Doc, Bautista star in Blue Jays' Bracket win

April 20th, 2020

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays made a statement right out of the gates in the MLB Dream Bracket, defeating the Twins 4-1 in their best-of-seven series.

Roy Halladay was the star of the series on the mound, earning wins in the first and final games of the series. The Hall of Fame right-hander posted a 1.20 ERA with 12 strikeouts over 15 innings.

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.

Other top performers from the series included the usual suspects in José Bautista and Josh Donaldson. Bautista launched a pair of home runs with a 1.324 OPS over the five games, while the "Bringer of Rain" went deep three times and drove in eight.

Along with a strong series from center fielder Devon White, this was enough to carry an otherwise inconsistent lineup. Roberto Alomar went just 1-for-21 (.048), while Carlos Delgado finished 3-for-18 (.167) with a home run.

Toronto’s starting staff wasn’t perfect behind Halladay, but it was picked up by a strong bullpen effort from Mark Eichhorn, Duane Ward and closer Tom Henke, who saved three games.

The Blue Jays will face the Red Sox in the Round of 16 after Boston beat the Rangers' all-time squad in seven games in the first round.

Game 1: Blue Jays 2, Twins 1
Halladay tossed eight shutout innings in the opener, allowing just three hits while striking out nine. Henke gave up a solo homer in the ninth, but he slammed the door shut for his first save. White’s two-run double in the seventh provided all the offense.

Game 2: Twins 10, Blue Jays 2
The great Dave Stieb allowed an uncharacteristic five runs on seven hits over just two-thirds of an inning, which put the Blue Jays in an early hole that they couldn’t crawl out of. Bautista and Tony Fernandez picked up two hits apiece, but the Twins cruised to their lone win of the series.

Game 3: Blue Jays 11, Twins 4
The Blue Jays launched five home runs in this game, coming off the bats of Delgado, Donaldson, White, George Bell and Bautista. Jimmy Key scattered a dozen hits over seven innings to limit the Twins to four runs before handing off to Jim Clancy, who closed it out with two scoreless frames.

Game 4: Blue Jays 8, Twins 5
Donaldson earned Player of the Game honors for the second consecutive game after launching a pair of home runs, including a grand slam in the first inning. Four relievers picked up with 4 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball. Clancy got the win, while Tom Henke earned the save.

Game 5: Blue Jays 3, Twins 2
Ernie Whitt’s solo shot in the eighth inning turned out to be the game winner, as the Blue Jays clinched the series in Game 5. Halladay worked around trouble, limiting the Twins to two runs on nine hits over seven innings before handing off to the tandem of Ward and Henke once again.