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Blair leads '70s O's to next round of Bracket 2 

May 26, 2020

The best team in Orioles history is behaving the way it did a half-century ago: by winning. Nobody stopped them 50 years ago, when the Orioles rode their star-studded roster to the 1970 World Series title. Can anyone stop them now, in the MLB Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons simulation?

The best team in Orioles history is behaving the way it did a half-century ago: by winning.

Nobody stopped them 50 years ago, when the Orioles rode their star-studded roster to the 1970 World Series title. Can anyone stop them now, in the MLB Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons simulation?

Box score and game summary

The 1970 Orioles advanced to the simulation’s third round by defeating the '83 White Sox, 4-3, setting up a matchup with the '54 Indians in the Round of 16. The Indians beat the '85 Royals four games to one for a chance to face the O’s, who won 108 games in ’70 and topped the Reds in the World Series that year.

Their offense in this simulation was powered by center fielder Paul Blair, who homered five times and drove in a whopping 14 runs over the seven-game series. Brooks Robinson homered three times and Boog Powell and Frank Robinson had seven RBIs apiece. After winning each of his starts in the opening round, Mike Cuellar was responsible for the Orioles' best pitching performance of this series by blanking the Sox for eight innings in Game 2. Eddie Watt also earned two wins in relief for Baltimore.

See the full Bracket, make picks, win prizes

The 64-team, best-of-seven simulation tournament features two of the best post World War II teams from each of the 30 Major League franchises as well as three Negro League teams and the 1994 Montreal Expos. The bracket is divided into the American League and the National League, with two “regions” for each league.

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

Game 1: White Sox 8, Orioles 6
The White Sox scored five times off Orioles closer Pete Richert to claim a thrilling come-from-behind victory in Game 1 and put the O’s in an early series hole. The big blow came from Carlton Fisk, whose two-out grand slam put the White Sox in front. That erased the lead Baltimore built on the back of two homers from Brooks Robinson, RBI hits from Mark Belanger and Frank Robinson and a quality start by Jim Palmer.

Game 2: Orioles 19, White Sox 1
Momentum? What momentum? The Orioles responded to their heartbreaking loss in Game 1 with a 17-hit barrage en route to routing the White Sox to even the series. Every O's starter recorded at least one hit, and five players drove in multiple runs.

Frank Robinson, Davey Johnson and Elrod Hendricks drove in runs during their three-run first, and Hendricks added an RBI single in the second and a grand slam in the eighth to finish with six RBIs. Paul Blair scored thrice, contributing a three-run homer and a double.

Robinson socked a pair of RBI doubles to back Mike Cuellar, who breezed through eight shutout innings.

Game 3: White Sox 5, Orioles 3
Dave McNally surrendered a two-run homer to Fisk in the first and a three-run tater to Tom Paciorek in the fourth, and the Orioles saw a ninth-inning rally fall short as Chicago took a 2-1 series lead. Brooks Robinson homered off Sox closer Dennis Lamp, but stranded the tying run at second when Lamp retired Merv Rettenmund and Paul Blair to end the game. Blair homered earlier off winning pitcher Floyd Bannister, who held the O’s to two runs over 5 1/3 innings.

Game 4: Orioles 12, White Sox 7
Every time the Orioles found themselves down this series, they responded emphatically. This time it was courtesy of a one-man show, as Blair homered three times to send the O's on their way to evening the series in runaway fashion. Blair hit a game-tying two-run homer in the third, socked a three-run shot in the fifth and added another three-run blast in the eighth, finishing with eight RBIs on the day to outscore the White Sox on his own. Andy Etchebarren and Powell added solo homers during the pivotal fifth inning and Jim Hardin earned the win despite allowing five runs over 5 2/3 innings.

Game 5: White Sox 7, Orioles 0
American League Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt outdueled Jim Palmer by striking out seven and holding the O’s to eight hits in a complete-game shutout victory. Harold Baines and Tom Paciorek both doubled twice and drove in three to pace the Sox offense, and Vance Law added a key RBI single in the first off Palmer, who punched out eight in the losing effort.

Game 6: Orioles 5, White Sox 4
Frank Robinson’s go-ahead seventh-inning homer proved the difference as the Orioles staved off elimination by winning the first true nail-biter of the series. Robinson homered off Sox lefty Juan Agosto leading off the seventh to break a 4-4 tie and Eddie Watt and Pete Richert sealed the win with three innings of scoreless relief in place of Mike Cuellar. Cuellar allowed four runs over six innings, including a go-ahead two-run homer to Greg Luzinski in the sixth. The O’s rallied in the bottom of the frame off Jerry Koosman, tying the game on Don Buford’s single before Robinson went deep later.

Game 7: Orioles 5, White Sox 4
Law made things very interesting by homering to lead off the ninth to bring the White Sox within one, but Marcelino Lopez wiggled out of a two-out, two-on jam as the Orioles held on and advanced in dramatic fashion. Down a run in the seventh, the O’s roared back by scoring four times off Agosto, who also took the loss for the Sox in Game 6. Etchebarren’s game-tying single scored Curt Motton and Blair capped his sensational series with a go-ahead bases loaded walk. Frank Robinson gave Baltimore breathing room with a two-run single off Agosto. Powell homered earlier off Bannister (one run, six innings), who locked horns with McNally (two runs, 6 1/3 innings) in the finale.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.