Dream win: Yanks top Reds in 7 to take Bracket

May 5th, 2020

The MLB Dream Bracket presented by DraftKings concluded Tuesday with the Yankees holding off the Reds in seven games to win the simulated tournament of all-time rosters.

The simulated competition, featuring the greatest players in baseball history, was produced by Out of the Park Baseball 21, MLB‘s most realistic strategy game (PC and Mac). Fans can register on the DraftKings mobile app to compete in contests based on the simulations.

Check back the week of May 11, when MLB will reveal the matchups for Dream Bracket 2, featuring 64 of the greatest single-season teams in Major League history. You will be able to make picks on MLB.com for a chance to win great prizes before the Round of 64 begins the week of May 18. Select games will stream on MLB.com and MLB Network’s Twitch throughout the tournament.

Here's a look at how each MLB Dream Bracket series unfolded:


Yankees vs. Reds
Game 1: NYY 8, CIN 4
Game 2: CIN 6, NYY 4
Game 3: NYY 6, CIN 0
Game 4: CIN 7, NYY 2
Game 5: CIN 5, NYY 2
Game 6: NYY 4, CIN 3
Game 7: NYY 11, CIN 6
Box scores | Play-by-play

Game 1: Yankees 8, Reds 4
The Reds jumped in front early with three consecutive singles and a George Foster grand slam off Yankees starter Whitey Ford in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. But New York answered -- Derek Jeter led off with a walk and scored on Lou Gehrig’s double before Mickey Mantle launched a two-run homer off Cincinnati starter Tom Seaver to make it 4-3. In the fifth, Gehrig belted a three-run shot to put the Yanks up, 6-4. Ford completed five scoreless frames following the four-run first. Overall, he went 6 1/3 innings, gave up four runs on six hits, walked one and struck out five. Jeter delivered an RBI double in the sixth, and Tony Lazzeri doubled home Reggie Jackson in the eighth to make it 8-4. Dave Righetti threw 1 2/3 scoreless frames and Goose Gossage pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the Yankees’ win.

Game 2: Reds 6, Yankees 4
Reds starter Jim Maloney worked into and out of trouble over five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits but walking six while fanning six at Yankee Stadium. Cincinnati’s offense staked him to an early lead, with Pete Rose scoring on a wild pitch in the first and the Reds scoring twice in the third on a Joe Morgan RBI triple followed by a Joey Votto sacrifice fly. George Foster smashed a 463-foot, two-run homer in the sixth, and he scored on another wild pitch in the eighth for Cincinnati’s sixth run. The Yankees scored twice in the seventh on a Lou Gehrig sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Mickey Mantle. In the ninth, Babe Ruth crushed a two-run homer off Randy Myers that went 467 feet, but Rob Dibble came in and retired Gehrig and Mantle to pick up the save.

Game 3: Yankees 6, Reds 0
Andy Pettitte was brilliant over 7 1/3 scoreless innings at Great American Ball Park, yielding four hits, walking four and striking out two. Reds starter Mario Soto was strong as well, matching zeros with Pettitte until the seventh, when Tony Lazzeri doubled in Alex Rodriguez for the first run of the game. Soto completed seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. But the Yankees pulled away with a five-run eighth inning. Joe DiMaggio led off with a double to chase Soto. Aroldis Chapman came in, and after intentionally walking Babe Ruth, issued consecutive walks to Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle to force in a run. Chapman found the strike zone against the next two hitters, striking out Reggie Jackson and Graig Nettles. But Yogi Berra delivered the knockout punch with a grand slam off Randy Myers to make it 6-0 as the Yankees went on to take a 2-1 series lead.

Game 4: Reds 7, Yankees 2
The Reds wasted no time at the plate, scoring four runs in the first inning at Great American Ball Park on a pair of two-run homers by Joey Votto and Johnny Bench off Yankees starter Red Ruffing. Mickey Mantle hit a solo shot in the top of the second, but Cincinnati’s two-run-homer parade continued in the bottom half, with Barry Larkin launching one to make it 6-1. The Yankees’ only other run came on an RBI double by Lou Gehrig in the sixth, and the Reds capped the scoring in the bottom of the sixth on a Pete Rose RBI single. Cincinnati starter Jose Rijo tossed 5 2/3 strong innings, giving up two runs on three hits, walking three and striking out five. Norm Charlton and Johnny Cueto took it from there, combining to allow one hit while walking one and striking out six the rest of the way.

Game 5: Reds 5, Yankees 2

Cincinnati took its first series lead thanks to a clutch two-run single by Pete Rose off Yankees reliever Dave Righetti in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie at Great American Ball Park. Reds starter Tom Seaver bounced back after a rough outing in Game 1, going seven innings and giving up two runs on five hits, walking three and striking out nine. Aroldis Chapman turned in a perfect top of the eighth inning, and Eric Davis added some insurance for Cincinnati with a solo home run off Goose Gossage in the bottom half. In the ninth, Rob Dibble worked around a leadoff walk to pick up the save and put the Reds up in the series, 3-2.

Game 6: Yankees 4, Reds 3
With their backs up against the wall, the Yankees looked to their legends, and they delivered to help New York force a decisive Game 7. Babe Ruth launched solo home runs off Reds starter Jim Maloney in the first and sixth innings, and Joe DiMaggio came through with a go-ahead, two-run homer off flamethrower Aroldis Chapman in the eighth to lift the Yanks to a one-run victory at Yankee Stadium. New York got the strong start it needed from Ron Guidry, who went six innings and gave up two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out six. Dave Righetti relieved Guidry in the seventh, and after giving up a pair of singles in the eighth, he gave way to Goose Gossage. Gossage surrendered a go-ahead double to Frank Robinson to set the stage for DiMaggio’s heroics. In the ninth, Mariano Rivera struck out the side for the save.

