Before I get into the full topic this week, congratulations to the Chicago Cubs on winning the World Series tonight. They deserved it, they had a great offense and a fairly good pitching throughout the postseason. They also could have, maybe should have, been on the other side of this topic as they had a three-run lead. I texted my buddy Austin Druse (sportscaboose.wordpress.com) as we talked at the beginning of the game that it would be hilarious if the Cubs “Blew a three-run lead” instead of three-one lead, a joke about the Warriors that has been going since the NBA Finals. I thought it was funny when they actually lost a 3 run lead but didn’t lose so this point is mute.
The topic for this week, however, is the 3-1 lead and how in 2016 it is no longer safe. Honestly, it has never been safe as there have been many teams who win games 5 and 6 but rarely do they win game 7. It all started last year in the NBA when the Thunder lost a 3-1 lead in the western conference finals. Everyone freaked out and made sure that everyone else knew that it happened. Obviously, with those Warriors being so good at home the Thunder had to win at home and once they lost it kind of was lost in the flow of the playoffs, unlike how the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals.
That’s the series everyone knows, a quick google brings up all the memes about them losing a 3-1 lead, in crazy fashions. The most famous one, however, outside of prominent sports moments is the crying Jordan face on the logo. Some get creative such as the photoshopping it hardcore and making it very subtle while others just throw it on top and hope you know the team. No matter what they still blew a 3-1 lead and that is the thing that should never happen.
3-1 leads are not scary anymore, remember when the Cavaliers were down 3-1 and it was nearly impossible for them to come back? It was at the time but then the Cavs remembered that the Warriors just did this the series before. The 3-1 lead is not scary or a challenge for the teams that face them because now they have proof it is possible, three in a year! For the team with the lead, it just shows that they should have pushed the pedal and got that W in game five. They should not have even given the other team a chance to come back, obviously, if the other team was smart, like the Cubs, they save their best for the last few games, and ride the hot hand. The Cubs saved their best pitchers for last with Arrieta, Lester and Kendricks going in games 5, 6, and 7 and managing Aroldis Chapman to pitch in the last two games for 5 of the innings combined.
The Warriors and Thunder both used their best players too much and got burned out by the end of the season and that is why they lost. The Indians just ran out of luck pitching-wise, as they didn’t have one of their best pitchers going into the playoffs. That doesn’t matter because they made it to the world series and blew a 3-1 lead like the Warriors.