BotYD: Elite Eight, Series #3 – The 1904 Highlanders @ The 1939 Yankees!
Earlier this month, we introduced the next month-long series that I’ll be running, called Battle of the Yankee Decades! To see the introductory and explanation post for this series, check it out here.
Last week, I announced the rules, seeding, and team rosters for each of the sixteen teams that were added into the tournament. Check that out here.
We began our simulations last Friday, and will continue with the Elite Eight today as the 1904 Highlanders face off against the 1939 Yankees!
The great thing about Out of the Park Baseball: 21 is that in these simulations, you can easily see which team is favored (when the logos are different).
In what was a big upset coming out of the Sweet Sixteen for the 1904 Highlanders as they beat the 1923 Yankees, they are now the massive underdog when going up against the 3rd best team in the tournament in 1939.
Again, we have the problem of having it be hard to tell on a quick glance where each team is favored, but it’s obviously going to the younger team as they hold a 6 to 3 advantage in the line-up. However, the 1904 Highlanders do have some advantage with pitching. Can they pull off another Cinderella story?
Remember: Now that we are onto the Elite Eight, each series is emulating a current-day ALDS Format with a Best-of-Five Game Series.
Each time the 1939 Yankees started to pull away in Game One, the 1904 Highlanders responded quickly, but they weren’t able to keep up pace. This was brought on mostly by Lefty Gomez, who pitched wonderfully in 6 innings of work with 4 hits, 1 run (earned), 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts. The favored pitcher, Jack Chesbro unfortunately didn’t see the same results allowing 4 earned runs off 6 hits and 4 walks in 5 innings of work. This helped 1939 run to a quick 4-1 lead at the midpoint of the game, and proved to be all they would need in what became a 6-3 victory at the end.
After Chesbro’s not great Game One, the Highlanders were depending on Al Orth to help swing the series to even. Unfortunately, Al Orth decided to help swing things in the other direction as he allowed 7 runs off 11 hits and 2 walks in 6.2 innings of work. He didn’t get much help in relief either as Clark Griffith allowed another 3 runs to score in his 1.1 innings of work. For 1939 however, Red Ruffing pitched wonderfully, going 7.1 innings with 7 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts en route to a win from a 10-0 victory. Bill Dickey did deliver a 2-run Home Run, but outside of that it was mostly an all-team effort for 1939 to supply their large lead.
Going back to Hilltop Park must have been pretty exciting for the 1939 Yankees, as players had a change to play at the original site of their franchises history. And, it was obvious this change of scenery helped out the arms for the Highlanders as Jack Powell held the bats of 1939 to just 3 runs (from 4 hits and 4 walks) over 7.0 innings. These runs came off the bats of Tommy Henrich (a 2-run HR) and George Selkirk (a solo HR), and proved to just be enough to seal the series for the Highlanders. Kid Elberfeld had a solo shot of his own, but a 7 inning, 5 hit, 1 walk performance by Maruis Russo held that to be the only run 1904 would score.
Series Stats and MVP:
As far as performances went, Kid Elberfeld (.500 SLG, 1 HR) and Wid Conroy (.300/.364/.400) seemed to try and carry the 1904 Highlanders to a win in this series, but with an unproductive line-up they were unable to accomplish much. For pitching, Jack Powell proved to be the most successful with his Game Three performance (7 innings, 3.86 ERA) even though he collected a loss.
This was mostly a full team effort for the 1939 Yankees on offense, who were stated to be led by Babe Dahlgren (.500/.636/1.000) who got the series MVP, but performances from Charlie Keller (.500/.571/.750) and Bill Dickey (.273/.385/.636) were also solid. For pitching, Red Ruffing (7.1 innings, 0.00 ERA) was the best as he got the win in Game Two, but not by much as Maruis Russo (7.0 innings, 1.29 ERA) and Lefty Gomez (6.0 innings, 1.50 ERA) also proved to be productive in their outings as well.
The Elite Eight Continues Monday, With The:
2019 Yankees (#7 Seed) at the 1998 Yankees (#2 Seed)