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'54 Tribe dominates '70 O's in Dream Bracket 2

@MandyBell02
May 28, 2020

CLEVELAND -- The 1954 Indians have their eyes set on making the World Series once again, and they did not let the 1970 Orioles stand in their way. After defeating the 2005 Astros and the 1985 Royals in the first two rounds, the Tribe beat the Orioles in five games

CLEVELAND -- The 1954 Indians have their eyes set on making the World Series once again, and they did not let the 1970 Orioles stand in their way.

After defeating the 2005 Astros and the 1985 Royals in the first two rounds, the Tribe beat the Orioles in five games in the best-of-seven series in MLB’s Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons simulation. The victory will advance Cleveland to the quarterfinals, where the Indians are set to match up with the dangerous 2004 Red Sox. Boston defeated the 1961 Yankees, 4-1, in the third round of the simulation.

When six of the seven hitters everyday players hit over .300, it’s much easier to find success. Al Smith, Vic Wertz, Dave Philley, Al Rosen and Jim Hegan all hit at least .318 while Larry Doby led the way with a .391 average and a 1.266 OPS.

Box scores and game summaries | Full bracket and info | Complete Dream Bracket 2 rosters

What started as a 64-team, best-of-seven simulation tournament will now be whittled down to eight teams. The tournament began with two of the best post-World War II teams from each of the 30 Major League franchises, as well as three Negro Leagues teams and the '94 Montreal Expos. 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).

Here's how Cleveland handled Baltimore in five games:

Game 1: Indians 13, Orioles 9
It was a battle of the offenses after Tribe starter Early Wynn gave up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings and O’s starter Jim Palmer permitted five runs in just 1 1/3 frames. Palmer retired the first four batters of the game before the Indians broke out to score five runs without giving up an out. With the game tied at eight heading into the eighth inning, Cleveland launched another five-run rally, with singles from Hegan, Smith, Doby, Wertz and a double from Philley to secure the win.

Game 2: Indians 8, Orioles 7
Right-hander Bob Feller allowed just two runs on solo homers, but was forced to throw 100 pitches in just 4 2/3 frames, prompting an earlier departure. The Indians were leading 6-2 entering the bottom of the seventh, when reliever Bob Chakales was charged with four runs, allowing the Orioles to take the lead. But Doby became the hero in the top of the ninth, tying the game with a solo homer. Dave Pope then drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in the winning run. Ray Narleski worked a scoreless ninth to record his third save of the simulation.

Game 3: Orioles 3, Indians 1
Despite Bob Lemon’s quality start, allowing just one run in six frames, the Tribe’s offense couldn’t figure out Baltimore’s pitching staff, beginning with starter Dave McNally. Don Buford hit a homer for the Orioles in the third and Philley launched one in the fifth for the Indians, but Hal Newhouser was charged with two runs in the eighth on a Boog Powell double and a sacrifice fly from Hendricks that the Indians were unable to answer.

Game 4: Indians 11, Orioles 1
If anyone wondered whether the Tribe’s bats had run out of gas after a quiet Game 3, the team made sure to eliminate those thoughts in Game 4. Rosen hit a two-run homer, Hegan launched a three-run bomb and Bobby Avila, Doby, Rosen, Wertz and Hegan all recorded multi-hit games. And while the offense kept running up the score, Mike Garcia allowed just one run in 5 2/3 frames before the bullpen shut down the Orioles’ lineup for the final 3 1/3 innings.

Game 5: Indians 5, Orioles 4 (13 innings)
A walk-off walk may not be the most exciting game-ending play, but a free pass to Wertz with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 13th was responsible for the Tribe’s advancement to quarterfinals. The Indians were two outs away from winning in nine innings when Frank Robinson knocked in the game-tying run off Narleski in the top of the ninth. But after three scoreless frames, Hegan drew a walk to start the 13th, Smith and Avila each struck out and then Doby, Rosen and Wertz all drew walks to win in walk-off fashion.

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.