Dream Bracket 2: '19 Astros sweep '91 Twins

May 22nd, 2020

HOUSTON – Kirby Puckett, Jack Morris and the Homer Hankies were no match for the 2019 Astros.

Carlos Correa had a monster series, going 10-for-18 with three homers and eight RBIs, and Josh Reddick went 9-for-12 as the Astros rode their powerful offense and dominant pitching to sweep the 1991 Twins on Friday in the first round of Major League Baseball’s Dream Bracket.

The simulated competition, featuring many of the greatest teams in baseball history, is being produced by Out of the Park Baseball 21, MLB‘s most realistic strategy game (PC and Mac).

The Astros shut out the Twins twice in four games, outscoring them 28-6 in the series. Houston trailed for only one half-inning -- the fourth inning of Game 4 -- before erupting for five runs in the fifth to take control of the game. Alex Bregman also had a big series for Houston, with two homers and three RBIs.

The 2019 Astros were one of two great teams from Houston’s past competing in the Dream Bracket. The ’05 Astros, who won the club’s first pennant and were swept in the World Series by the White Sox, were swept by the ’54 Indians in a first-round matchup Thursday.

Here’s how the 2019 Astros advanced:

Game 1: Astros 6, Twins 3
Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez each blasted mammoth two-run homers in the bottom of the first inning off Morris, and Correa added a two-run homer in the fifth. Brantley hit a 442-foot homer and Alvarez followed a Correa double with a 433-foot homer for a 4-0 lead. That was enough for Astros starter Justin Verlander, who allowed three runs and eight hits and struck out six batters in six innings. Ryan Pressly, Will Harris, Joe Smith and Roberto Osuna combined to pitch three scoreless innings in relief.

Game 2: Astros 10, Twins 0
Gerrit Cole struck out eight batters and allowed three hits in seven dominant innings at home, and Correa went 4-for-4 with a pair of homers. Brad Peacock followed Cole with two scoreless innings, allowing one hit, to polish off the four-hit shutout. The Astros banged out 15 hits, including four by Reddick and two each by Brantley and Bregman. Bregman and Correa hit back-to-back homers in the fifth, and Correa had a two-run shot in the sixth.

Game 3: Astros 4, Twins 0
Zack Greinke struck out nine batters and allowed six hits in seven scoreless innings at Minnesota as the Astros shut out the Twins for the second game in a row. The Astros scored two runs on a fielding error by Twins second baseman Chuck Knoblauch with two outs in the third inning -- Reddick and Robinson Chirinos came home on a grounder off the bat of Brantley. The Astros extended their lead to 4-0 in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Yuli Gurriel and double by Reddick.

Game 4: Astros 8, Twins 3
Trailing for the first time in the series, the Astros responded with five runs in the top of the fifth inning to polish off a four-game sweep. The Astros were trailing, 3-2, before Correa hit an RBI single to tie the game. The big blow was a three-run double by Alvarez that made it 6-3. Chirinos added an RBI single in the inning. Lefty starter Wade Miley got the win, allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings.