On Wednesday, in separate games played during the same afternoon, the Rockies and Giants both fell behind 10-1 (to the Braves and Reds, respectively). While watching the Braves' lead erode, I actually grew steadily less surprised by what I was witnessing, and as expertly familiar with Kyle Farnsworth as I am, I knew the Rockies were going to get over the hump once he trotted into the game. It just made sense. In other words, I was fascinated but not stunned.
Then I flipped to the Giants-Reds game. Having kept tabs on the score, which was 10-5 at last check, I was really only watching it because it was the only game going on at the moment. The evaporation of the Reds' lead, I figured, resulted in the sort of coincidence that occurs once every billion gazillion years.
My estimate of "once every billion gazillion years" was a little off, but after crunching the numbers, I think I was right in spirit.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, two comebacks of nine runs or more had only happened on the same day once, on September 26, 1912. On that day, just as on Wednesday, one of the teams lost and one of them won.
On both days, I'd imagine that the Universe made sure that one of these teams lost, because the odds of two teams winning in such a fashion on the same day are astronomically long. Elias also notes that the Rockies' come-from-behind win was the third of its kind to be pulled off by a National League team in 13 years.
So we know this, and we also know that in the last thirteen seasons, including this one, National League teams have played roughly 16,550 games, meaning that an NL team has come from nine runs behind to win about 1 in 5,500 games -- about 0.018%
And again, these are the odds of this happening once, not twice on the same day. If we assume that an average of, say, 12 National League teams play on any given day of the season, the percentage chance of this happening stands at about 0.0000213% -- in other words, about one in five million. Thanks to the Giants' miscues in the top of the ninth, such terrifying and astronomical odds were not realized, but they were close enough to be startling.
When we also consider the glut of no-hitters/perfect games this season, we have to conclude that if we're looking for statistical weirdness, we're being spoiled this year. Then again, if Kyle Farnsworth is involved, you may as well just take your calculator and shove it under a table leg. Numbers are afraid of him.