Ultimate Yankee Series II: Game Three
By Mike Whiteman, 12/14/2020
Lineups: 1978 (Visitor) Mickey Rivers CF, Willie Randolph 2B, Thurman Munson C, Reggie Jackson RF, Graig Nettles 3B, Roy White LF, Jim Spencer, 1B, Bucky Dent SS, Catfish Hunter P
1961 (Home) Bobby Richardson 2B, Tony Kubek SS, Roger Maris RF, Mickey Mantle CF, Elston Howard C, Bill Skowron 1B, Yogi Berra LF, Clete Boyer 3B. Ralph Terry P
Starting Pitchers: Catfish Hunter (12-6, 3.58) toes the rubber against Ralph Terry (16-3, 3.15).
Summary: Like the previous games, the ‘78s got on the board early. Graig Nettles and Bucky Dent homered in the second inning, jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Ralph Terry was struggling with his command throughout his outing and walked Willie Randolph with the bases full in the fourth to force in another run. With a 4-0 lead, Catfish dealing and a rested Goose Gossage in the pen, things looked good for the ‘78s
Just like the previous game, the ’78’s starting pitcher cruised early. Hunter, the old vet at the end of his Hall of Fame career allowed only one hit through the first four frames. Like the previous game though, the wheels came off in the middle innings.
Yogi Berra and Clete Boyer led off with hits in the fifth and were driven in by a John Blanchard pinch two-run double. Singles by Bobby Richardson and Tony Kubek brought in another run and sent Hunter to the showers. Sparky Lyle came on with the hope of better results than Game Two, when he failed to retire a batter.
After walking Roger Maris, Sparky struck out Mickey Mantle and allowed an Elston Howard sacrifice fly. The side was retired when Moose Skowron singled to right, but Reggie Jackson threw a strike to the plate to catch Kubek attempting to score. The game was now tied.
While Terry had been shaky in his five innings of work, his replacements from the pen were solid. Tex Clevenger and Hal Reniff spun scoreless sixth and seventh innings.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Kubek came up big again and doubled with one out. After Maris flied out to right, Mantle was given a free pass. At this point, “Lem” Semendinger went to the future Hall of Famer Gossage (2.01 ERA in 1978) for the confrontation of the game against Howard, who batted .348 in 1961. The Yankee backstop came out on top, singling in Kubek.
The next move for ‘61s skipper Whiteman wasn’t all that difficult. He turned to closer Luis Arroyo (15 wins, 29 saves in 1961) to close the door and that’s exactly what he did, holding the ‘78s scoreless the rest of the way.
1961 Yankees 5. 1978 Yankees 4. The 1961 team leads the series two games to one.
What went right: Kubek had two more hits and an RBI and leads all batters with a .417 average…The Yankee pen held the ‘78s scoreless for the last four innings…Willie Randolph had two hits and a walk for the ‘78s.
What went wrong: Mantle and Maris had no hits in six at-bats, walking three times. They are a combined 2-21 (two singles) in the Series thus far… The ’78s bullpen has struggled the past two games.
Player of the game: Howard drove in two runs, including the eventual game-winner off of Gossage.
Final Thought: A big Game Four contest coming up. How long into the game can Guidry go on short rest?
Looking Ahead: Manager Semendinger brings Gator (25-3, 1.74) , fresh off of his dominating Game One performance, back on three days’ rest in an effort to even up the Series. The ’61s send Rollie Sheldon (11-5, 3.60 in 1961) to the mound.
Should Paul really go to Guidry on short rest? Think Mike shake up the ’61 batting order to get Mantle and Maris going? Take the reins yourself: