Rolen, Hornsby lift Cards in MLB Dream Bracket

April 21st, 2020

ST. LOUIS -- Here’s a fun game for you: Imagine what a lineup would look like with , , and other Cardinals greats. Now do the same with the rotation, with , , and others.

That Cardinals all-time team advanced past the Rockies in the first round of the bracket, winning the best-of-seven series in six games that featured three extra-inning games.

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 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 starting left fielder, led the lineup, hitting .417 (10-for-24) with one home run and four RBIs. and Hornsby hit .333 and .321, respectively, with two home runs each. Carpenter led the pitching staff, throwing 8 1/3 innings of one-run ball in Game 4.

Here's how it all played out on Out of the Park Baseball:

Game 1: Cardinals 10, Rockies 5
The Cardinals scored first when , batting leadoff, walked, moved to second on a wild pitch, went to third on Musial’s fly ball and scored on a wild pitch. Designated hitter put the Cardinals up for good with a solo homer in the second, and the Cardinals jumped on Rockies starter Ubaldo Jiménez for three runs in the third.

The Rockies cut the deficit to two in the third and fourth off Gibson, who allowed three runs in six innings. But he and catcher -- who caught Troy Tulowitzki, Larry Walker and Matt Holliday stealing -- held it there, and Gibson handed things off to for the final three innings after Medwick’s three-run triple in the top of the seventh started a five-run inning. McGwire finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Haines notched the save after allowing two runs on four hits.

Game 2: Cardinals 7, Rockies 2
A well-balanced offense led by Hornsby scored in the second, fourth and fifth innings, then broke the game open with four-run sixth, while Dean had a shutout going until allowing a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh. But the right-hander struck out eight and walked two in his six-plus innings, and Mort Cooper notched the save with three scoreless innings and four strikeouts.

Hornsby’s two-homer game started with a solo shot in the fifth off Rockies starter German Márquez, who allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings. Then Hornsby launched a three-run homer in the sixth off reliever Steve Reed. Musial followed with a solo home run of his own off lefty Jeff Francis in the sixth inning.

Game 3: Rockies 4, Cardinals 1
Rockies pitching prevailed at Busch Stadium, with starter Jon Gray holding the Cardinals to one run -- which came on Rolen’s solo homer in the fifth -- on five hits in 6 2/3 innings. Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright dueled with Gray, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. But allowed a two-run homer to Walker in the top of the seventh, and Ellis Burks' solo homer in the eighth off Harry Brecheen sealed the Rockies’ victory.

Medwick and Rolen combined for four of the Cardinals’ six hits, but the Cardinals' offense stranded eight on base.

Game 4: Cardinals 2, Rockies 1 (12)
This pitching duel ended in walk-off fashion in the 12th inning. It was a scoreless game entering the ninth before the Rockies scratched a run off Carpenter. But Medwick answered in the bottom of the frame with a game-tying solo home run, sending the game to extras. led off the 12th with a single and went to third on Rolen’s single two batters later. On Smith’s sharp grounder to Tulowitzki, Edmonds broke for home and was called safe, giving the Cardinals the victory.

Carpenter ended with 8 1/3 innings and one run on five hits. He struck out seven and threw just 93 pitches. and Brecheen followed Carpenter in extra innings, with Brecheen earning the win. Rockies starter Aaron Cook pitched seven scoreless innings with no walks or strikeouts.

Game 5: Rockies 4, Cardinals 3 (10)
This was another extra-inning thriller after Rolen’s solo homer in the bottom of the ninth tied the game. But Andres Galarraga hit a pinch-hit home run in the top of the 10th off Smith to keep the Rockies alive for another game.

The Rockies jumped on Gibson in the first inning with three runs on Nolan Arenado’s RBI single and Todd Helton’s two-run home run. But Gibson made quick work of Colorado after that, allowing just two hits in the next 5 1/3 innings and keeping the score in reach. Jiménez walked in his only run in the first, but the Cardinals got to the Rockies' bullpen in the eighth and ninth to tie it. The Cardinals threatened with two runners on base in the 10th, but Simmons struck out swinging to send the series back to Colorado.

Game 6: Cardinals 2, Rockies 1 (12)
The Rockies weren’t going to go down easily, and it took 12 innings for the Cardinals to clinch their first-round victory. Pitching dominated in this one, with Dean allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings and Márquez holding the Cardinals to one run in 6 2/3 innings while striking out eight. Cooper pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief and had five strikeouts, but the Rockies' bullpen wasn’t letting up, either.

Finally, in the top of the 12th, Rolen drew a leadoff walk and went to third on Hornsby’s double. Musial brought the winning run home with a sacrifice fly to center field, and Brecheen finished up his 3 2/3 innings with a scoreless 12th to send the Cardinals to the second round.