Ruth powers Yankees in rally to Bracket final

May 1st, 2020

The storied rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees has woven a rich tapestry over the decades, so it came as little surprise that the American League titans were destined to collide in the MLB Dream Bracket semifinals. And like so many of its real-world meetings, this digital Boston-New York showdown did not disappoint.

Behind a thunderous performance by Babe Ruth, the “Curse of the Bambino” was placed back into effect as the New York version of “The Big Bam” thwacked seven homers and collected 28 total bases against his former club in the seven-game series. Yogi Berra (11-for-25, .440 average) and Andy Pettitte (2-0, 2.57 ERA) also starred as the Yankees emerged as the AL champions.

The Yanks will now advance to face the Reds -- who defeated the Dodgers in six games -- in a battle to be crowned as the champions of MLB’s inaugural 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 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 simulated competition, featuring the greatest players in baseball history, is being produced by Out of the Park Baseball 21, MLB‘s most realistic strategy game (PC and Mac). Fans can register on the DraftKings mobile app to compete in contests based on the simulations.

Game 1: Red Sox 7, Yankees 5
On enemy ground, Boston withstood two Ruth clouts to grab the series’ first contest. Ruth cracked a first-inning blast off of Pedro Martinez and an eighth-inning shot off of Jon Lester, but the Red Sox peppered Whitey Ford for six runs (five earned) and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings, including a three-run Ted Williams blast in the third inning. Dustin Pedroia added a two-run homer in the sixth inning off of Lefty Gomez, supporting Martinez, who struck out seven and scattered five hits over six innings of two-run ball.

Game 2: Yankees 7, Red Sox 4
Ruth struck again with a first-inning homer, this time facing Cy Young, and Tony Lazzeri mashed a three-run blast in the fourth inning that powered the Bombers’ offense. While Young exited in the fourth, Pettitte lived up to his reputation as a dependable Game 2 starter, holding Boston to a Jimmie Foxx homer and picking up the victory with a seven-inning effort. Only a young hurler from Baltimore was able to quiet the Yanks’ bats, as Ruth struck out six in 3 1/3 innings of relief (yes, he faced himself -- it resulted in a groundout to third base). Goose Gossage and Mariano Rivera locked down the final six outs.

Game 3: Red Sox 5, Yankees 4
The Red Sox won a thriller at Fenway Park, toppling Rivera in walk-off fashion. In the home half of the ninth, Carl Yastrzemski laced a one-out double, and an intentional walk to Williams backfired when Rivera uncorked a wild pitch. Manager Casey Stengel opted to give Foxx a free pass, loading the bases. Rivera fanned David Ortiz, but Carlton Fisk sent the fans home happy with a run-scoring single to left field. Wade Boggs and Williams homered for Boston; the Yanks’ four runs were scored in the sixth off of Roger Clemens, who struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings.

Game 4: Yankees 10, Red Sox 7
Berra’s three-run double off of starter Luis Tiant fueled a five-run third inning at the Fens as the Yanks evened the series, building an early eight-run lead. Joe DiMaggio and Ruth added homers off reliever Jon Lester, allowing New York to withstand a late rally. Ron Guidry blanked Boston early, and then he served up homers to Pedroia and Foxx in an effort that spanned five-plus innings. Mookie Betts and Dwight Evans collected eighth-inning RBIs to make it close, but Rivera slammed the door in a perfect ninth.

Game 5: Red Sox 9, Yankees 2
Boston’s five-run outburst sent Ford to the showers in the first inning. Big Papi, Betts and Pedroia all laced run-scoring hits before Stengel pulled Ford, calling upon Sparky Lyle for the final out of the noisy frame. Pedro knew what to do and cruised from there, savoring the healthy advantage by striking out 12 with no walks over seven innings. Another showdown between Ruth (Boston) and Ruth (N.Y.), this one in the eighth inning, resulted in a seven-pitch walk.

Game 6: Yankees 3, Red Sox 0
With the Yanks’ backs against the wall, Pettitte was dandy, firing seven scoreless innings before entrusting Gossage and Rivera to finish a sparkling shutout. With Young on the mound for Boston, the game had no score until the sixth, when Mickey Mantle slugged a two-run homer to left field. Ruth clobbered a solo shot in the eighth off Craig Kimbrel that completed the scoring, setting up a decisive showdown the next night.

Game 7: Yankees 4, Red Sox 1
Start spreadin’ the news! Red Ruffing was in command for seven strong innings, outdueling Clemens as the Yankees sealed the deal. “The Sultan of Swat” struck against “The Rocket” in the first inning, as Ruth mashed his seventh roundtripper of the series.

Ruth answered Evans’ third-inning homer with a third-inning sac fly, and Derek Jeter stroked a two-run single off Clemens in the fourth that provided the margin of victory. Rivera recorded a four-out save, striking out Williams to end the eighth and inducing Big Papi to roll a slow grounder to first baseman Don Mattingly for the final out.