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Clemente pushes '60 Bucs forward in Bracket 2

May 28, 2020

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The 1960 Pirates won a thrilling Game 7 on a walk-off home run. Sound familiar? Of course it does. The real-life Pirates famously won the 1960 World Series against the Yankees on Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off homer at Forbes Field, and that remains

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The 1960 Pirates won a thrilling Game 7 on a walk-off home run.

Sound familiar? Of course it does. The real-life Pirates famously won the 1960 World Series against the Yankees on Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off homer at Forbes Field, and that remains the only walk-off home run in World Series Game 7 history. The simulated ’60 Bucs experienced similar success to move past the 1997 Marlins and advance to the quarterfinals of MLB Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons.

Box score and game summary

Appropriately enough, the 1960 Pirates have gone to Game 7 in each of their series victories during this tournament -- first over the 1980 Phillies, then the ’69 Cubs and now the ’97 Marlins. This time, it was Roberto Clemente, not Mazeroski, who ended the series with a walk-off homer -- a three-run shot off the Marlins’ Rick Helling in the 10th inning of Game 7.

The 1960 Pirates will now face the 1975 “Big Red Machine” Reds, who are coming off a series win over the 1957 Braves in this 64-team, best-of-seven simulation tournament featuring two of the best post-World War II teams from each of the 30 current Major League franchises as well as three Negro Leagues teams and the 1994 Montreal Expos.

Full bracket and info

The 64-team bracket is divided into the American League and National League, with two “regions” for each league. The 1960 Pirates are in NL Region 1, while the ’79 Pirates -- who were eliminated by the 1994 Expos -- were in NL Region 2. 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).

Complete Dream Bracket 2 rosters

Here’s a look at how the simulated series went down.

Game 1: Marlins 3, Pirates 1
Starters Bob Friend and Kevin Brown kept this one scoreless until the sixth inning, when Friend hit a leadoff single and eventually scored on Dick Stuart’s RBI single. But the Marlins got to the Pirates' bullpen, as Jeff Conine tied it up on an RBI single off Fred Green and Edgar Renteria put the Marlins on top with another RBI single in the seventh. Bobby Bonilla doubled and scored in the eighth against reliever Joe Gibbon, giving Marlins closer Robb Nen some breathing room to close out a Game 1 victory.

Game 2: Pirates 5, Marlins 1
Vern Law struck out seven over 5 1/3 innings for the Pirates, and the Bucs' bullpen held the line this time. The Pirates struck early against the Marlins’ Al Leiter, as Stuart hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Clemente drove in Bill Virdon with an RBI single to left. Stuart drove in two more runs in the seventh off reliever Tony Saunders, capping a four-RBI performance to help even the series.

Game 3: Pirates 3, Marlins 2 (10 innings)
Harvey Haddix carried the Pirates’ pitching staff in this one, allowing only one run on five hits while striking out four over seven innings. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s lineup racked up 13 hits -- seven of them off Marlins starter Alex Fernandez. Bob Skinner drove in Dick Groat in the first inning, then Craig Counsell tied it up in the fifth with an RBI single off Haddix. The 1-1 tie carried into extra innings, when Mazeroski hit an RBI double off Felix Heredia and scored on a single by Virdon. Gibbon gave up a run in the bottom of the 10th, but he held on to secure the save.

Game 4: Marlins 6, Pirates 4
Livan Hernandez held the Pirates to one run over 6 2/3 innings, and while both bullpens struggled late in this game, that was good enough to lead the Marlins to victory. The game was tied, 1-1, in the seventh inning before Counsell hit an RBI double and Devon White smacked a two-run double off Clem Labine. Don Hoak and Mazeroski drew back-to-back bases-loaded walks to pull within a run, but Charles Johnson answered in the bottom of the eighth with a two-run homer. Virdon hit a solo shot in the ninth, though it was too late for the Bucs.

Game 5: Marlins 2, Pirates 1 (12 innings)
The Marlins needed 12 innings to escape with this victory, which put the Pirates on the brink of elimination. Renteria hit an RBI double off Friend in the third to open the scoring, and Virdon scored on Clemente’s sacrifice fly in the sixth to tie it up. That 1-1 tie held until the 12th inning, when Renteria drove in Counsell on a walk-off, ground-ball single off Jim Umbricht. Five games into this series, only one game has been decided by more than two runs.

Game 6: Pirates 5, Marlins 3
Hoak helped the Pirates stay alive in the series by clubbing a pair of home runs off Leiter, a solo shot in the second inning and a two-run blast in the fourth. But fittingly enough, Mazeroski and Hal Smith -- two of the real-life heroes in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series -- teamed up to deliver the decisive blows in the eighth inning. With the game tied and two outs in the eighth, Mazeroski hit a tie-breaking single to center and Smith followed with an RBI single of his own. Closer Roy Face allowed a two-out walk and a single before finishing the game and sending the series to Game 7.

Game 7: Pirates 3, Marlins 0 (10 innings)
Haddix pitched five scoreless innings, then Green, Gibbon and Labine each worked a scoreless frame. But the Marlins' pitching staff matched them zero for zero, as Fernandez went 7 1/3 innings and Saunders took care of the next five outs. So, the scoreless tie stretched into the 10th, and Tom Cheney worked his second scoreless inning. Up came Mazeroski against Helling, and the Hall of Fame second baseman led off the frame with a single. With one out, Joe Christopher reached on an error by Renteria. Groat hit a fly ball to center, which would have been the third out if not for Renteria’s error. That mistake loomed large as Clemente launched a three-run, walk-off homer 426 feet and sent the Pirates to the next round.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.