Dodgers ride Drysdale into Dream Bracket semis
LOS ANGELES -- Game 3 winner Don Drysdale fired another masterpiece in Game 7 as the Dodgers beat the Brewers in the winner-take-all thriller, 3-1, to clinch their quarterfinal series of the MLB Dream Bracket presented by DraftKings.
The Dodgers now advance to the semifinals, where they will meet a Reds team that beat the Cardinals in their own seven-game slugfest.
Drysdale, who twirled eight scoreless innings in Game 3, duplicated that with another eight scoreless frames in the clincher, while Eric Gagne saved all four Dodgers wins. Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and Gary Sheffield powered the offense with a combined five home runs, 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored.
The MLB Dream Bracket is a 32-team best-of-seven simulation featuring all-time teams for each of the 30 current Major League franchises, as well as teams consisting of Negro Leagues Stars and 25 & Under Stars. The 26-man rosters for each of the teams, compiled by the MLB.com beat reporters, consist of 15 hitters and 11 pitchers. For the simulation, players are rated using the average of their three best seasons on a single team. Rosters were constructed with balanced depth to specifically compete in a simulated regulation game.
Game 1: Dodgers 5, Brewers 1
Sandy Koufax struck out 11 in seven innings and Snider drove in three runs as the Dodgers overcame four hits from Christian Yelich to win the opener, played in an unseasonably cold 46 degrees that kept attendance at Dodger Stadium to only 36,430. Pee Wee Reese had three hits, Jackie Robinson drove in two runs and Gagne inherited a pair of runners but struck out the side in the ninth inning for the save. Yelich went 4-for-4 with a home run and stolen base. Ryan Braun and Gorman Thomas struck out four times each.
Game 2: Brewers 5, Dodgers 1
Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets pitched into the eighth inning, Yelich homered and the Dodgers committed three errors as Clayton Kershaw drew the defeat, with one of the two runs he allowed being unearned. In addition to Yelich’s home run, Kershaw allowed an RBI triple to Thomas after the runner reached by error, and reliever Phil Regan was roughed up on doubles by Cecil Cooper and Prince Fielder. Hodges homered for the only Dodgers run and finished with three hits.
Game 3: Dodgers 3, Brewers 1
Drysdale fired eight scoreless innings and Roy Campanella homered as the Dodgers overcame three hits by Braun and two from Yelich. Campanella, who cashed in Snider’s first-inning RBI double with a run-scoring groundout a batter later, homered off Brewers starter Mike Caldwell in the third inning. Braun homered in the ninth off Gagne, who earned the save by striking out the side.
Game 4: Dodgers 2, Brewers 1
Orel Hershiser outdueled Yovani Gallardo and Snider homered as the Dodgers held on to edge the Brewers. Hershiser fired a three-hitter over eight innings, including a three-pitch second inning, and was charged with one run on Jim Gantner’s two-out RBI single in the fifth. Gallardo pitched into the sixth inning but was tagged with the loss as the Dodgers scored the decisive run the inning before on Sheffield’s own run-scoring single. Gagne hung on for the save despite allowing a pair of singles in the ninth.
Game 5: Brewers 5, Dodgers 1
Yelich slugged a pair of solo home runs off Koufax and Ted Higuera threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Yelich, who added a two-run double off reliever Mike Marshall, had six home runs and 19 RBIs in 18 games of the tournament to this point. Fielder also homered off Marshall. Sheffield accounted for the only Dodgers run with a homer in the eighth inning off reliever Josh Hader. Chris Bosio pitched two scoreless innings for the save.
Game 6: Brewers 7, Dodgers 3
Thomas slugged a pair of home runs and Braun had one of his own to offset three homers from the Dodgers as Kershaw allowed five runs -- all unearned. Thomas went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, including a three-run blast off Kershaw in the sixth inning, and Braun had two hits and plated a pair. Both homered back-to-back off Don Sutton in the ninth inning. Sheets struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings for his second win of the series. Sheffield, Hodges and Ron Cey hit solo home runs for the Dodgers.
Game 7: Dodgers 3, Brewers 0
Drysdale and his 3-0 record and 1.09 ERA to this point outdueled Caldwell for the former's second shutdown start while Steve Garvey delivered a two-run, two-out single in the fourth inning to send the Dodgers into the semifinals. Drysdale blanked the Brewers over eight innings with five strikeouts and no walks. The Dodgers' defense turned three double plays, including right fielder Cody Bellinger throwing out Yelich trying to score from third on Braun’s flyout in the fourth inning and a 4-2-3 DP with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Snider for the Dodgers and Cooper for Milwaukee had three hits each.