How many times?

The Detroit Tigers defeated the New York Yankees 8-1 in Game Four of the American League Division Series.  That victory gave the Tigers a four game sweep of the Yankees.

The sweep got me thinking about how many times the Yankees have been swept in the post season.

A quick question in Google led to the following list:

1922 World Series
1963 World Series
1976 World Series
1980 ALCS
2012 ALCS

That would be FIVE times they were swept in their 51 postseason appearances. 

The 1922 World Series was a loss to John McGraw’s Giants.  You’ll see five games in the 1922 World Series because Game Two ended in a 3-3 tie after ten innings.

Why they were swept:  The Yankees hit .203 as a team and scored just eleven runs in five games.

Slumping Superstar: Babe Ruth was 2-for-17 with a double and an RBI in the series.

The Final Game:  The Giants trailed 3-2 heading to the bottom of the eighth inning of Game Five.  There were two outs and the bases were loaded.  George ‘High Pockets’ Kelly drove in two runs with a single.  Lee King followed with an RBI single and the Giants went up 5-3.  Art Nehf retired the Yankees in order in the top of the ninth inning for a complete game and the Yankees lost their second straight World Series appearance.

The 1963 World Series was a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  A sweep is probably going to happen when you have to face Sandy Koufax(twice) and Don Drysdale (once) in a four game series.

Why they were swept:  Did I mention Koufax and Drysdale?  The Yankees hit .171 (?!?!?!) and scored four (!!!!) runs in the series.

Slumping Superstar: Mickey Mantle was 2-for-15 with one home run.

The Final Game: Koufax, who pitched a complete game in Game One on October 2, 1963, came back in Game Four on October 6.  He had a 1-0 lead until Mantle hit a home run in the top of the seventh inning.  Junior Gilliam grounded to third to start the bottom of the seventh, but Joe Pepitone, the Yankees first baseman, missed the ball and Gilliam wound up at third base.  Willie Davis followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 Dodgers lead.

Koufax allowed a one out single in the eighth, but got Tony Kubek to ground into a double play.  In the ninth, the Yankees got a leadoff single off Koufax.  He would strike out Tom Tresh and Mantle looking for the first two outs.  Then, an error on a force play at second kept the inning alive for the Yankees.  But, Hector Lopez grounded out to short to end the series.

The 1976 World Series was a loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Why they were swept: For the love of Ernie Lombardi, they were playing The Big Red Machine.  Johnny Bench hit more homers in Game Four (2) than the Yankees hit in the series (1).  New York’s only lead in the series was a 1-0 lead from the bottom of the first through the bottom of the third in Game Four.

Slumping Superstar: Willie Randolph was 1-for-14.

The Final Game: An RBI double by Chris Chambliss sent in the run in the bottom of the first inning of Game Four.  In the top of the fourth George Foster drove in Joe Morgan with a two out single.  Bench followed with a homer for a 3-1 lead.  Thurman Munson, who was 9-for-17 in the series, knocked in a run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 3-2.

The score stayed that way until the top of the ninth.  That was when Bench struck again with a three run homer to secure years of being a spokesman for Krylon.  Cesar Geronimo and Dave Concepcion finished the scoring with consecutive ground rule doubles.

Will McEnaeny pitched a 1-2-3 ninth at Yankee Stadium.  Roy White flew out to left for the final out.

The 1980 American League Championship Series was a loss to the Kansas City Royals.  The Royals lost to the Yankees in the ALCS in 1976, 1977, and 1978.  They got revenge in 1980.

Why they were swept: The Yankees scored six runs in three games.

Slumping Superstar: Ron Guidry gave up four runs in three innings in Game One.

The Final Game:  New York had a 2-1 lead after scoring two runs on consecutive RBI singles by Oscar Gamble and Rick Cerone in the bottom of the sixth inning against Dan ‘Freaking’ Quisenberry* in Game Three

Tommy John got the first two outs of the seventh inning, but allowed a double to Willie Wilson.  Goose Gossage relieved John and gave up a single to UL Washington.

That set up a battle between Gossage and George Brett.  The Royals third baseman hit a three run homer and took out three years of ALCS frustrations to put the Royals up 4-2.

Quisenberry worked a 1-2-3 seventh, pitched out of a no outs, bases loaded jam in the eighth, and worked a 1-2-3 ninth – getting Randolph looking at strike three for the final out – to send the Yankees home and the Royals on to their first world series.

*-DFQ was one of the best closers in baseball and Kansas City manager Jim Frey brought him in during the sixth inning.  Frey left him in to finish out the game.  Amazing.

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