In a showdown of two teams that reached the World Series, the 2019 Nationals and 1977 Dodgers faced off in the first round of MLB Dream Bracket 2.
In their respective seasons, Washington won it all against Houston, while Los Angeles lost to New York. In the first round of the simulated best-of-seven series, the squads battled it out through a deciding Game 6. Howie Kendrick (.385 batting average) stood out for the Nationals with a pair of four-RBI games, and Stephen Strasburg earned two wins with a 3.21 ERA.
MLB Dream Bracket 2 features a 64-team tournament with two all-time teams from each of the 30 Major League franchises, three Negro Leagues teams and the 1994 Montreal Expos. The simulated competition is being produced by Out of the Park Baseball 21, Major League Baseball’s most realistic strategy game (PC and Mac).
Let’s take a look at how the 2019 Nationals won this series and advanced to face the 2011 D-backs, who defeated the 2016 Cubs in six games. The '12 Nationals will also compete in Round 2 after defeating the 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro Leagues.
Game 1: Nationals 5, Dodgers 0
The Nats opened the series with a shutout victory in Los Angeles. Max Scherzer threw seven innings and fanned 11. The Nationals’ offense was powered by home runs from Anthony Rendon, Adam Eaton and Matt Adams. Eaton’s homer off Dodgers starter Don Sutton soared an estimated 441 feet. The Nats outhit the Dodgers, 11-5.
Game 2: Nationals 8, Dodgers 2
After the Dodgers scored a pair of runs off Strasburg in the second inning, the Nationals quieted their offense. Strasburg allowed a two-run double to Steve Yeager before settling in for a seven-inning, seven-hit, five-strikeout performance. The Nats scored four in the first four frames against Burt Hooton, including a third inning in which Juan Soto, Kendrick and Asdrúbal Cabrera drove in three straight runs. Kendrick, who had four RBIs, also belted a 414-foot homer in the eighth off Al Downing.
Game 3: Nationals 7, Dodgers 5
The Nationals kept their momentum going with their third consecutive win of the series. The game was tied, 3-3, heading into the eighth inning after Patrick Corbin pitched five frames in the start. The Dodgers pulled ahead in the top of the eighth behind a two-run homer from Yeager off Wander Suero. The Nats responded in the bottom of the frame when Kurt Suzuki (four RBIs) hammered a go-ahead three-run homer off Charlie Hough to take the deciding lead. Sean Doolittle picked up the save in a scoreless ninth inning.
Game 4: Dodgers 7, Nationals 3
The Dodgers began to climb back into the series with a win in Washington. Aníbal Sánchez allowed three runs and struck out five over five innings in the start. The Nats trailed 3-0 before they got on the board in the sixth. Adams homered in a two-run seventh inning to close the gap, but the Dodgers plated another three runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach. The Nationals used six pitchers out of the bullpen in the loss.
Game 5: Dodgers 13, Nationals 5
Scherzer ran into trouble early in this loss to the Dodgers. He surrendered six runs off seven hits and fanned six in 4 2/3 innings. As the Nationals tried to get their offense going, the Dodgers did more damage. They iced the win with a total of seven runs over the final two frames. Yeager hit a three-run shot off Erick Fedde in the eighth as part of his five-RBI performance. The Dodgers scored 13 runs off 16 hits, while the Nats scored five runs off 10 hits.
Game 6: Nationals 10, Dodgers 3
Just like in Game 2, the Nats came out on top in a matchup between Strasburg and Hooton. Strasburg struck out five and allowed three runs (including solo homers to Reggie Smith and Yeager) over seven frames. Washington scored four runs in the first three innings off Hooton, including a home run by Kendrick, who had another four-RBI game. The Nationals received run support via blasts from Suzuki and Victor Robles. Suero earned the save.