2017 Astros Edge 1927 Yankees @ MMP

Ruth and Gehrig
Murderers’ Row
The ’27 Yankees
Every Memory of Them is Linked in Greatness

It had to happen. All we needed was the cooperation of the baseball gods and the availability of the latest game player data on both rosters at the lights-out OOTP (“Out of the Park”) computer simulation baseball game – and here we are.

Our choice was to make it a winner-take-all one game contest at MMP — with no DH — under the rules that governed the game of baseball back in 1927. All we needed was a date in which the immortal souls of neither team were tied up with other game commitments. That wasn’t such a problem for the ’27 Yankees, but not for the reason you might think.

The ’27 Yankees may all be deceased from their previous earth-life forms, but that doesn’t mean they don’t continue to play soul-ball on their eternal level of spiritual continuation. In fact, the ’27 Yankees are currently holding down first place in the Beyondo Millennial League. It’s only their first season of play on that level, but with questions of time, net profiteering, and concern about the speed of the game no longer of any importance, baseball in the hereafter is finally free to be the game it needs to be — one that can hold the attention of eternal fans forever.

The current Beyondo Millennial League season began on January 1, 2001. It will end (so to speak) on January 1, 3001 — fulfilling the association’s commitment to playing a season that goes beyond a millennium of time by a single day.

Why? Why not? It’s sort of a base ball gods’ homage to clocks and all of the not-so-everlasting pain and reward heaped upon us by time during our period of physical aspiration and asphyxiation on earth.

The BML season schedule is only a tad more than 16 league games a century for ten centuries. The ’27 Yankees currently lead all others, but it’s awfully hard to call anything that moves this glacially slow as a pennant race. May as well be watching the standings here as you would Mount Rushmore — then asking the fellow watcher who was there before you: “Have you seen anything change since yesterday?”

And he sort of chuckles and mindlessly replies: “Well, I thought I had, but you can never be sure.”

Thursday, May 17, 2018 worked out great. The ’27 Yankees didn’t have another BML game on tap for four years hence and the Astros had a day off between the Angels and Indians on their 2018 schedule. Those of you who were swept up in the time warp/transcendent life space adjustments that made you one of those who got to attend the game in a very nearby parallel universe will have the rest of this life and next to be eternally grateful. All 40,234 of us who got to see the game will never forget it — glad that the Astros won — but surprised at how the thing played out.

Major surprise! The ’27 Yankees — “Murderers’ Row” — get one shot at the Crawford Boxes and whoa — Ruth, Gehrig, and the rest of the gang — all fail to go long ball. The New Yorkers get 7 hits, but 6 of them are singles, with catcher Pat Collins coming forth with the only extra base hit, a double. The Astros also failed to go long ball, but did manage a double by Correa and a triple by Reddick to go with their 9 singles.

For Openers. The Yankees got off to fast start against Astros starter Justin Verlander. Lead off batter Combs reached 1st when Astros 3rd baseman Alex Bregman mishandled an easy grounder. Then, after Koenig lofted an easy fly out to left, Babe Ruth smashed a hard single to right, moving Combs to 2nd base. Verlander then walked Gehrig to load the bases.

Meusel then lashed a single to left, scoring Combs with an unearned run that put the Yankees up, 1-0. Bases stay full.

Lazzeri then fanned swinging and Collins hit into a 6-4 force play on Meusel to retire the side.

Going to the bottom of the 1st, it was Yankees 1 – Astros 0.

Quick Recovery. With the great Waite Hoyt pitching for the ’27 Yankees, and already staked to a 1-0 lead, Springer led off the game for the Astros with a beautifully parabolic fly ball out to center field. Then Reddick walked – and was quickly moved to 2nd base by an Altuve single to center.

Correa next doubled into the left field gap, scoring Reddick from 2nd, and sending Altuve to 3rd. Then Hoyt got his mind back into the game. He retired Gonzalez on a can-of-corn to left – then opened a second can of hit-deprivation for Yulie Gurriel in center that killed two Astros geese on the scoring ponds and ended the first frame at Yankees 1 – Astros 1.

The Big Inning. The Astros harvested their winning edge in the bottom of the Third, but they had to fight hard for most of the game thereafter just to keep it. After Springer lead off with a 6-3 ground out, Reddick, Altuve, and Correa hit short field singles that loaded the bases.

Gonzalez then hit into a 4-6 force of Correa at 2nd base that scored Reddick from 3rd. Now, with Altuve at 3rd and Gonzalez at 1st, the Astros had taken their first lead in the game by 2-1.

Gurriel then singled up the middle, scoring Altuve from 3rd and sending Gonzalez to 2nd with an advantage over Hoyt that now stood as a 2-run difference. McCann then popped out to shortstop, ending the 3rd inning, but with the score now sitting at Houston 3 – New York 1.

One Late Yankee Charge. In the top of the 8th, with Harris now working into his 2nd inning of relief for starter Justin Verlander, Lazzeri struck out to start things. Then Collins unloaded the only Yankee long hit of the day, a double into the left field gap. Dugan then went down on a nubbing 1st base side roller on a 1-3 play that moved Collins to 3rd base with two outs.

