Marlins advance in Dream Bracket, oust Braves

April 21st, 2020

MIAMI -- Using Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP Baseball) as a simulator, the Marlins’ Dream Team of all-time players advanced to the second round of the MLB Dream Bracket. The Marlins took the best-of-seven series from the Braves in five games.

Next up for the Marlins will be the Dodgers, who beat the Padres in five 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 ace of the Marlins' Dream Team is José Fernández, who went 2-0 in the series, winning Games 1 and 5. The right-hander didn't allow a run. A.J. Burnett pitched in relief, picking up a win and a save. In the clinching fifth game, Aníbal Sánchez tossed the final two innings of the series, not allowing a run.

J.T. Realmuto was the offensive star for the Marlins, batting .500 (8-for-16) with eight runs and five RBIs. Giancarlo Stanton batted just .143 (3-for-21) in the five games, but the slugger delivered a walk-off grand slam in Game 2. Miguel Cabrera had six RBIs, and Hanley Ramirez drove in seven runs, while scoring five times.

Game 1: Marlins 9, Braves 0

Fernández and Burnett combined on an eight-hit shutout.

Fernández threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out six while walking three. In relief, Burnett polished off the final 3 1/3 innings, with six strikeouts, and he picked up the save. Mike Lowell belted a home run in the third inning off Greg Maddux, tracked at 439 feet. Cabrera went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, and Ramirez had two hits and scored twice. The Marlins scored six times off Maddux, with five of the runs earned, in 6 2/3 innings. Hank Aaron went 1-for-3 with a walk.

Game 2: Marlins 10, Braves 7

Stanton capped a seven-run ninth inning with a walk-off grand slam off Craig Kimbrel. The dramatic blast traveled 426 feet, with a 100.6 mph exit velocity. Warren Spahn threw eight-plus innings and was charged with four runs for the Braves. Ramirez and Derrek Lee each had two hits and scored twice. Josh Johnson was tagged for six runs in 4 1/3 innings. But in relief, Brad Penny gave up one run in three innings to collect the win.

Game 3: Marlins 10, Braves 3

The Marlins used some more late-inning magic to gain a commanding lead in the series. Aaron’s two-run home run off Josh Beckett in the sixth inning put the Braves up, 3-2. But the Marlins scored three times in the seventh off Tom Glavine. Realmuto was the hero late, with an RBI double in the seventh inning and a run-scoring single in the eighth. He finished with three hits, three runs and three RBIs.

Game 4: Braves 5, Marlins 2

The Braves avoided elimination behind John Smoltz’s splendid three-hit performance. The right-hander went eight innings, allowing two runs. Christian Yelich belted a two-run homer for the Marlins off Smoltz in the fifth inning, tying the game at 2. But the Braves took the lead for good in the fifth on Dale Murphy’s RBI double, which scored Chipper Jones. Dontrelle Willis walked six while allowing three runs. Marcus Giles homered off the D-Train in the fourth.

Game 5: Marlins 4, Braves 0

Fernández struck out seven in five scoreless innings, and five relievers also didn't allow a run as the Marlins completed the shutout and advanced to the second round. Maddux struck out 11 for the Braves in seven innings, but the Marlins managed four runs off him. In a two-run fourth inning, Lee and Realmuto each doubled, and Ramirez added an RBI single. In the eighth inning, Cabrera drove in a run with a single for some insurance.