KANSAS CITY -- It’s going to be called a stunner.
The 1985 Royals swept the mighty 1972 Oakland A’s in four games in the first round of MLB’s Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons, which began simulated play on Thursday. 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 ’85 Royals now will meet the '54 Indians, who swept the 2005 Astros, in the next round. The 2015 Royals lost to the '01 Mariners on Friday.
Scoring major upsets was nothing new for that 1985 Royals team, which repeatedly was undersold. Those Royals fought their way from three-games-to-one deficits in the American League Championship Series and the World Series to grab the franchise’s first title.
No miracle rallies were needed in the first round of the Dream Bracket 2, against the A’s, who were World Series champions in 1972.
The Royals won a thriller, 2-1, behind the strong pitching of Bret Saberhagen and closer Dan Quisenberry. Willie Wilson delivered a clutch, two-out, two-run single in the fifth to erase a 1-0 deficit.
From there, it was all Saberhagen and Quisenberry. Saberhagen allowed one run on three through seven innings, and Quisenberry closed it out with two perfect innings.
The Royals triumphed, 6-1, to take a 2-0 series lead as George Brett drove in three runs and Darryl Motley homered to back up another strong pitching performance, this time from Charlie Leibrandt and Mark Gubicza.
Leibrandt allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out four through 6 2/3 innings. Gubicza preserved the lead and sealed the win with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, walking none and striking out three.
Kansas City returned to Royals Stadium and pulled off a stunner, rallying for four runs in the ninth for a 5-4, walk-off victory to take a 3-0 lead in the series.
Trailing 4-1, the Royals got things going in the ninth with a solo homer from Brett off closer Rollie Fingers. With two out, the Royals loaded the bases on a single by Steve Balboni and two walks. Pinch-hitter Jorge Orta delivered a two-run single to tie the score, and Lonnie Smith later won it with an RBI single.
The Royals completed the sweep with a 4-2 win behind the strong pitching of left-hander Bud Black, who allowed one earned run and six hits with no walks through seven innings. Quisenberry and Steve Farr closed it out.
Brett had two hits and an RBI.
The MLB Dream Bracket 2 is a 64-team best-of-seven simulation featuring two all-time teams from each of the 30 current Major League franchises (post-World War II), as well as three Negro Leagues teams and the 1994 Montreal Expos.
The finals will feature the top teams from the AL and National League squaring off against each other and take place June 8-9.