For Pete's Sake

We simulated the 2015 vs. the 1985 Royals in a seven-game series: Here’s Game 1

What if Ned Yost and Dick Howser faced off in a seven-game series?
What if Ned Yost and Dick Howser faced off in a seven-game series? jpatterson@kcstar.com

Was George Brett right?

Brett proclaimed that the 2015 World Series champion Royals were better than the 1985 World Series champion Royals. Sam Mellinger broke it down by position and determined that Brett was right. But what if they faced off in a simulated best-of-seven series?

I used an online historical game simulator and pitted the teams using the lineups and rotations as they were in their respective World Series. I’ll share the results of the series each day over the course of the next seven days (if necessary).

The opener of our simulated 1985 vs. 2015 Royals series pitted Danny Jackson against Edinson Volquez, and both pitchers ran into trouble early.

Lonnie Smith opened Game 1 with a single to center and he stole second base. Willie Wilson reached on an infield single and George Brett’s single to right brought home Smith as Wilson moved to third. Hal McRae grounded to Mike Moustakas, who started a 5-4-3 double play as Wilson scored and it was 2-0 1985.

Alcides Escobar swung at the first pitch from Jackson and flied to center. Ben Zobrist doubled to right ahead of a Lorenzo Cain walk. Eric Hosmer drove a ball to the warning track in right for a long out. Kendrys Morales brought both runners home with a double that tied the game 2-2.

Volquez settled down in the second inning, setting down the 1985 Royals in order, thanks to a dazzling catch by Cain in center field on a sinking liner.

The 2015 Royals dinged Jackson again. With one out, Alex Rios reached on an infield single to Buddy Biancalana. Escobar singled to left-center field and Rios moved to third. Zobrist flied to center and that scored Rios. Cain followed with an RBI triple for a 4-2 lead.

In the fifth inning, the 1985 Royals got a run back. With one out, Jim Sundberg and Biancalana had consecutive singles. Smith was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded. Wilson’s grounder to Escobar nearly started a double play, but Wilson beat the throw to first as Sundberg scored. Brett followed with a ground ball to Zobrist, who flipped to Escobar for the force as the 2015 Royals maintained a 4-3 lead.

The 2015 Royals got the run back in the bottom half. Cain tripled again, this time with one out, and Hosmer’s fly ball to Wilson in center was deep enough to score Cain. It was a 5-3 game, and that’s how it would end.

Cain nearly got another run for the 2015 Royals in the seventh inning when he singled with one out and stole second and third base. But he was left stranded.

It didn’t matter. Volquez retired the last seven batters he faced and made it through eight innings by throwing 104 pitches.

Wade Davis came on and allowed a leadoff single to Pat Sheridan. However, Steve Balboni hit into a 6-4-3 double play and Sundberg popped up to first to end Game 1.

Game 1: 2015 Royals 5, 1985 Royals 3

1985 Royals

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

L.Smith lf

3

1

1

0

0

1

Wilson cf

4

1

2

1

0

0

Brett 3b

4

0

1

1

0

1

McRae dh

4

0

0

0

0

1

White 2b

4

0

0

0

0

1

Sheridan rf

4

0

2

0

0

0

Balboni 1b

3

0

0

0

1

0

Sundberg c

4

1

1

0

0

0

Biancalana ss

3

0

1

0

0

0

Totals

33

3

8

2

1

4

2015 Royals

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

A.Escobar ss

4

1

1

0

0

0

Zobrist 2b

3

1

1

1

0

1

L.Cain cf

3

2

3

1

1

0

Hosmer 1b

3

0

0

1

0

1

K.Morales dh

3

0

1

2

1

1

Moustakas 3b

3

0

1

0

1

1

S.Perez c

4

0

1

0

0

0

Gordon lf

4

0

0

0

0

1

Rios rf

4

1

2

0

0

0

Totals

31

5

10

5

3

5

1985 KC

200

010

000

3

8

0

2015 KC

220

010

00x

5

10

0

LOB: 85KC 4, 15KC 6. 2B: Sheridan, Zobrist, Morales. 3B: L.Cain 2. SB: L.Smith, L.Cain 2. RBIs: W.Wilson, Brett, K.Morales 2, Zobrist, L.Cain, Hosmer. SF: Zobrist, Hosmer.

Runners left in scoring position: 85KC 5, 15KC 7. GIDP: McRae, Balboni. DP: 15KC 2 (Moustakas, Zobrist, Hosmer; Escobar, Zobrist, Hosmer).

1985 KC

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

Jackson L, 0-1

7

10

5

5

3

4

113

Gubicza

1

0

0

0

0

1

9

2015 KC

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

Volquez W, 1-0

8

7

3

3

1

4

104

Davis SV, 1

1

0

0

0

0

0

9

HBP: by Volquez (L.Smith).

Time: 2:49. Att: 40,321.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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