Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Greatest World Series Ever: 1951 Yankees vs. 1998 Yankees, Game 3

Let's be honest, you really don't want to watch the team that's actually taking the field in 2021. In this series, at least the Yankees are going to get a win.

So, let's get back to the Greatest World Series Ever. The series is even as we head to the original Yankee Stadium for Game 3.

The lineups: 

1998: Derek Jeter, SS; Scott Brosius, 3B; Bernie Williams, CF; Paul O'Neill, RF; Jorge Posada, C; Tino Martinez, 1B; Chuck Knoblauch, 2B; Chad Curtis, DH; Shane Spencer, LF. Starting Pitcher: David Wells.

1951: Phil Rizzuto, SS; Hank Bauer, RF; Gil McDougald, 3B; Yogi Berra, C; Mickey Mantle, CF; Gene Woodling, LF; Bobby Brown, DH; Jerry Coleman, 2B; Joe Collins, 1B. Starting Pitcher: Allie Reynolds.

Click below to see what happens in Game 3:

Bottom of the 1st: Phil Rizzuto hits a grounder to third that Scott Brosius bobbles for an error. Hank Bauer then rips his second triple of the series to give the 1951 team a quick lead. Score: 1951 1, 1998 0.

Top of the 2nd: Paul O'Neill hits a groundball that gets through the right side for a single to lead off the inning. O'Neill makes a rare baserunning error, though, and gets picked off first. He smashes his helmet into the wall when he gets back into the dugout. Jorge Posada then singles to left, and is forced at second by a Tino Martinez grounder. A Chuck Knoblauch single moves Tino to second, and Chad Curtis follows up with a hard liner to left, but Martinez has to hold up at third. Bases loaded for Shane Spencer, but the inning ends when Spencer grounds out to first. Four hits and no runs. A missed opportunity for the 1998 team. Score: 1951 1, 1998 0.

Top of the 3rd: Derek Jeter leads off with a drive that goes to the wall in right-center and ends up at third with a triple. After Brosius strikes out swinging, Bernie Williams singles to right to tie the game. Score: Tied, 1-1.

Top of the 5th: Jeter again leads off the inning, and hits a ground ball single to right. After Brosius singles to left, Bernie Williams beats out a nubber to the right side to load the bases with nobody out. O'Neill hits a fly ball deep enough to score Jeter and give the '98 team the lead, but Allie Reynolds prevents more damage by striking out Posada and Martinez to end the inning. Score: 1998 2, 1951 1.

Top of the 6th: Knoblauch and Curtis start the inning with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Spencer then singles up the middle to score Knoblauch and move Curtis to third. Jeter's shallow fly to left isn't deep enough to score Curtis, but Brosius hits one deeper and Curtis tags to increase the '98 team's lead to 3. Score: 1998 4, 1951 1.

Bottom of the 8th: David Wells is still pitching for the 1998 Yankees. With one out, Bauer and Gil McDougald hit back-to-back doubles to make it a 2-run game and Joe Torre brings in Mariano Rivera. (You know Suzyn, having Mariano come in in the middle of an inning, with runners on base, is entirely different than him coming in at the start of an inning.) Yogi Berra greets Rivera by hitting a bloop over Jeter's head into left, moving McDougald to third, and Mantle follows with a liner to right that brings McDougald home. Gene Woodling then doubles, scoring Berra and moving Mantle to third. After an intentional walk to Bobby Brown, Jerry Coleman's grounder gets through the infield to score Mantle and give the 1951 team the lead. Rivera finally settles down and gets Joe Collins on a pop to short and Rizzuto on a grounder, but the damage is done. Score: 1951 5, 1998 4.

Top of the 9th: Joe Ostrowski comes on to pitch for the 1951 Yanks (Bobby Hogue had replaced Reynolds in the 8th). Williams leads off with a single. Paul O'Neill flies to shallow center, but Posada then singles through the left side to put runners on first and second. Tino Martinez fouls off three pitches before swinging through a pitch for the second out. Knoblauch then hits a fly to center that's deep ... but not deep enough. Mantle hauls it in and the 1951 Yankees have a comeback win and a series lead. 

FINAL SCORE: 1951 Yankees 5, 1998 Yankees 4.

(Susyn, this was just missed opportunities. The 1998 Yankees had 17 hits. If you get 17 hits in a World Series game, you have to win. And you have to score more than 4 runs.)

1951 Yankees lead the series, 2 games to 1

Tomorrow's pitching matchup: Eddie Lopat vs. Orlando Hernandez

Here's the boxscore:



JM said...

This was an exciting game. Thanks.

I really hope the '51 team wins this. As great as the '98 team was, it was only great to me against all the Yankees teams I've seen. The ones from before my time? I have no idea, but I bet some of them were better, especially in the context of baseball at the time.

But that's an argument that goes on forever.

HoraceClarke66 said...

It's a legitimate argument, JM...but not when it comes to the 1951 team, good as it was.

Bernie, I'm interested to see that the computer is free to turn over all the decisions the teams actually made.

Hence, DiMaggio doesn't play in the World Series—in 1951, he played in all 6 games, and drove in 5 runs—Sain starts (only the Big Three for the 1951 Yanks started in the real Series), Mariano is used in the middle of an inning (relatively rare, in the Series), and Paulie is so reckless on the basepaths that he's picked off first (did that EVER really happen to him?).

I guess I'd be more interested in something that better reflected how the teams actually played.

BernBabyBern said...

As far as the 1951 Yankees going beyond the Big Three and starting Sain, that's because of a decision I made when setting up the tournament ... I set each team to have a four-man playoff rotation. Since it was a multi-round tournament, I didn't think a 3-man rotations would be realistic, nor a test of a team's depth; and I didn't want a five-man rotation because I was using the team's World Series rosters, and some teams wouldn't carry fifth starters (If I used a 5-man rotation, Mariano Rivera would have started Game 5 for the 1996 Yankees, since Gooden was left off the roster).

And I did find evidence of Paul O'Neill getting picked off at least once -- in an interleague game against the Marlins (it could have happened more, but I stopped searching Google once I did find an example). One note ... the game story for that Yanks-Marlins noted that O'Neill slammed his helmet in anger after the play, so the bit of color that I added turned out to be pretty accurate -- of course, predicting that Paul O'Neill would lose his cool isn't going that far out on a limb. (Paulie also got tossed arguing in the Marlins game, but apparently the computer umps gave him more rope and Joe was able to get him back in the dugout before he got tossed).

As far as DiMaggio, I was surprised at his lack of use. As much as I can figure, the Yankees had four outfielders that played a lot that season. Joe D. had the lowest BA, slugging percentage and OPS of them all, so I'm guessing that's why DiMaggio didn't start in the OF. I can't quite figure why Bobby Brown got the nod at DH, though.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks for clarifying that, Bernie. I like the color touches. And it speaks to the difficulty of playing teams from different eras.

Mantle, of course, was terribly injured in the second game of that 1951 World Series, so he couldn't go after that. But DiMaggio was already in center. I mean, even though he was at the end, he was considered a god. It would have been like sitting Jeter, had the Yanks made it to the Series in his last year.

Bobby Brown was actually made to be a DH: a very good hitter who fielded many positions at a subpar level.

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