Spreadsheet Baseball, Revisited


Carlton Fisk gesturing at a ball he hit to stay fair during Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. The ball indeed stayed fair that October 11th evening, giving Boston a 7-6 win in 12 innings. The following night, the Reds took the final and decisive 7th Game.

A little less than four years ago, I did a post about Out Of The Baseball, a baseball simulation that I kill a lot of time playing. The 17th version of the game has been released for about a month now, chock full of more bells and whistles. What I said back then about OOTP I say again now: there’s less in this game that you cannot do as opposed to what you can do.

One of the new improvements to the sim is that you can take any two teams dating back to 1901 and put them in a series against each other. Eager to test out this new part of the game, I did a 1975 World Series replay, which many consider to be the best World Series of all time. Following real life conditions, Boston was the home team for series, and as was the case that season, I did not use the designated hitter for the entire series per the rules of that year’s series.

The first six games weren’t much to right home about, as each team took three games. In fact, each team took the game that was taken in the real life series. (Boston winning games 1,4, and 6, Cincinnati winning 2,3, and 5.) The sixth game, in real life a classic contest, was an 11-4 rout by Boston to even the series.

The seventh game was one of the best games I’ve ever seen playing OOTP these past few years, although I was watching the computer manage both teams. Boston built an 8-0 with 4 runs in the first two innings apiece, knocking Reds starter Jack Billingham out of the box. The Reds then catch fire, scoring 5 in the fifth and 2 in the 6th, now trailing 8-7. It then looked like the Reds had petered out, as the Red Sox kept them off the board in the 7th, 8th, and were an out, then a strike away in the ninth from winning.

With Joe Morgan up with a 3-2 count and two outs and nobody on, he hammered a Dick Drago pitch down the right field line, and it’s LONG gone into the Boston night for a home run. The game is now an 8-8 tie, the Reds completing their comeback to tie the game being down 8-0 after two. The game stays that way through the 9th, 10th, and 11th.

Much like the real life sixth game, the deciding frame would be the 12th inning. After Bill “Spaceman” Lee killed off a Reds rally in the top of the 12th by inducing Ken Griffey Sr. to fly out to left, Clay Carroll took the mound. After Tim Blackwell walked, Carlton Fisk and Fred Lynn hit back to back singles to load the bases. Dwight Evans came up to bat, and promptly drilled the first pitch for a line drive base hit to right to win the game and series, 9-8.

What a (simulated) game it was.


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