The World Series is over and for once I cared. Really! Admittedly, it had nothing to do with baseball. It was all about my love of symmetry. Let me explain.
Early Sunday morning, I was forced to evacuate my home because of the Kincade Fire. And it was a bit scary. When I first left, the fire was 16 miles away. Within 24 hours, it made a bee-line toward me — ending up only 5 miles away.
Having nowhere else to go, I went to stay at my sister’s place down in Millbrae. That meant spending quite a lot of time with her husband, Harold. And that led me to watch game 6 of the World Series.
A Pattern in the Making
At one point, I realized something. I asked Harold, “So if the Nationals win tonight, does that mean that the home team has lost every game in this series?” He seemed vaguely impressed that I noticed that and told me it was so and that it had never happened before.
And sure enough, the Washington National won. So the first two games were at Houston and Washington won them. There was even some speculation that they might sweep the series. But during the next three games in Washington, Houston won each time. In fact, the Nationals looked pathetic. They managed to score only one run each game, while the Astros won with 4, 8, and 7.
The obvious outcome of the next game back at Houston was for Washington to lose badly. But instead, Washington won easily, 7-2. In fact, Houston didn’t score a run after the first inning.
So even though I made it back home today and so did not have to watch the last game of the World Series, I did. You see: life is constantly disappointing. It is unpleasant and chaotic. But here was an opportunity for a little clarity — perfection, in fact. This was seven isolated games during which the team with the home-field advantage lost each time. Six out of seven was no good. It had to be seven.
And it was.
Some Pointless Math
If the outcome of these games were random, then this seven-game streak would happen less than one time out of a hundred. But the home team in MLB wins 54 percent of the time. If we assume that this distribution is random, the number falls to 0.4 percent.
But I don’t think this is simply a statistical fluke. I suspect it is some form of mass psychology. I don’t have any proof, course; but I’ve seen this thing too many times.
Or maybe it is just the normal human tendency to find patterns where none exist. That combined with my own idiosyncratic love of odd patterns. Regardless, this was a very good World Series.
After the fire, it’s nice to have a little clarity in the universe.