Williams lifts Sox in Dream Bracket Round of 16

April 23rd, 2020

BOSTON -- After losing Games 1 and 2 at Fenway Park to the Blue Jays, the Red Sox seemed to be in trouble in the MLB Dream Bracket simulation tournament.

But this roster of all-time greats to wear the Boston uniform -- led by the greatest of them all -- stormed back to win the next four games and take the series in six games.

To get out of the Round of 16, Boston relied on the big bat of Ted Williams, who lived up to his self-proclaimed “The Greatest Hitter there ever was,” proclamation with a monster series.

The Splendid Splinter destroyed the Blue Jays to the tune of a .538/.586/1.115 slash line, with five homers, 10 RBIs and 29 total bases over the six games.

For the Red Sox, it is on to the quarterfinals and a best-of-seven matchup with the White Sox.

The MLB Dream Bracket is a 32-team best-of-seven simulation featuring all-time teams for each of the 30 current Major League franchises, as well as teams consisting of Negro Leagues Stars and 25 & Under Stars. The 26-man rosters for each of the teams, compiled by the MLB.com beat reporters, consist of 15 hitters and 11 pitchers.

For the simulation, players are rated using the average of their three best seasons on a single team. Rosters were constructed with balanced depth to specifically compete in a simulated regulation game.

The Red Sox are one of eight teams left.

Here is a game-by-game breakdown of how the second-round series against the Blue Jays went down.

Game 1: Blue Jays 8, Red Sox 6
In a stunner, ace Pedro Martinez got shelled by Toronto, giving up seven hits and five runs in just 1 2/3 innings. The Jays bashed Martinez around for a five-spot in the second inning that included a two-run double by Tony Fernandez. The Sox chipped away to keep it close, led by Williams, who was 4-for-4. Nomar Garciaparra got Boston within two on a solo homer in the ninth. After a single from Williams, the Red Sox had the tying run at the plate three times in that final frame, but Jimmie Foxx struck out against Tom Henke. Then Mark Eichhorn came on and retired David Ortiz and Carlton Fisk on popups.

Game 2: Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 5
Once again, the Jays kept the Fenway faithful quiet with their big bats, this time belting Luis Tiant around for 11 hits and six runs over 6 1/3 innings. Babe Ruth tried to get Tiant out of trouble, but he was roughed up in relief, giving up three more runs. Williams roped a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to make the final score respectable and give his teammates some positive momentum as they headed to Toronto in an 0-2 hole.

Game 3: Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 6
The high-scoring theme of the series continued, but this time in Boston’s favor. The white-hot Williams unloaded for a two-run homer to cap his team’s six-run rally in the top of the second, knocking out starter Jimmy Key. A costly error by Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado in that inning made four of the runs against Key unearned. Toronto imploded in the fourth with another big error -- this one by catcher Ernie Whitt -- and the Sox were up, 10-1. Cy Young got the win, despite giving up five runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Game 4: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2
At last, this series had a low-scoring game. And Roger Clemens was up to the challenge in a near must-win game for the Red Sox. The Rocket held Toronto to two runs over 7 1/3 innings while scattering 10 hits in a duel against Pat Hentgen. Dwight Evans got the Sox on the board with a game-tying solo shot in the third. Foxx smashed a solo homer in the fourth to give Boston the lead for the first time. Garciaparra’s sacrifice fly in the fifth proved to be a critical insurance run. Craig Kimbrel and Jonathan Papelbon recorded the final five outs without giving up a hit.

Game 5: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 2 (10 innings)
The Red Sox took all three games at Rogers Centre to take a 3-2 lead in the series, capped with this thriller that went to extra innings. It should come as no surprise who had the game-breaking hit. That would be Williams, who clubbed a two-run homer off of Henke with one out in the 10th to break the tie. The drive to right went a projected distance of 381 feet. Garciaparra and Boggs had the other run-scoring hits for Boston -- RBI singles in the third and seventh. The bullpen was huge for the Red Sox, with Ruth firing 2 2/3 scoreless frames, followed by one dominant inning each from Papelbon and Lefty Grove.

Game 6: Red Sox 9, Blue Jays 4
Back at Fenway Park, the Red Sox didn’t flinch when the Jays scored three times against Tiant in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the third, the Sox toppled Toronto with an eight-run frame off of Dave Stieb that essentially decided the series. Of the first eight hitters who came to bat in the inning, all of them reached base. Williams, Foxx, Ortiz, Fisk and Mookie Betts all had an RBI single. Boggs capped the barrage with a two-run double. Manager Terry Francona was able to keep his bullpen fresh for the next round, using just two pitchers in the clincher. Tiant went six for the win and Jon Lester worked the final three innings for the save.