Game 7: Yankees 11, Reds 6
The Reds pounced on Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, with Frank Robinson belting a two-run homer in the first inning and Joey Votto delivering an RBI single in the third before George Foster drew a walk to force in a run three batters later. Trailing 4-0, the Yanks evened things up with a four-run bottom of the third powered by a three-run homer from Joe DiMaggio and a solo shot by Lou Gehrig. After Cincinnati reclaimed the lead, 6-5, New York broke through for five runs in the fifth. Reds reliever Norm Charlton walked the bases loaded and forced in a run by walking Alex Rodriguez. John Franco came in and uncorked a wild pitch that scored Mickey Mantle before Yogi Berra and Tony Lazzeri delivered back-to-back RBI singles. Derek Jeter followed with a groundout to bring in another run. Gehrig capped the scoring with another solo homer in the sixth, and the Yankees got four crucial relief innings from Lefty Gomez en route to winning the MLB Dream Bracket championship. FULL SERIES RECAP


Yankees defeat Red Sox, 4-3
Will face Reds in finals

Game 1: BOS 7, NYY 5
Game 2: NYY 7, BOS 4
Game 3: BOS 5, NYY 4
Game 4: NYY 10, BOS 7
Game 5: BOS 9, NYY 2
Game 6: NYY 3, BOS 0
Game 7: NYY 4, BOS 1
Box scores | Play-by-play

Well, it turns out that the only Red Sox pitcher who could consistently keep Yankees slugger Babe Ruth in the park was ... Babe Ruth. "The Bambino" hit seven homers in this series, including one apiece in Games 6 and 7, to help the Yankees rally past the rival Red Sox in seven games.

Ruth began the series with multi-homer performances in Games 1 and 2, though the clubs split those two contests. Game 2 also featured the first Ruth vs. Ruth showdown, with Ruth the Red Sox reliever getting Ruth the Yankees hitter to harmlessly ground out in the seventh inning. The Red Sox then took a series lead when Carlton Fisk came through with a walk-off single -- his fourth hit of the game -- off Mariano Rivera with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth in Game 3. "The Bambino" show continued in Game 4, however, with Ruth crushing yet another homer to carry the Yankees to a 10-7 victory.

With the series knotted, 2-2, the Red Sox again notched a big win in Game 5. Boston jumped all over Whitey Ford in the first inning, knocking out the Hall of Fame lefty after he allowed five runs on four hits and three walks in just two-thirds of an inning. That was more than enough for Red Sox starter Pedro Martínez, who allowed just two runs over seven innings while striking out 12 in by far the best outing of the series to that point.

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, their bats seemed to run out of gas down the stretch. The Yankees held Boston to just one run over the final two games of the series -- after the Red Sox had racked up 32 over the first five. It started with Andy Pettitte tossing seven scoreless innings in Game 6 before handing off to Goose Gossage and Rivera to complete the shutout. Red Ruffing followed a similar blueprint in Game 7, holding Boston to one run over seven innings, with Gossage and Rivera again shutting the door.

Ruth started the scoring in that Game 7 victory with a first-inning homer (go figure) off Red Sox starter Roger Clemens. Ruth homered off six pitchers in the series -- Martínez, Clemens, Cy Young, Craig Kimbrel, Koji Uehara and Jon Lester (twice) -- but he went 0-for-1 with a groundout and a walk against the pitching version of himself. FULL SERIES RECAP

Reds defeat Dodgers, 4-2
Will face Yankees in finals

Game 1: LAD 14, CIN 9
Game 2: CIN 1, LAD 0
Game 3: CIN 5, LAD 4
Game 4: CIN 6, LAD 0
Game 5: LAD 5, CIN 1
Game 6: CIN 4, LAD 1
Box scores | Play-by-play

In a series that featured the likes of Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Tom Seaver, Orel Hershiser and Clayton Kershaw, it was none other than 1990 World Series MVP winner José Rijo who stole the show on the mound.

Rijo held the Dodgers to two hits over eight scoreless innings to lead the Reds to a 1-0 victory in Game 2, then he doubled down with a Game 6 gem in which he racked up nine strikeouts while allowing just one run over six innings to send Los Angeles packing. Rijo finished 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA while striking out 16 over 14 innings in the series, a performance reminiscent of the one that earned him MVP honors in the 1990 World Series. He went 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 15 1/3 frames against the Athletics in that Fall Classic -- and he fittingly struck out nine in that Series-clinching victory.

The Dodgers came out swinging in Game 1, scoring 14 runs on 15 hits to jump out to a 1-0 series lead. Los Angeles, however, managed only 10 runs over the next five games combined, as Cincinnati turned the tables on the team that entered the series with by far the most dominant pitching staff in the tournament.

The Dodgers came in allowing just 2.6 runs per game, with their starting rotation combining for a ridiculous 1.78 ERA. Yet it was the Reds’ staff that twirled a pair of shutouts -- along with Rijo, Mario Soto tossed 8 2/3 scoreless innings in a 6-0 win in Game 4 -- and held the Dodgers to just one run in the clincher. FULL SERIES RECAP


Yankees defeat Astros, 4-3
Game 1: NYY 3, HOU 0
Game 2: NYY 5, HOU 2
Game 3: HOU 6, NYY 1
Game 4: HOU 6, NYY 5
Game 5: NYY 5, HOU 1
Game 6: HOU 7, NYY 4
Game 7: NYY 8, HOU 6
Box scores | Play-by-play

This seven-game thriller featured an epic Game 7 comeback -- and plenty of dramatic moments beforehand. It started early in Game 1, with Reggie Jackson crushing a two-run homer off fellow Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Jackson later hit a solo shot off reliever Joe Niekro to provide all of the offense in the 3-0 win, with Whitey Ford, Dave Righetti and Mariano Rivera combining for the shutout.

