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Dodgers face tall task down 2-0, something they have plenty of practice at

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A gander through Dodgers postseason history

1965 World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Minnesota Twins
Wes Parker steals second base against the Twins in Game 4 of the 1965 World Series at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers trailed 2-0 in this series after losing the first two games in Minnesota, and came back to win the World Series in seven games.
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The Dodgers face a tall order heading into Game 3 of the NLCS at Dodger Stadium, having lost the first two games to the Braves in Atlanta. Down 2-0 in a best-of-seven series is a daunting climb, one the Dodgers made in this same matchup just one year ago.

But the odds are long for it to happen again.

Eighty-seven times a team has built a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series in the NL/AL portion of major league history. Seventy-three times that team has won the series (83.9 percent). In the history of League Championship Series, which switched to a best-of-seven format in 1985, the 2-0 leader has an even larger advantage, winning 29 of 33 series (87.9 percent).

The Dodgers’ comeback against the Braves in 2020, down both 2-0 and 3-1, was one of just four such series comebacks in LCS play. The Dodgers have experience in falling behind in October.

Dodgers down 2-0 in best-of-seven series

Year Series Opponent Games 1-2 Game 3 Series result
Year Series Opponent Games 1-2 Game 3 Series result
1916* World Series Red Sox Road W, 4-3 L, 4-1
1947 World Series Yankees Road W, 9-8 L, 4-3
1953 World Series Yankees Road W, 3-2 L, 4-2
1955 World Series Yankees Road W, 8-3 W, 4-3
1965 World Series Twins Road W, 4-0 W, 4-3
1966 World Series Orioles Home L, 1-0 L, 4-0
1981 World Series Yankees Road W, 5-4 W, 4-2
2008 NLCS Phillies Road W, 7-2 L, 4-1
2013 NLCS Cardinals Road W, 3-0 L, 4-2
2018 World Series Red Sox Road W, 3-2 (18) L, 4-1
2020 NLCS Braves Globe Life W, 15-3 W, 4-3
*2-2-1-1-1 format (all others are 2-3-2) 2020 NLCS played entirely at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas

In best-of-sevens down 2-0, the Dodgers have managed to win four of their 11 series, which puts them ahead of the curve. Five times the Dodgers have come back to tie the series 2-2.

But there’s another trend at play in Dodgers history. Nine times in franchise history they’ve lost the first two games of a best-of-seven on the road. All nine times, they won Game 3 back at home, four times in Brooklyn and five times in Los Angeles.

Adding in the best-of-five series, the Dodgers have lost the first two games on the road three other times. They’ve won Game 3 at home twice — in 1981 against the Astros (winning the series in five games) and in 2004 against the Cardinals (the Lima Game). Only against the Mets in 2006 did the Dodgers fall at home in a Game 3 down 2-0 in the series.

That’s 11-1 for the Dodgers in Game 3 at home after losing the first two on the road. They get another chance at that on Tuesday afternoon.