Yelich led the way with seven RBIs, and Teddy Higuera and Sheets each delivered solid starting pitching as an all-time roster of Brewers triumphed, 4-2, in a best-of-seven series against the Giants in the first round of the MLB Dream Bracket.
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.
Here’s how the simulation unfolded:
Game 1: Giants 2, Brewers 1
It came as no surprise that the Brewers’ bats were silent against Mathewson, the Hall of Fame right-hander who ranks third all time with 373 wins, eighth in ERA and ninth WHIP. He needed only 84 pitches over eight innings while striking out seven and allowing a run on five hits, including fourth-inning doubles from Paul Molitor and Yelich for the Brewers’ only run. Brewers starter Higuera was up to the challenge following Jeff Kent’s solo home run in the first inning, holding the Giants to no further runs on only three more hits through the eighth. The Giants won in the ninth when Mays hit Rollie Fingers' third pitch for a walk-off home run.
Game 2: Brewers 7, Giants 2
The Brewers entered the seventh in a 2-0 deficit before striking against Juan Marichal for seven runs on six hits in the frame, including designated hitter Prince Fielder's game-tying two-run single and Yelich’s three-run double. Sheets (7 1/3 innings, one earned run) and Chris Bosio kept the Giants at bay, while eight Brewers batters combined for 11 hits. The only Brewer who didn’t log a hit was Ryan Braun, though he contributed by reaching on Giants shortstop Travis Jackson’s error to start the big inning.
Game 3: Giants 3, Brewers 2 (10 innings)
This time, it was the Brewers who saw an early 2-0 lead slip away, as Willie McCovey and Jackson drove in a run apiece against Mike Caldwell for a 2-2 tie after seven innings. In the 10th, Mays got to Fingers again, this time knocking a go-ahead single to score Bobby Bonds, who’d led off the inning with a double. The Brewers, who received their early runs on a base hit from Cecil Cooper and a Jim Gantner homer, got two-out singles in the bottom of the 10th inning from Molitor and Robin Yount, but Molitor uncharacteristically was thrown out trying to go first to third, for the final out of the game.
Game 4: Brewers 8, Giants 7
In a slugfest, the Giants hit four home runs off Yovani Gallardo (Mel Ott, Matt Williams, Mays, Kent) and scored in four of the first five innings, but the Brewers answered by scoring in three of the first four innings against Madison Bumgarner, including five runs in a decisive fourth that included Yelich’s two-run single and Gorman Thomas’ go-ahead, two-run double. Bosio, Josh Hader and Fingers silenced San Francisco the rest of the way, with Fingers bouncing back from hiccups in Games 1 and 3 with a four-pitch ninth inning.
Game 5: Brewers 6, Giants 5
Cooper’s walk-off homer with two outs in the ninth inning against Robb Nen put the Brewers one win away from clinching the series. Milwaukee reached the seventh-inning stretch in a 5-2 deficit, but it scored against Mathewson, Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson with RBIs from Molitor, Yount and Gantner before Cooper connected against Nen for the Brewers’ second home run in the series.
Game 6: Brewers 4, Giants 2 (11 innings)
Yount hit an RBI single in the seventh inning for a 2-2 tie that lasted into the 11th, when Thomas’ four-pitch walk from Lincecum started a rally that culminated with run-scoring singles from Don Money and Molitor against Gary Lavelle. When Barry Bonds led off the 11th inning with a single against Fingers, the Brewers called upon Dan Plesac for the save, and he induced a double-play grounder from Orlando Cepeda before getting Will Clark to fly out to end it. Yount, Thomas (team-best 1.049 OPS in the series) and Fielder tallied three hits apiece to back 5 1/3 innings of scoreless ball from Ken Sanders, Hader, Fingers and Plesac in relief of Sheets.
The Brewers’ next opponent is an all-time team of the Cubs, who defeated the Mets, 4-1, in the first round while hitting nine home runs and leading all National League teams with a .372 on-base percentage. Game 1 is a matchup of Higuera and Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins.