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'86 Mets breeze by '18 Rox in Dream Bracket 2

@AnthonyDiComo
May 22, 2020

NEW YORK -- The 1986 Mets took the first step in their quest to become the greatest (virtual) team of all time on Friday, beating the 2018 Rockies, four games to one, in the first round of Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons. • Box score and game summary The simulated

NEW YORK -- The 1986 Mets took the first step in their quest to become the greatest (virtual) team of all time on Friday, beating the 2018 Rockies, four games to one, in the first round of Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons.

Box score and game summary

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 Mets’ other entrant, the 1969 Mets, lost on Thursday in their opening-round series against the ‘97 Marlins in the National League’s Region 1.

Full bracket and info

But the ’86 Mets thrived, relying on 17 strong innings from Dwight Gooden and a three-homer performance by Gary Carter to upend the Rockies in the best-of-seven series.

Compete Dream Bracket 2 rosters

The Dream Bracket consists of 64 teams, including two from each franchise plus the 1994 Montreal Expos and three Negro Leagues teams. The ’86 Mets will face the ’98 Padres next in the Round of 32. Here’s how the Mets advanced:

Game 1: Mets 4, Rockies 0
Completely dominant, Gooden threw a “Maddux” in the Dream Bracket opener, firing a two-hitter on 99 pitches. After Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez both singled in the fourth inning, Gooden retired 16 of the final 17 batters to complete the shutout. The Mets received all the offense they would need when Ray Knight scored from second on No. 8 hitter Rafael Santana’s two-out single in the second. For some insurance, Gooden reached on an error and Wally Backman doubled him home in the fifth inning. Knight finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Santana drove home two. The Mets’ Nos. 5-8 hitters finished 6-for-14, with most of the damage coming against Rockies starter German Marquez.

Game 2: Mets 3, Rockies 0
Following Gooden’s lead, Ron Darling struck out 10 over 6 1/3 shutout innings to outduel Colorado’s Kyle Freeland. Shaky early, Darling walked two batters and uncorked a wild pitch in the first inning, but he recovered to strand the bases loaded. Steady from there, he struck out the side in the second and even contributed an RBI single in the fourth. Carter and Lenny Dykstra also drove runs home for the Mets, who leaned on Roger McDowell and Jesse Orosco for the final eight outs.

Game 3: Mets 1, Rockies 0
Mets pitchers ran their scoreless streak to 27 innings in the third game of the series, which saw Bob Ojeda, Rick Aguilera, McDowell, Rick Anderson and Orosco combine on a shutout. Ojeda pitched the first five, scattering eight hits and three walks and stranding multiple runners on base three times. The Mets’ lone run crossed home when Darryl Strawberry singled in Carter in the third. It was a much-needed hit for Strawberry, who had gone 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Game 2. And it was enough for the Mets to tag Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela with the loss.

Game 4: Rockies 6, Mets 5
Facing a sweep, the Rockies avoided elimination at Coors Field, knocking Sid Fernandez out after three innings and pushing the winning run home on a Chris Iannetta RBI double in the eighth. The game was a back-and-forth affair featuring four-run rallies by both the Mets and Rockies in the first inning. The Mets took another brief lead on Strawberry’s leadoff homer in the sixth, but Arenado tied things with a long ball of his own off McDowell in the seventh before Iannetta broke through for the game-winner.

Game 5: Mets 9, Rockies 3
Rather than allow the Rockies to send the series back to Shea Stadium, the Mets clinched their spot in the Round of 32 behind a Carter-fueled offensive attack. The team’s starting catcher and cleanup hitter finished 3-for-4 with two home runs and six RBIs, including a ninth-inning grand slam to punctuate the series victory. Gooden offered another solid performance, allowing three runs in eight innings, and Dykstra finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored. But the day was about Carter, who finished 8-for-18 with three homers, a double, two walks, four runs and nine RBIs in the five-game series.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.