The Ultimate Yankee Series: Game Five
I’m running a simulation of a “what if” type of a World Series between the 1927 Yankees and the 1998 Yankees. I’ll be using the Strat-O-Matic baseball game. Learn more about Strat at http://www.strat-o-matic.com/ .
For the sake of this project, I’m considering the 1998 team as the home team in games one, two, six and seven. The DH will be used when the ‘98s are home team.
GAME FIVE (1927 Yankees lead the Series, three games to one) Lineups: 1998 (Visitor) Chuck Knoblauch 2B, Derek Jeter SS, Paul O’Neill RF, Bernie Williams CF, Tino Martinez 1B, Darryl Strawberry LF, Jorge Posada C, Scott Brosius 3B, David Wells P https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1998.shtml
1927 (Home) Earle Combs CF, Mark Koenig SS, Babe Ruth RF, Lou Gehrig 1B, Bob Meusel LF, Tony Lazzeri 2B, Joe Dugan 3B, Pat Collins C, Waite Hoyt P https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1927.shtml
Starting Pitchers: A rematch of Game One – David Wells (18-4, 3.49) tries to help the 98s stay alive against Waite Hoyt (22-7, 2.63).
Summary: This time, it was the 27s to get on the board in the first inning, with Lou Gehrig homering off of Wells. The 27s were off to a 2-0 lead.
The 98s halved the lead in the third on Chuck Knoblauch’s solo homer, and then seemingly blew the game open in the fifth, scoring four runs; the crucial blow a bases-loaded double by Paul O’Neill. The 98s were up 5-2, and primed to keep alive in the best of seven series.
In the bottom of the fifth though, Bob Meusel chased Wells with a two-run double, and the 27s had come within a run. In the seventh, the Murderers’ Row took the lead back on another two-run homer by Gehrig.
Miller Hugging turned again to relief ace Wilcy Moore, who retired the 98s in order in the eighth and ninth innings. The game, and the series, were over.
1927 Yankees 6, 1998 Yankees 4. The ‘27s win the Ultimate Series, four games to one.
What went right: Gehrig broke out in a big way, with two home runs and four RBI…Moore’s second save; he had a 0.00 ERA in 6.3 innings pitched in the series.
What went wrong: The 98s committed two errors, leading to two unearned runs…neither Hoyt or Wells were very sharp.
Player of the game: Gehrig. With a slash line of .412/.500/1.000, he could be series MVP as well. Moore’s relief heroics would get him some MVP votes as well.
Final Thought: Again, unearned runs doomed the 1998 Yankees.
So, were the 1927 Yankees that much better than the 1998 Yankees? Well, that might be a tough case to make. In the short sample size simulation, the 1998s committed six errors in five games, while the real life team averaged just over a half of an error per game.
I remember the 1998 season well, and one thing I recall is how rarely that team beat itself. There truly was an aura about that team that as a fan I just knew, no matter what the circumstances, that Joe Torre’s team would pull out the victory in the end. A numbers based simulation just can’t replicate that.
It’s fun to wonder though. If you wonder like me, I’d encourage you to pick up a copy of the Strat-O-Matic game. At its core, it is still the same game we played with the neighborhood kids back in the 1970s and 1980s, when I used to buy the game with monies earned from mowing lawns, feeding animals, shoveling snow, etc. There’s something very “retro” about rolling dice and looking at cards and charts to produce a result in this tech based, instant gratification world. For a short time when “rolling” a game, I’m transposed back to the time when my days typically consisted of playing baseball, reading about baseball, watching baseball on TV, rolling Strat games and occasional schoolwork. A fun reminder of what was a great way to grow up. As I have daughters who aren’t all that interested in baseball, I don’t have any rolling partners anymore, but things such as this inspire me to introduce them some simple “old school” into their lives.
I wish you all a happy, safe and healthy New Year! Thank you all for reading and your thoughtful commenting on my posts. Lets hope that this time next year we’re reading articles in review of the Yankees 2019 World Series champions!