The Cardinals have quite the challenge in front of them — not since 1992 has a team lost Game 1 on the road and come back to win the series.
If the Redbirds lose again tonight, they'll be facing a task that hasn't been accomplished since the 1981 Dodgers lost their first two games on the road to the Yankees but came back to win the series (in six games).
Winning the first game has an obvious importance — but how much? In the last 20 Fall Classics, the team that has won Game 1 has gone on to win it all 16 times. The last team that didn't was, yep, the Phillies in '09. The '02 Giants and '96 and '92 Braves also squandered early series advantages.
That comes as no surprise. But how much home-field has played into it perhaps does.
Over the same span, the team with home-field advantage has won 15 of 20 World Series. That's 7 of 10 champions benefitting from home-field since the All-Star game decided it in 2003.
This may be a bit more unexpected since, in baseball's 2-3-2 format, how advantageous is having home field in the series anyway? If the home team loses one of the first two games, it faces the daunting task of three games in the other club's park, needing to win at least one just to bring the series back to its own park.
Arguably, home-field has more meaning in the World Series, where a National League team has to employ a designated hitter in an American park and an AL team loses its DH in the NL stadium.
And, as such, if St. Louis pulls off a victory in Game 2, Boston faces the challenge of heading to Busch Stadium for a three-game set in which it would either lose David Ortiz or be forced to play him in the field, which is believed to be what the Red Sox will do.