F. Robinson lifts '70 O's over '95 M's in Bracket 2

May 22nd, 2020

The Orioles overcame every obstacle thrown their way in 1970, winning the American League East and breezing through the postseason on their way to the World Series title. They were a juggernaut filled with future Hall of Famers, one of the best and most successful teams ever assembled.

They’re enjoying similar success early in the MLB Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons simulation.

The 1970 Orioles advanced to the second round by defeating the 1995 Mariners, 4-2, in the best-of-seven series, setting up a matchup with the 1983 White Sox in the Round of 32. The White Sox swept the 1965 Twins to earn a chance to face the O’s, who won 108 games in ’70 and topped the Reds in the World Series that year.

Baltimore's offense was powered by Frank Robinson, who compiled a series-high eight RBIs, and Boog Powell and Merv Rettenmund, who each homered twice. Mike Cuellar won both of his starts, allowing two earned runs over 14 innings (1.29 ERA). Jim Palmer and Eddie Watt also earned victories in the series.

The 64-team, best-of-seven simulation tournament features two of the best post-World War II teams from each of the 30 Major League franchises, as well as three Negro Leagues teams and the 1994 Montreal Expos. The bracket is divided into the American League and the National League, with two “regions” for each league. The 1970 Orioles (Region 1) will represent Baltimore, after the ’83 Orioles (Region 2) lost on Friday to the 2002 Angels.

The simulated competition, featuring many of the greatest teams in baseball history, is being produced by Out of the Park Baseball 21, MLB‘s most realistic strategy game (PC and Mac).

Game 1: Mariners 5, Orioles 0
Ken Griffey Jr.’s two-run homer in the first inning put the Mariners ahead for good in the series opener, and Palmer was outdueled by Randy Johnson, who struck out seven over 6 1/3 scoreless innings. Doug Strange gave Seattle some breathing room with a two-run double in the eighth, and its bullpen held the line with 2 2/3 scoreless innings behind Johnson. The Orioles were held to five singles.

Game 2: Orioles 4, Mariners 0
This time, it was time for the Orioles to ride a dominant pitching performance. It was provided by Cuellar, who twirled 8 2/3 scoreless innings in his Dream Bracket 2 debut. Cuellar struck out nine and walked two, scattering four hits to defeat M’s righty Chris Bosio. Powell’s homer provided all the offense the O’s needed in support, though Rettenmund and Frank Robinson chipped in with RBI hits as well.

Game 3: Orioles 4, Mariners 3
Frank Robinson’s go-ahead single snapped a 3-3 tie in the seventh, and Watt and Pete Richert combined for three innings of lockdown relief to give the Orioles a pivotal Game 3 win. Robinson homered as part of a three-hit night, and Brooks Robinson went deep as well, both off M’s starter Tim Belcher. Dave McNally countered with five scoreless innings before cracking in the sixth and seventh, allowing three runs before the O’s rallied.

Game 4: Mariners 3, Orioles 2
The Mariners squeaked out a series-tying victory by rallying for three runs in the seventh, all charged to reliever Moe Drabowsky. Vince Coleman connected for a two-run homer before Edgar Martinez’s go-ahead single scored Joey Cora for what ended up being the game-winning run. The Orioles got five scoreless innings from starter Jim Hardin, a Rettenmund solo homer and an Elrod Hendricks RBI single.

Game 5: Orioles 13, Mariners 3
The Orioles responded with a 16-hit attack as Rettenmund, Brooks Robinson and Davey Johnson produced key RBI hits off Randy Johnson, who walked five and allowed five runs over 4 1/3 innings. The momentum of the series changed during the Orioles’ seven-run fifth, when they chased Johnson and tacked on four insurance runs against the M’s’ bullpen. Palmer earned his first win of the series with six quality innings, and Tom Phoebus earned a three-inning save to bring Baltimore one victory away from advancing.

Game 6: Orioles 9, Mariners 2
The Orioles jumped ahead on early homers from Davey Johnson and Powell and didn’t look back, never trailing in their series-clinching road victory. Cuellar wasn’t as great as he was in Game 2, but he didn’t have to be. The left-hander logged 5 1/3 strong innings, while Frank Robinson and Johnson each collected three RBIs in the rout. Rettenmund capped his strong series with a two-run homer, Baltimore’s seventh over the course of the six-game set.