After trading victories over the next two games, the Astros evened the series on a wacky walk-off in Game 4. It started in the top of the ninth, with Derek Jeter plating Yogi Berra with a game-tying RBI single. That set the stage for Craig Biggio's remarkable trip around the bases in the bottom half. Biggio, who was hit by a pitch 285 times during his career (second most all-time to Hughie Jennings), reached base after being plunked by Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Biggio then advanced to second on an error by Alex Rodriguez and went to third on a wild pitch, before dashing home to score the winning run on a passed ball.

The teams again swapped victories to set up a Game 7 that would stack up well against any winner-take-all game in MLB history. Houston appeared to be in control, entering the bottom of the sixth with a 6-1 lead. The Yankees, however, chipped away thanks to home runs by Jackson and Babe Ruth before Mickey Mantle hit a game-tying homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth. The game remained tied at 6 until Yogi Berra delivered a series-clinching walk-off two-run homer in the 12th inning. FULL SERIES RECAP

Red Sox defeat White Sox, 4-1
Game 1: BOS 3, CWS 2
Game 2: CWS 7, BOS 4
Game 3: BOS 13, CWS 4
Game 4: BOS 7, CWS 3
Game 5: BOS 6, CWS 3
Box scores | Play-by-play

The Red Sox feasted on the lefty-heavy rotation that had suited the White Sox so well up to this point. After putting up a remarkable 2.47 ERA over the first two rounds of the tournament, Chicago's rotation of southpaws -- Billy Pierce, Chris Sale, Wilbur Wood and Mark Buehrle -- was tagged to the tune of a 7.11 ERA against Boston.

After splitting the first two games, Carlton Fisk helped the Red Sox take command of the series in a 13-4 victory in Game 3. Fisk, who is on both Boston and Chicago’s Dream Bracket rosters, went 3-for-6 with six RBIs for the Red Sox, while finishing just a single shy of the cycle. Fisk and Ted Williams led the way for the series with two homers apiece, while Wade Boggs (8-for-19, .421) and Nomar Garciaparra (9-for-23, .391) set the table atop the lineup. The Red Sox cruised into the semifinals despite David Ortiz going 2-for-21 (.095) with seven strikeouts, making him just 6-for-46 (.130) with 17 strikeouts over the past two rounds. FULL SERIES RECAP

Reds defeat Cardinals, 4-3
Game 1: STL 6, CIN 5
Game 2: STL 4, CIN 3
Game 3: CIN 7, STL 6
Game 4: CIN 6, STL 3
Game 5: CIN 5, STL 2
Game 6: STL 2, CIN 1
Game 7: CIN 4, STL 3
Box scores | Play-by-play

This series was as close as they come, with five of the seven contests being decided by a single run and the home team holding serve in every game -- until the finale. After holding on for a 6-5 victory in Game 1, Stan Musial lifted the Cardinals to a 2-0 series lead when he roped a walk-off RBI double in Game 2.

The Reds returned the favor when the series shifted to Cincinnati for Game 3, with Joey Votto hitting a walk-off double of his own to score Pete Rose from first base without a throw. The Reds then rattled off a pair of three-run victories to give them a 3-2 series lead heading back to St. Louis, only to have Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean toss a Game 6 gem to set up a winner-take-all showdown.

Cincinnati jumped out to an early lead with a three-run second inning against starter Chris Carpenter, but the Cards answered the call. St. Louis rallied to tie the game at 3 apiece in the sixth before it became a battle of the bullpens. The Reds finally broke through in the 12th inning, when 1977 NL MVP George Foster crushed a go-ahead solo homer to give the Reds their first run since the second inning and, more important, a 4-3 lead. John Franco retired the side in order in the bottom half to send the Reds to the semifinals. FULL SERIES RECAP

Dodgers defeat Brewers, 4-3
Game 1: LAD 5, MIL 1
Game 2: MIL 5, LAD 1
Game 3: LAD 3, MIL 1
Game 4: LAD 2, MIL 1
Game 5: MIL 5, LAD 1
Game 6: MIL 7, LAD 3
Game 7: LAD 3, MIL 0
Box scores | Play-by-play

After knocking off the Giants and Cubs, the Brewers came up just short in their bid to continue their magical run against the Dodgers. Milwaukee took the series to the distance, but it just couldn't manufacture enough offense against Los Angeles' dominant pitching staff. The Dodgers allowed just three runs total in their four victories in this series, punctuated by a Game 7 shutout in which Don Drysdale pitched eight scoreless innings before Eric Gagne slammed the door with a scoreless ninth.

Drysdale's winner-take-all gem looked awfully similar to his performance in Game 3, when he also tossed eight scoreless frames in a 3-1 victory. Drysdale's dominance comes after he tossed a shutout in his lone outing in the Round of 16, meaning the Hall of Famer has tossed 25 consecutive scoreless innings in his past three starts.

The Dodgers' other starters weren't too shabby either. Clayton Kershaw, despite going 0-2, had a 0.79 ERA over 11 1/3 innings, while Sandy Koufax had a 2.19 ERA in his two starts and Orel Hershiser allowed one run over eight innings in his only outing. Los Angeles' starting rotation has a 1.78 ERA through the first three rounds of the tournament. FULL SERIES RECAP


Yankees defeat Indians, 4-3
Will face Astros in Round of 8

Game 1: NYY 7, CLE 1
Game 2: CLE 8, NYY 4
Game 3: NYY 9, CLE 5
Game 4: CLE 10, NYY 3
Game 5: NYY 8, CLE 1
Game 6: CLE 6, NYY 4
Game 7: NYY 5, CLE 2
Box scores | Play-by-play

The Bronx Bombers certainly lived up to that nickname in this back-and-forth series against the Indians. The Yankees clubbed 18 home runs, led by four from Lou Gehrig, while sneaking past the Tribe in seven games. Ten players homered for the Yankees, while Don Mattingly (0-for-3) was the only New York player to appear in the series without homering. The 18-homer barrage -- which also included two apiece from Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio -- came after the Yanks combined to hit just five home runs in their opening-round victory over the Mariners.

