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Ultimate Yankee Series II: Game One

Paul Semendinger and Mike Whiteman are pitting their managerial skills against each other in another edition of the Ultimate Yankee Series.

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 this project, 1978 team will be considered the home team in Games One, Two, Six and Seven. The Designated Hitter will be used when the ‘78s are home team.

GAME ONE Lineups: 1961 (Visitor) Bobby Richardson 2B, Tony Kubek SS, Roger Maris RF, Mickey Mantle CF, Elston Howard C, Bill Skowron 1B, Yogi Berra LF, Clete Boyer 3B, Hector Lopez DH

1978 (Home) Willie Randolph 2B, Mickey Rivers CF, Thurman Munson C, Reggie Jackson DH, Chris Chambliss 1B, Lou Piniella RF, Graig Nettles 3B, Roy White LF, Bucky Dent SS

Starting Pitchers: A match up of great Yankee left handers – Whitey Ford (25-4, 3.21) against Ron Guidry (25-3, 1.74)

Summary: Both pitchers started the game a bit on the ropes. One recovered.

After the ‘61s went down in order to start the game, the ‘78s didn’t waste any time. Willie Randolph led off with a walk, and Mickey Rivers ripped a home run and the ‘78s had an early 2-0 lead.

The ‘61s tied the game right up in the second when Yogi Berra singled home Elston Howard and Moose Skowron. Ford spun a scoreless second, but it wasn’t easy, working around hits by Roy White and Bucky Dent.

Afterwards, the two starters went different paths.

Gator allowed only two singles and a couple walks the rest of the way.

Ford couldn’t find the grove.

In the third inning Lou Piniella singled in Reggie Jackson, who was hit by an errant pitch leading off. The ‘78s scored twice in the fifth a walk, two hits, a sacrifice fly and a Tony Kubek error. Whitey’s day was mercifully ended when Nettles homered leading off the seventh.

An RBI single by Reggie capped the scoring and Guidry’s strong outing was just too much for the ‘61s.

1978 Yankees 7, 1961 Yankees 2. The ‘78s lead the Ultimate Yankee Series II, one game to none.

What went right: Guidry righted the ship, and finished with a CG and thirteen strikeouts…The ‘78s stroked out fourteen base hits…Rivers, Munson, Jackson, Nettles, White and Dent each had two hits.

What went wrong: Ford just seemed in trouble his whole outing, allowing twelve hits, walking two and hitting a batter….Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle combined for only one hit in eight at bats.

Player of the game: Guidry. While the 1961 team probably looks a bit better on paper, the Yankee left-hander, fresh off of his 1978 season, could be the equalizer in a short series. Manager Semendinger will have to discern if he wants to bring Guidry back on short rest in Game Four, or give him another day’s rest to be fully effective in Game Five.

Final Thought: If the ‘78s keep hitting like they did in this game, they may well take the series, and perhaps easier than thought possible.

Want to take the managerial reigns yourself?


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