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The Ultimate Yankee Series: Game Three

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/ .

Will this project “prove” who the better team was? Unlikely. Hopefully it will provide an interesting read while we await the heating up of the Hot Stove!

For the sake of this project, I’ll consider 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 THREE Lineups: 1998 (Visitor) Chuck Knoblauch 2B, Derek Jeter SS, Paul O’Neill RF, Bernie Williams CF, Tino Martinez 1B, Scott Brosius 3B, Chad Curtis LF, Joe Girardi C; David Cone P https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1998.shtml

1927 (Home) Earle Combs CF, Mark Koenig SS, Babe Ruth LF, Lou Gehrig 1B, Bob Meusel LF, Tony Lazzeri 2B, Joe Dugan 3B, Benny Bengough C, Herb Pennock P https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1927.shtml

Starting Pitchers: David Cone (20-7, 3.55) is on the hill for the ‘98s going up against Hall of Famer Herb Pennock (19-8, 3.00).

Summary: The ‘98s got onto the board first on a Paul O’Neill solo homer. Chad Curtis’ bases loaded walk in the fourth gave Joe Torre’s team a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the frame, Babe Ruth led off with a home run, his second of the series. After Cone walked Lou Gehrig, Joe Dugan doubled the Iron Horse in, and the game was knotted at two. The ‘27s took the lead in the sixth when Gehrig led off with a walk and was singled to third by Tony Lazzeri. Dugan then just nubbed a dribbler not far past the plate but a heads-up Gehrig scampered home for a run. Pennock then helped his own cause with an RBI single.

The ‘98s responded quickly in the top of the seventh with singles by Joe Girardi and pinch hitter Tim Raines. Chuck Knoblauch doubled in Girardi and Derek Jeter singled in Raines and Knoblauch. Suddenly, the ‘98s had a 5-4 lead.

Torre then went to his bullpen, and Ramiro Mendoza and Jeff Nelson held the numbers 2-6 batters, including three Hall of Famers, in the ‘27s lineup hitless in the eighth and ninth innings. It was now time for Mariano Rivera, he of the 0.70 lifetime postseason ERA, to close things out.

Rivera was uncharacteristically wild, walking pinch hitters Pat Collins and Ben Paschal to open the bottom of the ninth. The lineup then turned over to the top, and leadoff hitter Earle Combs singled in pinch runner Mike Gazella. Mark Koening’s fly to right field was just enough to score Paschal.

Game over, Rivera blown save.

1927 Yankees 6, 1998 Yankees 5. The ‘27s lead the Series two games to one.

What went right: The ‘27s offense woke up a bit, putting six runs on the board after scoring just four in the first two games…Ruth and Bernie Williams lead all hitters with a .400 batting average in three games.

What went wrong: The last thing one would expect from Rivera would be to walk the first two batters he faced…the ‘98s had fifteen baserunners, but grounded into three double plays.

Player of the game: Dugan had two RBI and was solid in the field.

Final Thought: Even in a tabletop game, it was stunning to see Rivera just fall apart and blow the game.

What’s next: The ‘98s turn to Andy Pettite to even the Series against ‘27s lefty Dutch R

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