For the Indians, Bob Feller had the most trouble keeping the Yankees in the park. The Hall of Famer served up seven homers over 10 2/3 innings in his two starts. Feller and Corey Kluber, the Tribe's top two starters, went a combined 2-6 with a 7.43 ERA over eight starts in the tournament. That proved to be too much for the Indians to overcome, despite strong offensive performances from Nap Lajoie, who hit .444 in the tournament overall with a 1.192 OPS and 12 extra-base hits, and Manny Ramirez, who hit .322 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 14 games. FULL SERIES RECAP

Red Sox defeat Blue Jays, 4-2
Will face White Sox in Round of 8

Game 1: TOR 8, BOS 6
Game 2: TOR 9, BOS 5
Game 3: BOS 10, TOR 6
Game 4: BOS 3, TOR 2
Game 5: BOS 4, TOR 2
Game 6: BOS 9, TOR 4
Box score | Play-by-play

The Blue Jays came out swinging in this one, knocking out Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez in the second inning of Game 1 en route to an 8-6 victory. They kept the bats going in Game 2, scoring six runs off starter Luis Tiant before adding three more against Boston reliever Babe Ruth. Despite taking a 2-0 series lead -- all while racking up 17 runs off a whopping 32 hits -- the Blue Jays couldn't sustain that success throughout the series.

The Red Sox righted the ship in Game 3, led by Ted Williams' three-hit effort that included a homer and a pair of RBIs. Williams was by far the best player in the series, going 14-for-26 (.538) with five home runs and 10 RBIs -- not to mention his ridiculous 1.115 slugging percentage and 1.702 OPS. His five home runs in the series were one more than the rest of the Red Sox combined (Nomar Garciaparra, Mookie Betts, Jimmie Foxx and Dwight Evans hit one apiece). FULL SERIES RECAP

Astros defeat Tigers, 4-2
Will face Yankees in Round of 8

Game 1: DET 4, HOU 3
Game 2: HOU 6, DET 5
Game 3: HOU 8, DET 2
Game 4: HOU 5, DET 2
Game 5: DET 5, HOU 2
Game 6: HOU 7, DET 5
Box score | Play-by-play

This series could not have gotten off to a better start for the Tigers. In a Game 1 pitchers' duel between Nolan Ryan and Justin Verlander, it was Detroit's No. 9 hitter, Bill Freehan, who ultimately played the hero. With the Tigers trailing, 3-1, in the ninth, Freehan crushed a game-tying two-run homer off Astros closer Billy Wagner -- but Freehan wasn't done yet. Two innings later, Freehan hit a walk-off shot against Joe Niekro to finish a perfect 4-for-4 and, more importantly, erase a solid outing from Ryan to give the Tigers a 1-0 series lead.

That would prove to be the high point for Detroit, however, as the Astros rallied for three straight wins en route to taking the series in six games. Lance Berkman led the way offensively, hitting .409 to go along with three homers, seven RBIs and a staggering 1.409 OPS. Carlos Correa went just 4-for-23 (.174), but three of his four hits left the park. FULL SERIES RECAP

White Sox defeat Athletics, 4-1
Will face Red Sox in Round of 8

Game 1: OAK 9, CWS 3
Game 2: CWS 6, OAK 5
Game 3: CWS 7, OAK 1
Game 4: CWS 5, OAK 2
Game 5: CWS 4, OAK 1
Box score | Play-by-play

The Athletics cruised to a Game 1 victory, but Eddie Collins -- who played for both teams in this series -- provided the turning point in Game 2. After hitting a two-run homer for the Athletics in the fourth inning, Collins delivered a 12th-inning walk-off single for the White Sox to even the series at a game apiece.

It was all Chicago from that point onward, with the White Sox outscoring the A's 16-4 over the final three games of the series. Robin Ventura, who did not homer in the opening round, went yard in four of the five games against the Athletics, finishing with a series-high eight RBIs. His four home runs in the series matched the total by the rest of his teammates combined. FULL SERIES RECAP

Cardinals defeat Phillies, 4-2
Will face Reds in Round of 8
Game 1: PHI 11, STL 4
Game 2: STL 12, PHI 4
Game 3: STL 7, PHI 1
Game 4: STL 6, PHI 4
Game 5: PHI 5, STL 3
Game 6: STL 4, PHI 3
Box scores | Play-by-play

Don't be fooled by those first two scores; this was one of the most competitive series yet -- and it was one out away from going to a Game 7. Though the first two games were decided by a combined 15 runs, neither was truly a blowout. In fact, the Phillies' 11-4 win in Game 1 was an extra-innings thriller, with Philadelphia tying the game with a two-run homer in the ninth before plating seven runs -- all with two outs -- in the 11th. The Cardinals returned the favor in Game 2, scoring nine runs in the bottom of the eighth to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 12-4 victory.

The back-and-forth action continued into Game 6. Trailing 3-2 in the series, the Phillies took a 3-2 lead in the game into the bottom of the ninth. Cardinals legend Albert Pujols started things off with a single off Tug McGraw, who then turned things over to Curt Schilling. A fielder's choice and a strikeout brought the Phils to within one out of forcing a winner-take-all game -- but Jim Edmonds had other plans. The Cardinals outfielder capped off a dominant series (four homers and seven RBIs) with a walk-off two-run homer to send St. Louis to the quarterfinals. FULL SERIES RECAP

Reds defeat Pirates, 4-2
Will face Cardinals in Round of 8
Game 1: PIT 9, CIN 1
Game 2: PIT 7, CIN 0
Game 3: CIN 4, PIT 2
Game 4: CIN 18, PIT 4
Game 5: CIN 13, PIT 2
Game 6: CIN 7, PIT 2
Box scores | Play-by-play

As one might expect from a series that featured 16 Hall of Fame hitters and only one Hall of Fame pitcher, there were plenty of runs scored between the Reds and Pirates. It was all Pittsburgh early on, with the Bucs outscoring the Reds 16-1 while taking a 2-0 series lead, but Cincinnati more than made up for it over the next four games.

