Ruane: Come-from-behind wins and losses

From SABR member Tom Ruane at on July 9, 2012:

The topic for today is (as the title suggests) come-from-behind wins and losses. Right off the bat, I should define precisely what I mean by one of these things. For the purposes of most of this article, I will define a come-from-behind win as one in which the team trailed at any point from the seventh inning onward. And a loss is what you’d expect: a game in which the losing team led at some point over the same span. (And I realize that such a loss shouldn’t be prefaced with “come-from-behind” but rather with something like “gone-from-ahead,” but you get the idea.) (And given my definition, perhaps I should have called these “late-come-from-behind” wins, but a) that’s a little bit cumbersome, and b) I will discuss earlier and later comebacks in the article as well.) Note that for every one of these wins, there has to be a corresponding loss.

This article will cover all the games played from 1916 to 2011.

With that out of the way, I thought I’d start by looking at how many of these we had in each decade. My feeling is that with the development and refinement of the modern bullpen over the last sixty years or so, we should see a decline over that period of comeback wins (which are also, as the pessimists would be quick to point out, blown leads).

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Originally published: July 9, 2012. Last Updated: July 9, 2012.