BotYD: Match-Up #4 – The 1985 Yankees @ The 1961 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 1985 Yankees at the 1961 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).
We’ve seen pretty clear favorability in our other match-ups towards the higher seed, yet this match-up shows that the two teams are pretty even across how the game ranks these players. What is especially interesting is that the 1985 team did score more in their true seasons (839 runs to 827) which is why they’re slightly favored on offense, but the pitching for 1961 has a much bigger advantage.
Game One in this series was one of the best pitching games by both sides in any of the games during the Sweet Sixteen. Whitey Ford for the 1961 team ultimately got the win with an 8.0 IP performance, allowing only 3 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 0 walks, and 8 strikeouts. Ron Guidry for the 1985 team received no decision in his teams loss as he went 7.1 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walk, and 10 strikeouts. However, his relief pitcher, Dave Righetti was unable to hold the lead in the 8th inning, allowing the winning run to score via a Roger Maris 2-run home run.
Game Two was a more hitter-friendly game, as neither team had a dominant pitching performance from a starter or reliever. Phil Niekro on the other hand pitched quite poorly, allowing 4 runs (all earned) in only 3.2 innings of work with 9 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, and 2 home runs allowed. His relievers pitched nearly perfect the remainder of the game- aside from 1 walk- but his offense let him down in the losing effort, aside from a Dave Winfield 2-run home run in the 7th.
For 1961, 5 different hitters collected an extra-base hit, including home runs from Yogi Berra and Tony Kubek, as well as a triple from Mickey Mantle. The hitting wasn’t dominated by any one player, but spread amongst the team, which allowed them to grab runs early. Bill Stafford had a solid starting outing, going 5 scoreless innings.
Series Statistics and MVP:
Getting multiple hits in both games of the series (2 in Game 1, 3 in Game 2), Tony Kubek found himself the MVP of the series as the 1961 team swept the 1985 team. Bobby Richardson for 1961 was also a solid hitter, going 5-7, as was Don Mattingly for 1985 (4-8, 1 HR). As we previously mentioned, the top pitchers were the starting pitchers from Game One: Ron Guidry for 1985 and Whitey Ford for 1961.
It is easy to see why the 1985 team lost this series- even though both games were within 1 run- as 6 different hitters failed to get on base over the course of either and/or both games!
The Sweet Sixteen Continues Tomorrow:
1962 Yankees (#11 Seed) @ 1939 Yankees (#6 Seed)!