The Reds averaged 10.5 runs per game over the final four contests of the series, outscoring the Pirates 42-10 in the process. Eight Cincinnati players homered during the series, with Joey Votto pacing the club in homers (three), RBIs (nine) and total bases (18) while striking out only once in 26 at-bats. FULL SERIES RECAP

Dodgers defeat Marlins, 4-1
Will face Brewers in Round of 8
Game 1: LAD 5, MIA 0
Game 2: MIA 4, LAD 3
Game 3: LAD 2, MIA 0
Game 4: LAD 6, MIA 1
Game 5: LAD 6, MIA 5
Box scores | Play-by-play

The Marlins went toe-to-toe with the Dodgers for much of this series, but Los Angeles' firepower on the mound -- and an extra century of players to choose from -- proved to be too much for Miami to overcome. Sandy Koufax set the tone in Game 1, tossing six scoreless innings before handing things off to Kenley Jansen and Don Sutton to complete the 5-0 shutout. After the Marlins rallied to even the series in Game 2, Don Drysdale swung things back in the Dodgers' favor with a three-hit shutout on just 101 pitches in Game 3.

The Marlins battled to the very end, rallying from three separate deficits in Game 5 -- including one in the 11th inning -- before Cody Bellinger's go-ahead double in the 12th proved to be the difference. The Dodgers’ pitching staff finished with a 1.88 ERA for the series, including a 0.60 ERA for a bullpen that yielded just one earned run over 15 innings of work. FULL SERIES RECAP

Brewers defeat Cubs, 4-3
Will face Dodgers in Round of 8
Game 1: CHC 6, MIL 1
Game 2: MIL 8, CHC 6
Game 3: CHC 7, MIL 6
Game 4: CHC 3, MIL 2
Game 5: MIL 5, CHC 4
Game 6: MIL 3, CHC 2
Game 7: MIL 6, CHC 5
Box scores | Play-by-play

This was by far the most dramatic series of the round, with each of the final five games being decided by a single run. The Cubs seemed to take a commanding 3-1 series lead following back-to-back walk-off victories in Games 3 and 4. Sammy Sosa raced home from second on a misplayed fly ball to win Game 3, then Andre Dawson clubbed a walk-off homer to lead off the ninth against Rollie Fingers just one game later.

The Brewers, however, staged a rally of their own, keyed by two clutch eighth-inning homers from Prince Fielder. The first came in Game 6, when Fielder crushed a go-ahead homer to snap a 2-2 tie in the eighth, ultimately forcing a decisive Game 7. Though the Brewers were already leading 5-2 when Fielder stepped to the plate in the eighth inning of Game 7, he provided some insurance with another solo shot to extend the lead to four. That proved to be vital, as the Cubs pushed across three runs in the top of the ninth before Milwaukee finally slammed the door with the tying run on base. FULL SERIES RECAP


Blue Jays defeat Twins, 4-1
Game 1: TOR 2, MIN 1
Game 2: MIN 10, TOR 2
Game 3: TOR 11, MIN 4
Game 4: TOR 8, MIN 5
Game 5: TOR 3, MIN 2
Box scores | Play-by-play

How would Roy Halladay have done if he had ever gotten the chance to pitch in the postseason for the Blue Jays? Maybe something like this. Halladay outdueled Washington Senators legend Walter Johnson in both Games 1 and 5 of this series, allowing a total of two runs in 15 innings and striking out 12 to lead Toronto. He was backed up by 1993 postseason star Devon White (1.154 OPS) and more recent Blue Jays bombers José Bautista and Josh Donaldson, who combined to slug .824 with five homers and 13 RBIs in 34 at-bats.

The Twins got their only victory of the series in Game 2 behind the pitching of Johan Santana (6 2/3 innings, one run) and a balanced offensive attack led by Kent Hrbek (3-for-6, home run, three RBIs). But even though Rod Carew, Hrbek, Joe Mauer, Tony Oliva and Kirby Puckett all batted at least .300, the Twins couldn’t keep pace with the hard-hitting Blue Jays, who homered nine times in five games. FULL SERIES RECAP

White Sox defeat Royals, 4-1
Game 1: CWS 8, KC 3
Game 2: CWS 4, KC 3
Game 3: CWS 7, KC 4
Game 4: KC 6, CWS 1
Game 5: CWS 5, KC 0
Box scores | Play-by-play

Billy Pierce, a Sox star of the 1950s, posted a 1.84 ERA while beating the Royals’ Bret Saberhagen in Games 1 and 5, tossing eight scoreless innings in the latter to finish off Kansas City. He got plenty of help from 2005 ALCS MVP Paul Konerko, who homered twice and drove in three runs in Game 1, then added four RBIs in Game 5, including a three-run homer to blow open the game.

