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Philadelphia Phillies' Mickey Morandini (12) is safe at home after beating the tag by Montreal Expos catcher Darrin Fletcher in the first inning of play at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia in this file photo from August 7, 1994. Expos' defeated the Phillies 6-4.Brad Bower/The Associated Press

In place of on-field baseball action postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Globe and Mail brings you a computer-simulated tournament involving four of the greatest Canadian teams, using the statistics-based software of the sports-game company Strat-O-Matic. Two first-round series eliminated the 1981 Montreal Expos and the 1985 Toronto Blue Jays, leaving the ’93 Jays and the ’94 Expos to compete for the mythical Macdonald-Cartier Cup. This matchup is Game No. 5 of the final series.

Darrin Fletcher had a day. Who is Darrin Fletcher?

He’s the reliable platoon catcher overshadowed on a 1994 Montreal Expos team of young nascent stars and elite baseball athletes in their prime. He’s a third-generation professional ball player. The backstop hit .260 in the regular season. He’s a Libra, which is not the kind of sign his pitchers look to him for.

And when asked about his place on the ’94 Expos, Fletcher once had this to say: "We have a good team, and I trust my teammates. You feel like it doesn’t have to be you today. I want it to be me, but it doesn’t have to be. I don’t have to be the hero.”

In Game No. 5 of the Macdonald-Cartier Cup final against the 1993 Blue Jays at SkyDome, Fletcher was the hero. He doubled in the first inning, quieted the crowd by clouting a grand slam in the fifth inning and stroked a single in the eighth. His team beat the Jays by a citizens-band-radio score, 10-4, putting the Montrealers one win away from clinching the title of the best baseball team in Canada’s history.

“We’re young, and we’re all pretty good," Fletcher told reporters after the game. "Every night we feel like when we take the field we’re already up four or five to nothing,”

The fifth-inning grand slam by Fletcher (who played collegiate baseball at the University of Illinois, his father’s alma mater) put the ’94 Expos up 7-0.

The series returns to Olympic Stadium for Game No. 6. Expo Manager Felipe Alou is expected to send Pedro Martinez to the mound to clinch the series. Dave Stewart will be the hope of Toronto manager Cito Gaston.

Toronto starter Juan Guzman had no answers for the Expo bats in Game No. 5. He was pulled early for lefty long-man Al Leiter, who gave up Fletcher’s bases-loaded bop. The Jays had intentionally walked Expo slugger Larry Walker to get to Fletcher and a lefty-on-lefty matchup. The scouting report said Fletcher couldn’t hit southpaws, which is why he platooned with Lenny Webster all year. But, then, that’s why you play games on the computer and not on paper.

For the Expos, Ken Hill worked 5 2/3 unspectacular innings to pick up the win. His non-sliding slider to John Olerud set off SkyDome fireworks, but the bomb by Fletch the Catch was bigger.

Next up

Tuesday, The Globe will run a game report and boxscore of Game No. 6 of the final round of our computer-simulated tournament. With the 1994 Expos leading the best-of-seven series 3-2, scheduled starters are Pedro Martinez for the Expos and Dave Stewart for the 1993 Blue Jays.

94 Expos vs 93 Jays - Game 5The Globe and Mail