BotYD: Match-Up #2 – The 1956 Yankees @ The 2009 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 continue the Sweet 16 today with the 1956 Yankees at the 2009 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).
These two teams are very closely ranked, as the top and bottom of the order slightly favors the 2009 team, while the heart of the order favors the 1956 team. The pitching (or at least the aces of the staffs) are about equal, but with the home-field advantage it seems like the 2009 just squeaks ahead.
The 1956 Yankees took an early lead against the 2009 Yankees, but it was looking to be that history would repeat itself as DH Hideki Matsui hit a 2-run homerun in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the 2009 Yankees the lead.
Hank Bauer and Bill “Moose” Skowron each hit a homer for the 1956 team, as did Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano for the 2009 team. Both starting pitchers didn’t show the best stuff either.
The 1956 Yankees had a solid lead going into their final innings as they let down their starting pitcher Tom Sturdivant (7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) with allowing a comeback to even the game at 5 in the 8th. However, the team had an insane 5-run 10th inning to pull ahead, tagging Mariano Rivera for 5 hits and 2 walks to 4 earned runs, en route to a 10-5 victory.
The 2009 Yankees let down Andy Pettitte, who lasted only 3.2 innings after allowing 7 hits, and 5 runs (only 1 earned due to 3 errors) as his team was led again by Hideki Matsui with 3 hits, the only player to get more than 1.
A decisive Game 3 almost came down to the wire as the 2009 team attempted a third straight end-of-the-game, come-from-behind win, but they ultimately couldn’t do it.
The 1956 pitchers held the bats of 2009 to only 4 hits (2 from Hideki Matsui) and 3 walks (1 from Hideki Matsui) as they only allowed 2 runs, one from a Melky Cabrera solo HR. Don Larsen went 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K as both Billy Martin and Yogi Berra hit home runs on the offensive side.
A.J. Burnett didn’t disappoint in this game, going 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, but the offense didn’t show up for him.
Series Statistics and MVP:
The 2000 Yankees were led entirely by Hideki Matsui on the offensive side, who even took home the MVP honors for this series as a player on the losing side. The pitching wasn’t great, but A.J. Burnett and David Robertson did both do a good to great job.
The 1956 Yankees, however, had a bunch of stand-outs on both sides of the ball. On offense, Jerry Coleman led the team in slugging (0.727) while every other 3-game hitter except 1 hit at or above .250. On the pitching side, Don Larsen and Tom Sturdivant stood out as starting pitchers while Bob Grim was great in his 3 innings of relief work.
The Sweet Sixteen Continues Tomorrow:
1999 Yankees (#12 Seed) @ 1941 Yankees (#5 Seed)!