Minnie Miñoso chipped in by going 8-for-19 (.421) with a 1.079 OPS in the series, Frank Thomas homered twice while slugging .737 and Hoyt Wilhelm logged two saves. The Royals avoided a sweep in Game 4 behind Dutch Leonard (7 1/3 innings, one run), but they couldn’t get back in the series despite some unlikely offensive contributions from shortstop Freddie Patek (8-for-16, two homers, five RBIs). FULL SERIES RECAP

Athletics defeat Rays, 4-2
Game 1: TB 5, OAK 1
Game 2: TB 3, OAK 2
Game 3: OAK 8, TB 7
Game 4: OAK 8, TB 5
Game 5: OAK 5, TB 0
Game 6: OAK 7, TB 0
Box scores | Play-by-play

The Rays started hot, winning the first two games at home behind David Price and James Shields. Back in Oakland for Game 3, Tampa Bay was on the verge of grabbing a stranglehold on the series, leading 7-4 entering the bottom of the ninth inning. But then, the Fernando Rodney Experience intervened. Each of the first five A’s hitters reached safely against the Rays closer, making it a one-run game. Chris Archer entered but could not stop the bleeding, allowing a game-tying single to Bert Campaneris, then issuing a walk-off walk to Rickey Henderson.

Oakland victimized the Tampa Bay bullpen again in Game 4, scoring three runs in the eighth to break a 5-5 tie, before closing things out with back-to-back shutouts in which Hall of Famers Lefty Grove and Catfish Hunter combined for 17 scoreless innings. Philadelphia A’s Eddie Collins and Jimmie Foxx went a combined 18-for-43 (.419) with a .698 slugging percentage to lead the offense, while the Rays hit only .207/.245/.337. FULL SERIES RECAP

Astros defeat Orioles, 4-0
Game 1:
HOU 9, BAL 3
Game 2: HOU 2, BAL 1
Game 3: HOU 8, BAL 3
Game 4: HOU 5, BAL 2
Box scores | Play-by-play

Astros starters Nolan Ryan, Roy Oswalt, J.R. Richard and Mike Scott cruised through the Orioles lineup with little difficulty, combining to allow eight runs in 30 2/3 innings (2.35 ERA). Lance Berkman led the way for Houston offensively, going 8-for-16 with five RBIs.

Baltimore’s best chance came in Game 2, when Mike Mussina matched Oswalt for eight innings. But in the top of the ninth, Jeff Bagwell doubled off Zack Britton, stole third and scored the go-ahead on Carlos Correa’s groundout against Gregg Olson, before Billy Wagner nailed down one of his two saves. Clutch homers by Craig Biggio in Game 3 and Correa in Game 4 helped finish the O’s. FULL SERIES RECAP

Red Sox defeat Rangers, 4-3
Game 1: BOS 3, TEX 1
Game 2: BOS 15, TEX 4
Game 3: BOS 8, TEX 3
Game 4: TEX 5, BOS 4
Game 5: TEX 4, BOS 2
Game 6: TEX 9, BOS 6
Game 7: BOS 6, TEX 2
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In real life, the Red Sox are the only team in MLB history to rally from a 3-0 deficit in a postseason series (2004 ALCS against the Yankees). In this tournament, they nearly were on the other side of such a wild comeback. Facing a sweep, Texas won two in a row with go-ahead hits in the bottom of the eighth, taking Game 4 on Ivan Rodriguez’s homer off Craig Kimbrel and Game 5 on Adrián Beltré’s single off Pedro Martínez. They then knocked out Cy Young himself in the first inning of Game 6.

When the Rangers carried a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth in Game 7, it seemed they might really pull off the near-impossible. But then Ted Williams smacked a game-tying double off Kenny Rogers, and Carl Yastrzemski -- who didn’t even start, but pinch-ran the inning before in place of David Ortiz -- played hero with a go-ahead grand slam. Jonathan Papelbon got the last three outs for his second save, and the Sox survived. FULL SERIES RECAP

Yankees defeat Mariners, 4-2
Game 1: NYY 3, SEA 2
Game 2: NYY 1, SEA 0
Game 3: SEA 4, NYY 0
Game 4: SEA 3, NYY 2
Game 5: NYY 9, SEA 4
Game 6: NYY 2, SEA 1
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This was a close, pitching-oriented series, with neither team getting much going offensively, outside of the Yankees’ Game 5 outburst. Right-hander Red Ruffing, a six-time Yankees World Series champion from the 1930s and '40s, won Game 2 and the decisive Game 6 while posting a 0.61 ERA (14 2/3 innings, one run). In both of those contests, Félix Hernández (1.98 ERA in 13 2/3 innings) took the hard-luck loss. 

A combined 15 scoreless innings from starters Jamie Moyer and Mark Langston in Games 3 and 4 got Seattle back into the series. But the Yankees’ bats woke up in Game 5, as Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson all homered off Randy Johnson. Berra’s go-ahead two-run shot off Hernández in the fourth inning of Game 6 gave Ruffing, Goose Gossage and Mariano Rivera all they needed to finish the Mariners, who got no help from Ken Griffey Jr. (1-for-23, no extra-base hits, seven strikeouts). FULL SERIES RECAP

Indians defeat Negro League Stars, 4-3
Game 1: CLE 3, NLS 2
Game 2: NLS 7, CLE 3
Game 3: NLS 10, CLE 1
Game 4: CLE 9, NLS 3
Game 5: NLS 5, CLE 4
Game 6: CLE 19, NLS 6
Game 7: CLE 12, NLS 3
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The Negro Leagues Stars were in control of the series when Satchel Paige defeated Bob Feller in Game 5, with help from home runs by Josh Gibson and Mule Suttles. But with the series shifting back to Cleveland, the Indians put together a pair of blowouts to snatch it away, scoring 31 runs on 36 hits.