Ray Morehart came in to pinch hit for Hoyt; he singled to left, scoring Collins. Combs then singled to left, and, on a ball that got away from left fielder Gonzalez, Morehart advanced to 3rd and Combs took 2nd. The Yankees had the tying and lead runs in scoring position. And Charlie Morton was brought in to pitch to Mark Koenig with two outs.

Morton got Koenig on a 6-3 ground ball out and the threat was halted. The game moved on to the bottom of the 8th with the teams now a measly run apart. It stayed that way through the entire 8th as the Astros were now staggering, but holding on. — Astros 3 – Yankees 2 through eight.

Spiritual Settlement Sustained. Surprise? Maybe not. Colin McHugh was brought in to pitch against the last Yankee hope for another long missed earth-bound victory. — Holey Moley!! — McHugh retired Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig on consecutive 4-3 ground outs to Altuve in short right field each time — and then he walked Meusel to keep Yankee hopes alive — if only for one more batter. But what a ride it was.

Lazzeri took two straight towering fouls down the left field line. Either ball would have given the Yankees a one-run lead, had either stayed fair, but neither did. Both were foul and the third time was even less charming. It was a high and helpless lazy fly ball out to left.

Gonzalez caught the ball for the final out of the game and then immediately stopped in his tracks, removed his cap, and pointed it reverently toward Lazzeri and the Yankee dugout – as all the other Astros fell in line with that same gesture from wherever they were standing in the field — or in the bullpen — or near the dugout.

“Not everybody gets to play the ’27 Yankees,” Jose Altuve said reverently in the moments that followed. “All we won tonight was the game itself. I’m still shook up for having this one chance to even be on the same field with these guys.”

Then it happened. The lighted field scene before us began to crinkle, melt, and disappear, even as we fans spoke to each other as to the chances we were all awakening from the same deep dream.

As we all filed out of the soon darkened place we all know as MMP, it was simply time to go through the one post-game practice routine that comes with all the regular earthly Astro games we attend. It was time to find our cars and go home.

We leave you with the data nuts of it all:

Line and Box Score Material

2017 Astros 3 ~ 1927 Yankees 2, @ MMP, Thurs., May 17, 2018

1927 NYY            100 000 010 ~ 2 R, 7 H, 2 E.

2017 HOU           102 000 00x ~ 3 R, 11 H, 4 E.

NYY-1927 AB R H RBI W-K BA
Combs, cf 5 1 1 0 0-1 .200
Koenig, ss 4 0 0 0 1-0 .000
Ruth, rf 4 0 2 0 1-0 .500
Gehrig, 1b 4 0 0 0 1-1 .000
Meusel, lf 4 0 1 1 1-0 .250
Lazzeri, 2b 5 0 0 0 0-2 .000
Collins, c 2 1 1 0 2-0 .500
Dugan, 3b 4 0 0 0 0-1 .000
Hoyt, p 2 0 1 0 0-0 .500
Morehart, ph 1 0 1 1 0-0 1.000
Moore, p 0 0 0 0 0-0 .000
TOTALS 35 2 7 2 6-5 .200
NYY PITCHING IP H R ER W-K ERA
Hoyt (L, 0-1) 7.0 9 3 3 1-4 3.86
Moore 1.0 2 0 0 0-0 0.00
TOTALS 8.0 11 3 3 1-4
HOU-2017 AB R H RBI W-K BA
Springer, cf 5 0 0 0 0-0 .000
Reddick, rf 4 2 2 0 1-0 .500
McHugh, p 0 0 0 0 0-0 .000
Altuve, 2b 4 1 3 0 0-1 .750
Correa, ss 4 0 2 1 0-0 .500
Gonzalez, lf 4 0 0 1 0-1 .000
Gurriel, 1b 4 0 1 1 0-0 .250
Bregman, 3b 4 0 1 0 0-0 .250
McCann, c 4 0 2 0 0-0 .500
Verlander, p 2 0 0 0 0-2 .000
Beltran, ph 1 0 0 0 0-0 .000
Harris, p 0 0 0 0 0-0 .000
Morton, p 0 0 0 0 0-0 .000
Kemp, ph/rf 1 0 0 0 0-0 .000
TOTALS 37 3 11 3 1-4 .297
             
HOU PITCHING IP H R ER W-K ERA
Verlander (W, 1-0) 6.0 4 1 O 4-4 0.00
Harris (H1) 1.2 3 1 1 1-1 5.40
Morton (H2) 0.1 0 0 0 0-0 0.00
McHugh (SV) 1.0 0 0 0 1-0 0.00
TOTALS 9.0 7 2 1 6-5

2BH: Collins, NYY (1); Correa, HOU (1)

3BH: Reddick, HOU (1)

HR: None

SB: Ruth, NYY (1)

E BY NYY: 2; Koenig, Gehrig (1 each)

E BY HOU: 4; Altuve, Bregman, Gurriel, Gonzalez (1 each)

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

 

 

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