BotYD: Final Four, Series #1 – The 1961 Yankees @ The 1927 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 a few weeks back and today we have our first Final Four (ALCS) match-up with the 1961 Yankees at the 1927 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).
After so many posts about this, we’re still unable to see a clear favorite by logos between the 1961 and the 1927 Yankees. With this also being a #4 against a #1 seed as well, these match-ups get incredibly close between the two teams. However, there still is a favorite:
The 1927 Yankees hold a 6 to 3 advantage in the line-up, as well as with their Game One starting pitcher. Will this show, or can the 1961 Yankees take this series against the odds?
Remember: Now that we are onto the Final Four, each series is emulating a current-day ALCS Format with a Best-of-Seven Game Series.
If the Game One starting pitching match-up wasn’t obvious from star ratings in the match-up screen shown above, it showed greatly in their performances. Geogre Pipgras earned player of the game honors after going 7 innings while allowing 3 hits, 2 runs (both unearned), 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts. Bill Stafford on the other-hand made it only 3.2 innings with 4 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 4 walks, and 3 strikeouts. The 1927 Yankees came out with a brutal 4 run bottom of the 1st inning, and supplied 3 more runs later in the game off a solo-HR from Earle Combs in the 4th and a 2-run HR from Bob Meusel in the 7th as they took the opening game of the series by a score of 7-4.
The pitching much improved for 1961 coming into Game Two as both Ralph Terry (6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K) and Herb Pennock (6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K) had very similar pitching lines when all was said and done. However, that doesn’t mean that 1961 was able to pull away a victory as a 3-run bottom of the 6th provided the 1927 Yankees with all the runs they would need en route to a victory. With the game ending 5-2 and up 2 games to none, the series was off to the year 1961.
The 1961 Yankees took full advantage of the home-field advantage early in Game Three as they scored in 4 of the first 5 innings to a 6-1 lead over 1927. By win probability, they were within the mid-to-upper 90 percents, but an absolutely abysmal top of the 7th inning, in his second inning of work (where he ended up recording 0 outs) proved terrible for Bob Turley as he allowed 6 runs to score for 1927 and the game to tie late. Late in the game, Babe Ruth would supplant his name to be the obvious player of the game as he hit. A 2-run single in the 8th and a 3-run HR in the 9th en route to a 3-5 day and 7 RBI’s.
Down 3 games to 0, the 1961 Yankees needed to be able to pull out something in Game Four in order to keep their hopes alive. Unfortunately, that hope sank in the top of the 4th inning, where all the runs would be scored for the entire game as the 1927 Yankees put up 3 from a Tony Lazzeri 2-RBI double and a Joe Dugan RBI single. Bud Daley won player of the game honors in his defeat with a great pitching line (7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 8 K), but his team was held to just 7 hits and only one (a double in the 9th) for extra-bases. The 1927 Yankees swept this series with a shut-out to end it against 1961 as they clinched their spot in the World Series.
Series Stats and MVP:
The combination of Tony Kubek (.600/.647/.867) and Yogi Berra (.357/.438/.786; 2 HR, 5 RBI’s) proved not enough for the the 1961 Yankees on offense. Unfortunately, they couldn’t come through with enough runs in the games that were close. Pitching wise, Whitey Ford had the best effort (5.1 IP, 2 H, 5 BB, 6 K, 1.69 ERA) of the bunch, but outside of ERA is still nothing to be incredibly impressed by. The team was great through the tournament but started to cool at the wrong time.
For the 1927 Yankees, Early Combs far and away led the team and was given MVP honors for his .389/.450/.778 triple slash with 1 HR and only 1 RBI. Of other offensive notes, Lou Gehrig had an OBP of .611, Joe Dugan collected 7 RBI’s, and Babe Ruth collected 8 RBI’s. For their pitching, 5 different players ended with a 0.00 ERA (notable George Pipgras and his 7 innings of work) while Herb Pennock also finished with a 1.35 ERA. Across the team, they were incredible and easily took the series towards going to the final part of this tournament.
The Final Four Continues (and Ends) Tomorrow, With The:
1939 Yankees (#3 Seed) at the 1998 Yankees (#2 Seed)