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2004 Red Sox dominant in Dream Bracket 2 win

@IanMBrowne
May 22, 2020

The 2004 Red Sox team provided a thrill-ride in real time. Backed by Manny Ramirez’s big bat, they look ready to do it again in the MLB Dream Bracket 2. In their Round of 64 best-of-seven series against the 2008 Rays, the ’04 Red Sox won the matchup in convincing

The 2004 Red Sox team provided a thrill-ride in real time. Backed by Manny Ramirez’s big bat, they look ready to do it again in the MLB Dream Bracket 2.

In their Round of 64 best-of-seven series against the 2008 Rays, the ’04 Red Sox won the matchup in convincing fashion, taking it in five games.

Box score and game summary

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).

As fans of both teams well know, Tampa Bay beat a Ramirez-less Boston team in seven games in the 2008 American League Championship Series. Ramirez had been traded on July 31 of that season.

But in this simulation, Ramirez was ever-present for the 2004 Red Sox. He feasted against the Rays, going 9-for-19 (.474) with three doubles, two homers and six RBIs.

Curt Schilling turned in two strong starts and Pedro Martinez got the win in his one turn.

Full bracket and info

All 30 franchises submitted two of their top teams in this tournament, which also includes the 1994 Expos and three Negro League entries.

The 2004 Red Sox will represent Boston in the Round of 32 vs. the 1996 Texas Rangers, after the '18 squad fell to the '11 Rangers in a five-game series on Friday.

Here is a game-by-game look at how the self-proclaimed Idiots of 2004 dispatched of the Rays.

Complete Dream Bracket 2 rosters

Game 1: Red Sox 4, Rays 3
What a wild win this was. Down 3-0 with two outs in the top of the ninth, Kevin Millar jacked a grand slam against lefty J.P. Howell to put the Red Sox ahead. The estimated distance on the drive to left was 421 feet. Keith Foulke worked a dominant bottom of the ninth for the save. Schilling did his part in a no-decision, holding Tampa Bay to two hits and two runs while striking out nine in 7 1/3 innings.

Game 2: Red Sox 9, Rays 3
No late-game drama was required in this one. Boston built an 8-0 lead against Scott Kazmir and Tampa Bay’s bullpen through the first six innings. Ramirez went off, going 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Jason Varitek added two hits and three RBIs. Mark Bellhorn had three of Boston’s 15 hits and scored three times. Martinez held the Rays to one run while striking out five in 6 1/3 innings.

Game 3: Red Sox 3, Rays 1
As the series shifted to Fenway Park, the Sox put the Rays on the brink of elimination in a well-played, tense contest. The difference in the game was Ramirez, who hammered two homers, including a two-run shot in the first and a solo blow in the sixth. Ramirez carried the offense against Rays righty Matt Garza. Bronson Arroyo was in top form for the Sox, allowing one run while striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings.

Game 4: Rays 7, Red Sox 5 (10 innings)
The Red Sox looked poised for the sweep when they built a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth. But the Rays showed the determination to avoid a sweep by tying it up with Melvin Upton’s two-run double in the seventh against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Dioner Navarro stunned the Fenway faithful when he mashed a two-run shot in the 10th against Foulke, extending the series one more game.

Game 5: Red Sox 4, Rays 2
In the clinching game, it was Johnny Damon who came up with the big hit, a two-out two-run double in the sixth against James Shields to snap a 2-2 tie. The Rays worked Schilling for 101 pitches in just five innings, but the big righty minimized the damage, giving up five hits and two runs while striking out seven. Derek Lowe got the win with two scoreless innings in relief, which is fitting. In the actual 2004 postseason, Lowe pitched a scoreless inning to win the clincher in the AL Division Series against the Angels.

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