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SMOOV SIMULATIONS: 1966 Yankees vs. 1990 Yankees (Game 1)
With the 2011 MLB season a mere three weeks away, I thought it would be the perfect time to break out the simulations yet again. These simulations come courtesy of the talented folks at WhatIf Sports — be sure to check out their SimMatchup and SimLeague features, and input your own simulated games. For this installment, I’m jumping the shark a bit and pitting the 1966 and 1990 Yankees against each other. You may remember these teams because they were the last two Yankee teams to finish last in the league/division. This series features Hall-of-Famers Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford, former home-run champ Roger Maris and former AL MVP Don Mattingly approaching the twilight of their careers. Combine this with the other random players on each team, and you have a recipe for an interesting series.
Let’s take a look at how Game 1 went:
Both teams send their respective aces to the mound at the original Yankee Stadium: Tim Leary for the 1990 Yankees and Mel Stottlemyre for the 1966 squad. While not classic, it became a pitchers’ duel with the future Yankees pitching coach ending up on top, 3-1. “Stot” went the distance, allowing one run on eight hits and striking out nine. Leary was no slouch either, allowing three runs on four hits. Joe Pepitone provided all of the offense for the ’66 Yanks with a three-run HR in the 1st inning and accounted for two of the four hits. Roy White, Bobby Richardson, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle combined to go 0-13, making the win more improbable. Multi-hit games from Roberto Kelly, Don Mattingly and Jim Leyritz were wasted as the ’90 Yanks couldn’t break through in the run column off Stottlemyre (my Yankee tweeps would refer to this as #RISPfail).
So we see the 1966 Yankees jump out to a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven simulated series. Can Ralph Houk’s team keep the momentum going and take a commanding 2-0 lead at home? Or will Stump Merrill’s boys rebound to take home-field advantage away? Find out in tomorrow’s installment!