Can Red Sox mount ALCS comeback vs. Astros? Here's some historical context

·2 min read

How rare would a Red Sox ALCS comeback be? What history tells us originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Houston Astros have all the momentum in the 2021 American League Championship Series.

They've outscored the Boston Red Sox 18-3 over the last two games. They own a 3-2 series lead heading back to Houston for Friday's Game 6, and need to win just one more contest to advance to the World Series.

So, do the Red Sox have any shot at winning two in a row on the road?

Tomase: The Red Sox have thrived all season when being counted out

The good news for Boston is that it's been done before. It's not exactly common, though. Per Boston Sports Info on Twitter, only 13 teams in major league history have won Games 6 and 7 on the road to come back and win a postseason series.

One of those 13 teams, of course, was the 2004 Red Sox, who stormed back from a 3-0 deficit against the New York Yankees in the ALCS to advance to the World Series and eventually end their 86-year championship drought.

That 2004 team is the last to mount such a comeback in a championship series, but it's happened twice in the last five World Series. The Chicago Cubs rallied to defeat the Cleveland Indians in 2016 (after a wild Game 7 victory in 10 innings) to win their first championship since 1908, while the 2019 Washington Nationals flipped the script on these same Astros in 2019.

Nearly the entire starting lineup from that 2019 Houston team -- including Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman -- remains intact in 2021, so these Astros have blown a 3-2 series lead before.

The Red Sox also have been at their best with their backs against the wall under Alex Cora, who is 5-0 in postseason elimination games as Boston's manager.

So, Red Sox fans have some reason for optimism as playoff ace Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound against Houston for Game 6 on Friday night. But the ball still is in the Astros' court, and history is (mostly) on their side.

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