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Papi, '04 Sox stun '61 Yanks in Dream Bracket 2

@IanMBrowne
May 28, 2020

Roger Maris set the baseball world abuzz in 1961 when he smashed 61 homers to break Babe Ruth’s record. But in the Dream Bracket 2 simulation, Maris was stifled as the iconic 2004 Red Sox beat those powerful ’61 Yankees in five games in the Round of 16. The simulated

Roger Maris set the baseball world abuzz in 1961 when he smashed 61 homers to break Babe Ruth’s record. But in the Dream Bracket 2 simulation, Maris was stifled as the iconic 2004 Red Sox beat those powerful ’61 Yankees in five games in the Round of 16.

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).

The ’04 Sox now advance to the quarterfinals for a matchup with the 1954 Indians.

Box scores and game summaries | Full bracket and info | Complete Dream Bracket 2 rosters

To get past the Yankees, the Red Sox relied on Curt Schilling, who lived up to his big-game reputation by winning both of his starts and not allowing an earned run over 14 2/3 innings.

Speaking of living up to a big-game reputation, David Ortiz slashed .429/.520/.810 with two homers. Kevin Millar played a big role as well, with a .471 average (8-for-17) and five RBIs.

The Red Sox must have come up with a heck of a pitching plan against Maris, who was 1-for-21 in the five games. Mickey Mantle -- the other half of the famed M&M combo -- did his part, hitting .421 with four RBIs.

Here is a game-by-game recap at how the ’04 Red Sox pulled off the upset against a team that won 109 games in the regular season.

Game 1: Red Sox 10, Yankees 3
It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to prove they wouldn’t be intimidated by the mystique and aura of the Yankees, as Schilling once put it. In fact, it was Schilling who set the tone by firing 8 2/3 brilliant innings (four hits, one unearned run, no walks, five strikeouts). Schilling pitched with the lead the entire game, thanks to Manny Ramirez, who clubbed a two-run homer off Whitey Ford in the top of the first. It was Jason Varitek who put the game away for Boston, belting a two-run double in the fifth and clearing the bases with another double in the sixth.

Game 2: Yankees 3, Red Sox 2
The Yankees came up with the big win they needed to salvage a split of the first two games at Yankee Stadium. But it wasn’t easy. With the game locked in a 2-2 tie, Bill Skowron belted a walk-off homer to left-center with one out in the ninth against Keith Foulke. A strong performance by Johnny Damon in the leadoff hole (3-for-4, homer) went to waste. Pedro Martinez held the Bronx Bombers in check, giving up two runs and striking out seven over six innings.

Game 3: Red Sox 7, Yankees 6
As the series shifted to Fenway Park, the Yankees built a 6-1 lead against Bronson Arroyo by the top of the fourth. But the Boston bats went on the attack the rest of the way en route to a thrilling win. After chipping away with single runs in the third, fourth and fifth, the Sox got within one on bases-loaded walks by Orlando Cabrera and Bill Mueller against a leaky New York bullpen in the sixth. A most unlikely hero -- pinch-hitter Doug Mirabelli -- finally got the lead for the Red Sox when he smashed a two-run homer over the Green Monster in the seventh. The bullpen took it home, with Foulke working the ninth for the save.

Game 4: Red Sox 10, Yankees 3
Duplicating the score of Game 1, the Red Sox put the Yankees on the brink of elimination with a dominant showing in this one. They broke the game open with a five-run bottom of the fifth. Damon scored three runs and Mueller, Ortiz, Ramirez and Mark Bellhorn all had multi-hit games. Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield flummoxed the Yankees, giving up six hits and a run over seven standout innings.

Game 5: Red Sox 11, Yankees 1
Talk about an exclamation point for a dominant series by the Red Sox. Schilling was again marvelous, hurling six scoreless innings. Damon belted a three-run homer as part of a seven-run sixth inning. Ramirez also went deep in the sixth. Ortiz ripped a solo shot to break a scoreless tie in the fourth, and it was all Boston the rest of the day. Platoon player Gabe Kapler chipped in with three hits and three RBIs. Millar capped his fine series with two runs and two hits. Maris finally got his first hit of the series -- a double -- but it was far too little, too late.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.