The good folks at Strat-O-Matic — specifically, chief content officer John Garcia — agreed to simulate an all-time modern Subway Series.
Well, next weekend we will reach the 25th edition of the Subway Series — something kids growing up in New York in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s dreamed about, something that has become a routine part of the ’90s and beyond thanks to the advent of interleague play.
To celebrate, the good folks at Strat-O-Matic — specifically, chief content officer John Garcia — agreed to simulate an all-time modern Subway Series. Anyone who’s played for the Mets or Yankees since Dave Mlicki blanked the Yankees, 6-0, on June 16, 1997, was eligible.
We all grew up with Strat-O-Matic, too, the Long Island-based company founded 60 years ago by Hal Richman and run now by his son Adam — which this year has experienced a resurgence in sales and growth, in large part because you can invent a world where this kind of best-of-seven series can exist.
Game 1, at Yankee Stadium | Yankees 4, Mets 3
WP: Nelson (1-0); LP: Benitez (0-1)
HR: Piazza (1), Delgado (1), Giambi (1), Judge (1), Teixeira (1)
Summary: The Yankees prevail in a marathon, pinch-runner Brett Gardner scoring on a passed ball in the bottom of the 13th after Aaron Judge ties it in the bottom of the ninth with a two-out, solo home run off Billy Wagner.
Game 2, at Yankee Stadium | Mets 5, Yankees 4
WP: Franco (1-0); LP: Rivera (0-1); SV: Wagner (1)
HR: Piazza (2), Delgado 2 (3), Alonso (1)
Summary: The Mets exact some extra-inning revenge. Carlos Delgado takes Mariano Rivera out to the short porch in right, the Mets’ fourth home run of the night. David Wright contributes three hits to the Mets’ 10-hit attack.
Game 3, at Citi Field | Mets 5, Yankees 0
WP: Martinez (1-0); LP: Pettitte (0-1)
HR: Alonso 2 (3)
Summary: Pedro Martinez is on his game, twirling a four-hit shutout and fanning eight. Pete Alonso hits a pair off Andy Pettitte, a two-run shot to cap a three-run first and another two-run blast in the fifth.
Game 4, at Citi Field | Mets 4, Yankees 3
WP: Rodriguez (1-0); LP: Betances (0-1);
SV: Wagner (2)
HR: Posada (1), Delgado (4)
Summary: Another nail-biter to the Mets, putting them within a game of the series. A one-out single by Mike Piazza in the bottom of the eighth off Dellin Betances plates Daniel Murphy with the go-ahead run, and Alex Rodriguez lines out with two runners on to end the game.
Game 5, at Citi Field | Yankees 7, Mets 2
WP: Betances (1-1); LP: Familia (0-1)
HR: Jeter (1), Giambi (1), Matsui (1)
Summary: Nine outs from a series victory, the Mets’ bullpen implodes, and the Yanks blow it open with four in the ninth, highlighted by two-run homers by Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi. Trailing 2-1 in the seventh, a Didi Gregorius single off Jacob deGrom ties it, and an inning later a bases-loaded walk to Paul O’Neill by Edwin Diaz plates the go-ahead run.
Game 6, at Yankee Stadium | Yankees 6, Mets 4
WP: Sabathia (1-0); LP: Santana (0-1);
SV: Rivera (1)
HR: Delgado (5), Conforto (1), Judge 2 (3)
Summary: The Yankees rough up Johan Santana, knocking him out in the fifth after erasing an early 4-0 deficit. Judge hits two home runs, including a two-run shot in the fourth and a solo blast leading off the sixth to back the six-hit pitching of CC Sabathia and three relievers.
Game 7, at Yankee Stadium | Yankees 3, Mets 2
WP: Rivera; LP: Wagner
HR: Piazza (3), Rodriguez (1), Giambi 2 (3)
Summary: Giambi’s two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth off Wagner gives the Yankees the game and series win. The Mets take a 2-0 lead in the first on Mike Piazza’s third home run. The Yanks answer in the sixth on a solo shot by Rodriguez off Martinez, who allows but two hits and fans 13 in seven innings. Rivera pitches two innings for the win, the last of five Yankees pitchers (Pettitte, Clemens, Betances, Chapman).
It is amazing that everything Rob Manfred does — every single thing — is wrong-headed. The latest is his decision to approve game-specific All-Star uniforms — ending a tradition of wearing each team’s separate unis that has lasted for only 88 years. It’s like having George Costanza sitting behind the commissioner’s desk before he realized he should do the opposite of what he thinks.
Everyone who said this before me is 100 percent right: Edwin Diaz’s entry song is the coolest thing to hit baseball since the basket catch.
For those of us who grew up on WPLJ and WNEW and WAPP and WBAB — or those who just love the music we discovered on those stations — the Apple TV docu-series “1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything” is absorbing and addicting and all kind of fun to watch.
We have to get a Rangers-Islanders playoff series one of these years soon. I get a sense that the modern version might develop into something that’ll make the old days feel like a pillow fight (at least among the fans).
Vac Back at Whack
Chris Orlando: The Canadiens last appeared in the Cup finals in ’93, just before Conan O’Brien started on late night TV, and punched their ticket to go back just minutes after Conan’s last show Thursday night. Don’t tell me there wasn’t a Conan Curse!
Vac: In that case, please don’t tell the Maple Leafs’ fans I was born in 1967; they might start blaming me.
Bill Miller: Life is finally getting back to normal. I know this because some friends and I enjoyed a great day at Yankee Stadium Thursday. Just seeing people gathering and enjoying a day together lifted my spirits, and a great Yankees win sure helped. And pregame warmup at Stan’s made us all feel like normalcy is returning. Now, if only we can do something about that traffic around the Stadium …
Vac: Ah, but isn’t traffic part of the old normalcy, too? It took me two-plus hours to get from North Jersey to Nassau Coliseum Wednesday, but that in a strange way that felt better than last year at this time when the same trip would’ve taken 45 minutes.
@DFlex2123: It is very hard to keep making those kind of runs. That was the Rangers in ’12, ’14 and ’15. It stung. I was at Game 6 against Montreal. That was special. Kudos to the Islanders on their effort. It’ll only get tougher.
@MikeVacc: It’s a testament to how likeable these Isles were that they can move a Rangers fan to write something so gracious.
Rich LePetri: At what point do we start holding Brian Cashman accountable for the team he put together, from the manager without any previous coaching or managerial experience to a right-handed hitters stacked lineup?
Vac: Maybe this makes me the PR man for the Titanic but … I still believe the Yankees will be OK.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Mike Vaccaro