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BotYD: Final Four, Series #2 – The 1939 Yankees @ The 1998 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 second Final Four (ALCS) match-up with the 1939 Yankees at the 1998 Yankees!

 

Match-Ups:

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).

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to have a true indication from Out of the Park Baseball on which team is truly favored by the simulation.

What is interesting is that while the 1998 team is favored (just very slightly) as the #2 seed over the 1939 team having the #3 seed, they hold a 2 to 7 line-up disadvantage. However, they seem to hold a favorable advantage when it comes to starting pitching, or at least for the first game in the series.

But, with both teams so close in seeding, let’s see how this plays out!

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.

 

Game One:

Quite often in these simulations, we’ve seen teams take advantage of the home field advantage, leading towards a quick 1-0 series lead. In this case, however, the 1939 Yankees must’ve had a good time playing in the more modern ballpark as they quickly planted a run in each of the first three innings of the game. However, more important than the quick 3 runs was Lefty Gomez’s pitching for 1939 as he led them with an 8 inning, 3 hit, 2 walk, 4 strikeout performance while shutting out the 1998 Yankees. A final run was scored in the 7th, giving the 1939 Yankees a 4-0 victory in Game One.

 

Game Two:

If you’ve been interested in what the most interesting game in this simulation series may be, look towards Game Two of this series. After both teams held each other to just 1 run through the first 13 innings of the game, the game ended up in favor of 1939 by a score of 12-1. The pitching of 1998 allowed 11 runs to score in the 14th inning, 9 of which (8 earned) came off Mike Stanton in his 3rd inning of work (he didn’t collect any outs) from 7 hits and 2 walks. Interestingly enough, only one HR was hit in that crazy inning- a solo shot from Bill Dickey to start the scoring mayhem. The no-hitter a few series back was cool to see, but this game was crazy.

 

Game Three:

Now back in time with the 1939 Yankees holding the field-advantage, the offense continued to keep their foot on the gas pedal as Charlie Keller earned player of the game honors while going 3-4 with a double, a HR, and 4 RBI’s. Again, it was another close game with 1998 as the game was 7-6 (in favor of 1939) going into the bottom of the 8th inning, but a 4 run bottom of the 8th set the older team up for an 11-6 victory. Neither starting pitcher was able to go past 4 innings of work, and it would appear the much higher usage of relievers for 1998 was having a negative effect.

 

Game Four:

In a deciding Game Four, the 1939 Yankees again showed that they were the worthy team to move on in this tournament to the World Series. Scoring in every inning but the 5th, and not requiring a 9th, the 1939 offense contributed 10 runs as Red Rolfe earned player of the game honors with a 3-4 performance marked by a double, HR, and 3 RBI’s. Hideki Irabu lasted just 2 innings as a starter for 1998 while allowing 4 runs as they had to rely on both Orlando Hernandez (3.1 IP, 4 R) and David Cone (2.2 IP, 2 R) to finish out a game where pitching failed.

The 1939 Yankees are on their way to the World Series!

 

Series Stats and MVP:

Marked by a plethora of double-digit runs allowed, the pitching ERA’s for 1998 was incredible at the series end as Mariano Rivera (1.2 IP) and Ramiro Mendoza (4.0 IP) were the lone pair with a 0.00 ERA. Andy Pettitte made it 6 innings with a 1.50 ERA in a lost Game Two that he tried to hold. On offense, it is clear why the 1998 Yankees fell as even though Chuck Knoblauch led the team with a .389/.450/667 triple-slash with 4 RBI’s and HR, the star shortstop of the team Derek Jeter finished the 4 games with a triple slash of .000/.000/.000 through 20 plate appearances! Rough.

For 1939 however, it was a very different situation as 5 different pitchers recoreded ERA’s at 0.00, marked by Lefty Gomez as his 8.0 innings of work. But, the MVP of the series Red Rolfe (.476/.500/.857 with 1 HR and 8 RBI’s) and his offense were incredible in the sweep as all but 2 players had a SLG over .500. This is an offensive score-card to look through. Incredible.

 

The WORLD SERIES is Tomorrow, With The:

1939 Yankees (#3 Seed) at the 1927 Yankees (#1 Seed)

#BattleoftheYankeesDecades

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