Buoyed by those final two games, the Tribe posted a .929 OPS and launched 11 homers for the series, led by Dead Ball Era star Nap Lajoie (17-for-31, seven extra-base hits) and Travis Hafner (three homers, 10 RBIs). Gibson, Suttles, Oscar Charleston, Ray Dandridge and Buck Leonard all went deep multiple times for the Negro Leaguers, but the club couldn’t cobble together enough pitching to handle a deep and potent Cleveland lineup. FULL SERIES RECAP

Reds defeat Nationals, 4-3
Game 1: CIN 10, WSH 6
Game 2: CIN 5, WSH 0
Game 3: WSH 2, CIN 1
Game 4: WSH 4, CIN 3
Game 5: CIN 2, WSH 1
Game 6: WSH 8, CIN 5
Game 7: CIN 7, WSH 0
Box scores | Play-by-play

In one of the best series of Round 1, the Reds pulled out all the stops to overcome the Nationals in a back-and-forth seven-game thriller. The Big Red Machine knocked around Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer to win the first two games, but the Nats tied the series with dramatic wins in Games 3 and 4 -- Bryce Harper came through with a huge go-ahead single with two outs in the eighth inning of Game 3, and Jose Vidro drew a walk-off walk in the 10th inning of Game 4.

The Reds took the pivotal Game 5 behind an eight-inning, one-run gem by Tom Seaver, with George Foster's two-run homer off Strasburg making the difference. But the series wasn't over. In Game 6, Vladimir Guerrero belted a three-run homer in the first inning and Washington never looked back, setting the stage for a winner-take-all Game 7. Finally, the Reds put it all together. Johnny Bench and Joey Votto hit home runs, and Mario Soto was brilliant, shutting out the Nationals for 7 2/3 innings to pitch Cincinnati into the next round. FULL SERIES RECAP

Phillies defeat 25-and-Under Stars, 4-1
Game 1: PHI 3, 25U 2
Game 2: 25U 7, PHI 0
Game 3: PHI 6, 25U 2
Game 4: PHI 10, 25U 5
Game 5: PHI 5, 25U 0
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The Phillies all-time team wasn't impressed by MLB's rising young stars, as after a split in the first two games, Philadelphia ran away with the series with three decisive wins in a row. Phillies ace Steve Carlton was dominant, winning Game 1 and the deciding Game 5, with a scoreless effort in the clincher and a 1.29 ERA in the series as he twice outdueled Jack Flaherty. Chase Utley was the star on offense, hitting .364 and slugging .727 for the series, including a homer off Shane Bieber and a bases-loaded double off Julio Urías in the Phillies' Game 4 blowout.

The Phillies came up with the big hits the 25-and-under stars couldn't. Jimmy Rollins' three-run homer off Flaherty sparked the Game 1 win, Mike Schmidt's two doubles powered Philadelphia in the pivotal Game 3 and Ryan Howard was great in the clinching Game 5. The 25-and-Under Stars actually outhomered the Phillies, 6-3, including two by Pete Alonso off Grover Cleveland Alexander and Cole Hamels, and one by Cody Bellinger off Carlton. But they didn't have the timely up-and-down production that the Phillies got. FULL SERIES RECAP

Cubs defeat Mets, 4-1
Game 1: CHC 10, NYM 3
Game 2: NYM 7, CHC 0
Game 3: CHC 2, NYM 0
Game 4: CHC 5, NYM 3
Game 5: CHC 10, NYM 6
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The Cubs found all sorts of ways to win against the Mets. In Game 1, it was the big inning -- a seven-run fifth off Tom Seaver and Tug McGraw, with the big blows coming on Ron Santo's two-run double and Ryne Sandberg's three-run homer. In Game 3, it was lights-out pitching, unsurprising when you hand the ball to Greg Maddux, who went seven scoreless and allowed just two hits. In Game 4, Kerry Wood and Lee Smith's lockdown relief effort got the job done. And in the clinching Game 5, it was a clutch comeback -- the Cubs trailed by three in the ninth inning, until Kris Bryant came through with a massive go-ahead pinch-hit grand slam off Jesse Orosco.

The Mets were going to need big things from their top starting pitching trio of Seaver, Dwight Gooden and Jacob deGrom. And it was Gooden who provided their only victory of the series with eight shutout innings and seven strikeouts in Game 2. But New York had trouble recovering after Seaver got knocked around for 10 hits and six runs in the opener, and deGrom lost a tough pitchers' duel to Maddux in Game 3. David Wright captained the offense, hitting .333 with a pair of home runs and Darryl Strawberry homered twice, but the Mets were ultimately outplayed. FULL SERIES RECAP

Marlins defeat Braves, 4-1
Game 1: MIA 9, ATL 0
Game 2: MIA 10, ATL 7
Game 3: MIA 10, ATL 3
Game 4: ATL 5, MIA 2
Game 5: MIA 4, ATL 0
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Look out -- the Marlins are shocking the world again. This time, they upset an all-time Braves team with a pitching staff of Greg Maddux, Warren Spahn, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz and a lineup led by Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Dale Murphy and Freddie Freeman. But that's what happens when your ace is the electric José Fernández and he's at the top of his game. Fernández outdueled Maddux not once but twice, winning the series opener and clincher without allowing a single run.

The Marlins' offense did the rest, erupting for 10 runs apiece in Games 2 and 3 to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. Down 7-3 in the ninth inning of Game 2, Miami pulled off a miraculous comeback, capped by Giancarlo Stanton's walk-off grand slam off Craig Kimbrel. The Braves prolonged the series thanks to Smoltz's outstanding performance in Game 4 -- eight innings of two-run baseball to beat Dontrelle Willis. But they couldn't overcome an offense that got solid series from Andruw Jones (.364, one home run) and Murphy (.368, one home run) and struggled to score when it mattered most. FULL SERIES RECAP

Dodgers defeat Padres, 4-1
Game 1: SD 6, LAD 5
Game 2: LAD 6, SD 2
Game 3: LAD 11, SD 3
Game 4: LAD 4, SD 2
Game 5: LAD 3, SD 1
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The Dodgers' starting pitching was too much for the Padres. Just look at their rotation: Sandy Koufax, Clayton Kershaw, Don Drysdale and Orel Hershiser. Those four combined for a 2.29 ERA in the series and delivered five straight quality starts. Koufax was great in Game 1 (six innings, one run, eight strikeouts) and even better in Game 5 (6 2/3 innings, one run, 10 K's). Kershaw delivered seven innings of two-run, seven-strikeout baseball in Game 2, Drysdale went 7 2/3 and allowed three runs in Game 3 and Hershiser went eight and yielded two runs in Game 4.

