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THE REPLAY ZONE
 
By Jeff Polman
 
February ruminations from your trusty Strat-O-Matic replay addict. Check out all four of my season replay-inspired baseball novels on Amazon.
 
 
Holy Cow! The ’16 Cubs Hit Murderer’s Row
 
 
Fresh out of their Brown Truck package, I figured it might be a good time to roll the Champion 2016 Cubs against the 1927 Yankees in a quick fantasy World Series replay. Of course, there was a good chance hundreds of other people were also doing this, but I couldn’t wait around to see the results. So here we went…
 
GAME ONE-Yankee Stadium
 
Jon Lester turns in one of the strangest outings I’ve ever seen. After a Kris Bryant double gives Chicago a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st, Lester goes out and gives up a single and stolen base to Lazzeri, a double to Earle Combs, a triple to Lou Gehrig, a walk to the Bambino, a 3-run homer to Bob Meusel, a walk to Pat Collins, a HBP to Joe Dugan, and a single to Mark Koenig before pitcher Waite Hoyt hits a sac fly for the first out of the inning! Lazzeri then ends the inning with a DP ball, and Lester proceeds to mow the Yanks down on four hits the rest of the game. Meanwhile, the Cubbies start with the long ball, getting them from Fowler, Bryant and Soler to cut the deficit to 6-5. Lester strokes a one-out double in the 7th but gets stranded, and after Almora doubles to start the 9th, Hoyt retires Contreras, Russell and pinch-hitter Montero for the bizarre one-run win.
 
CHC 102 002 000 – 5 9 0
NYY 600 000 00x – 6 9 1
W-Hoyt L-Lester
(Yankees lead series 1-0)
 
 
GAME TWO-Yankee Stadium
 
Another squeaker for New York, the only run off Kyle Hendricks coming on a leadoff Combs triple in the 8th and one-out sac fly by Ruth. The Yanks also hit into three double plays, while Pennock strands eight Cubs.
 
CHC 000 000 000 – 0 4 0
NYY 000 000 01x – 1 6 0
W-Pennock L-Hendricks
(Yankees lead series 2-0)
 
 
GAME THREE-WRIGLEY FIELD
 
An urban shocker indeed! New York takes a 1-zip lead out of the gate, only to have Chicago pummel Shocker early and often, scoring five in the 1st with the help of an Almora triple and Contreras homer, two more in the 2nd on a Rizzo double to send Shocker showering, then nine more runs in the next two innings off Shawkey and Pipgras before calling it a day. Arrieta gets four DPs to help quell any murderous uprisings.
 
NYY 101 100 000 -   3  8  2
CHC 526 300 00x - 16 12 0
W-Arrieta L-Shocker
 (Yankees lead series 2-1)
 
 
GAME FOUR-WRIGLEY FIELD
 
You know that old saying, “Hey guys, save some of these runs for tomorrow”? Well, Cub fans were right to say it, because Hoyt allows a triple apiece to Almora and Contreras and snuffs out practically everyone else as he thwarts Chicago’s attempt to even the series. For the Yanks, the Big Boys go to town in the 3rd for all the runs they need. Lester walks Lazzeri with one out, and with two gone Gehrig doubles and Ruth homers very far to right without calling his shot.
 
NYY 003 000 010 – 4 8 0
CHC 000 010 100 – 2 3 0
W-Hoyt L-Lester
(Yankees lead series 3-1)
 
 
GAME FIVE-WRIGLEY FIELD
 
Fourth starters Dutch Ruether and John Lackey have at it, but Dutch is no treat for the Cubbies, as he retires 13 in a row at one. It’s 2-0 Yanks in the 5th when Koenig singles and comes all the way around to score on a 3-base error in left by Almora. Gehrig punctuates the inning with a homer and New York cruises from there. Things do get dicey in the last of the 9th when Baez singles and Almora doubles with one out, but Wilcy Moore emerges from the pen to get Montero on an RBI grounder and Russell on an easy grounder to give the ’27 Yankees the series!
 
NYY 011 020 000 – 4 8 0
CHC 000 000 001 – 1 7 1
W-Ruether L-Lackey SV-Moore
(Yankees win series 4-1)
The result really shouldn’t have been a surprise. The Cubs were clearly the best team of 2016, but compared to these Yanks, or the ’75 Reds or ’55 Dodgers or ’69 Orioles or ’01 Mariners, it’s hard to imagine them winning out. Maybe I’ll have to play a full season league with these teams sometime and see for myself!
 
 
 
1982 Now Underway!
 
The 1982 Freaks League I’m Commissioner of (in what little free time I have) held it’s four-day draft in early January, and we’re already through the first month of play with the Thrillers, Blade Runners, Casbah Sun Cats and Flock of Wockenfuss grappling for the top spots in the 6-team Madonna and Prince Divisions. I’ll be back next month with a more detailed update, as well as stories on two other Strat baseball operations to be reckoned with that I’ve learned about…