubleheader after trailing 5-0 in the first game and 7-0 in the nightcap against the Philadelphia Athletics.

I think records are set in baseball every week. You just have to know where to look.

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