The Padres' lone win came against the L.A. bullpen in the series opener. Once they got Koufax out of the game, the Padres got to Phil Regan and Eric Gagne, rallying from down four runs in the eighth to win, a comeback that started with a Tony Gwynn leadoff single and was capped by Nate Colbert's go-ahead grand slam off Gagne. But the heart of the Padres' lineup slumped in the series, as the lifetime .338 hitter Gwynn hit just .286, and Ken Caminiti (.176), Dave Winfield (.222) and Adrián González (.111) struggled behind him. FULL SERIES RECAP

Pirates defeat D-backs, 4-2
Game 1: PIT 10, ARI 6
Game 2: PIT 7, ARI 0
Game 3: PIT 11, ARI 6
Game 4: ARI 8, PIT 1
Game 5: ARI 5, PIT 3
Game 6: PIT 11, ARI 4
Box scores | Play-by-play

Great hitting beat great pitching in this series. The Pirates exploded for 39 runs in their four wins, while reaching double digits in three of them, despite facing Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling (twice) and Brandon Webb in those victories. That's thanks to a gauntlet of a batting order featuring Max Carey, Roberto Clemente, Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, Barry Bonds, Pie Traynor, Paul Waner and Bill Mazeroski.

Bonds homered three times in the series. Wagner homered once, doubled four times and tripled twice, while hitting .481. Carey hit .417, Clemente hit .393, and both of them homered, too. The D-backs put up a strong fight, even after falling behind 3-0 in the series, thanks to Zack Greinke's brilliant complete-game, one-run win in Game 4 and Johnson's eight-inning, 10-strikeout bounce-back in Game 5, backed by homers by Luis Gonzalez and Steve Finley. But the Pirates' bats were just too much. FULL SERIES RECAP 

Tigers defeat Angels, 4-3
Game 1: LAA 7, DET 4
Game 2: DET 6, LAA 4
Game 3: LAA 9, DET 4
Game 4: LAA 7, DET 5
Game 5: DET 7, LAA 3
Game 6: DET 4, LAA 0
Game 7: DET 12, LAA 7
Box scores | Play-by-play

The Tigers rallied from down three games to one to prevail over the Angels in seven games. The series was a slugfest, and Detroit got monster performances from Miguel Cabrera (.320, three home runs, 10 RBIs) and Ty Cobb, who hit .483 with three home runs, including the one that put the series away in the eighth inning of Game 7. Jack Morris once again proved his big-game pitching mettle, beating the Angels in Game 2 and Game 6 with two scoreless starts.

The Angels got a predictably excellent series from Mike Trout, who had a .346/.469/.500 slash line out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup. But Vladimir Guerrero's struggles as the cleanup hitter were costly -- Vlad hit just .194 for the series, and he flied out with the bases loaded and the Angels down three in the eighth inning of Game 7, ending their last chance at a comeback. FULL SERIES RECAP

Cardinals defeat Rockies, 4-2
Game 1: STL 10, COL 5
Game 2: STL 7, COL 2
Game 3: COL 4, STL 1
Game 4: STL 2, COL 1
Game 5: COL 4, STL 3
Game 6: STL 2, COL 1
Box scores | Play-by-play

The Cardinals’ bats erupted in the first two games at Coors Field, in support of starters Bob Gibson and Dizzy Dean, before the Rockies snatched two of three nail-biters back at Busch Stadium. Games 4 and 5 both required extra innings. St. Louis walked off the first one in the 12th inning, with Jim Edmonds scoring on Ozzie Smith’s fielder's-choice grounder. Scott Rolen tied Game 5 with a ninth-inning homer, but Andres Galarraga’s go-ahead shot leading off the 10th against Lee Smith kept Colorado in the series.

Even back at altitude for Game 6, the trend continued with a low-scoring barnburner that went into extras. Rolen was in the middle again, drawing a leadoff walk in the 12th, advancing on Rogers Hornsby’s double and scoring the go-ahead run on Stan Musial’s sacrifice fly. Harry Brecheen, a lefty from the 1940s-50s, struck out five Rockies over the final 3 2/3 scoreless innings for the win. That was a theme for the Cardinals, who held the Rockies to a .610 OPS in the series. FULL SERIES RECAP

Brewers defeat Giants, 4-2
Game 1: SF 2, MIL 1
Game 2: MIL 7, SF 2
Game 3: SF 3, MIL 2
Game 4: MIL 8, SF 7
Game 5: MIL 6, SF 5
Game 6: MIL 4, SF 2
Box scores | Play-by-play

What a series. Four of the six games were decided by one run, and another by two. There was drama from the beginning, as Willie Mays’ ninth-inning homer walked off Rollie Fingers in Game 1. Even Game 2 was a two-run affair until the Brew Crew exploded for seven runs in the seventh.

The series swung in Game 5, when the Giants took a 5-2 lead in the top of the seventh, only to see the Brewers fight back and win on Cecil Cooper’s walk-off homer against Robb Nen in the ninth. Milwaukee had to go to the 11th inning to finish things off in Game 6, as Don Money and Paul Molitor hit RBI singles to break a 2-2 tie, and Dan Plesac nailed down the save. Mays (.417/.481/.875, three homers, six RBIs) was the biggest star of the series, but it wasn’t enough for the Giants to advance. FULL SERIES RECAP