To make the what-if scenario even more tantalizing, Game 7 was decided on a ninth-inning single by Ryan Howard, who, on the final play of the Phillies' 2011 fact-based season, ruptured both his Achilles tendon and the expectations of an entire region.
And in another cruel irony, John Mayberry Jr., a player frustrated fans desperately wanted to see more of during the Phillies' slump in their National League division-series loss to the Cardinals, belted a record-tying five home runs in the dramatic virtual Series.
Using 2010 statistics as its raw material - the 2011 stats will not be available until February - the Strat-o-Matic Series saw the Rangers take a Series lead of three games to one before the Phillies came to life. Philadelphia won Game 5 by a 9-7 score and Game 6, 3-2.
In Game 7, with Cliff Lee on the mound, the score was tied, 3-3, entering the bottom of the ninth. According to the computer, Jimmy Rollins led off with a double off reliever Mike Adams. Rangers manager Ron Washington summoned lefty Mike Gonzalez for Chase Utley.
Utley, for some reason not bunting, grounded out to third. But Hunter Pence walked - this was, after all, fantasy - before Howard lined his Series-winning single to right field.
Go to www.philly.com/stratomatic for the full box scores. For more information on Strat-O-Matic, go to www.strat-o-matic.com.
A new game, Baseball Express, is targeted to players 8 years old and up and is available only at Toys R Us.
Here is a synopsis of the seven World Series games:
Game 1: Rangers 6, Phillies 5
The visiting Rangers survive a late rally by the Phillies as starter C.J. Wilson and the bullpen beat Roy Halladay. Third baseman Adrian Beltre homers twice for the Rangers, while Mayberry goes deep twice for the Phils, who leave five on base. Halladay goes seven innings and is torched for nine hits, six earned runs and three home runs.
Rangers 022 011 000 - 6 9 0
Phillies 110 000 201 - 5 7 1
WP: Wilson (1-0); LP: Halladay (0-1).
3B: Schneider. HR: Beltre 2, Moreland, Mayberry 2, Francisco. SB: Pence.
Game 2: Phillies 4, Rangers 3
The Phillies tie the series behind Cliff Lee and relievers Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson. Lee allows just five hits and two runs in seven innings, and Utley and Mayberry hit home runs for the Phillies. DH Michael Young homers for the Rangers, but Shane Victorino robs second baseman Ian Kinsler of an extra-base hit in the first inning.
Rangers 000 020 100 - 3 6 1
Phillies 000 111 01- - 4 9 0
WP: Bastardo (1-0). LP: Feldman (0-1).
2B: Beltre-2, Mayberry, Ruiz. HR: Young, Utley, Mayberry.
Game 3: Rangers 4, Phillies 2
The Series shifts to Texas, and rightfielder Nelson Cruz goes 4 for 4 with a double, triple and three RBIs. He also robs Howard of an extra-base hit in the top of the sixth inning as the Rangers take a lead of two games to one. Cole Hamels is the loser, going just 41/3 innings and allowing seven hits and three earned runs. Placido Polanco is the only Phillie with two hits. Rollins, Utley, Pence and Carlos Ruiz all strike out twice.
Phillies 010 001 000 - 2 7 0
Rangers 010 110 01- - 4 12 1
WP: Lewis (1-0). LP: Hamels (0-1). 2B: Ruiz, Gload, Cruz. 3B: Cruz. SB: Victorino, Kinsler, Napoli.
Game 4: Rangers 7, Phillies 5
The Rangers grab hold of the Series and take a lead of three games to one in another homer-fest. Beltre slams two more homers for the Rangers, who send Phillies starter Roy Oswalt to the showers after six innings and three runs. The Phillies turn three double plays but leave five runners stranded on base. Utley, Mayberry (his fourth) and Ben Francisco homer for the Phillies, but Howard strikes out twice.
Phillies 000 112 100 - 5 9 1
Rangers 020 000 14- - 7 9 1
WP: Adams (1-0). LP: Oswalt (0-1). 3B: Young. HR: Utley, Mayberry, Francisco, Beltre 2.
Game 5: Phillies 9, Rangers 7
The Phillies' bats finally awaken in the last road game, and they close the Series gap to three games to two. Pence goes 4 for 5 with two RBIs and a double. Rollins, Polanco, Ruiz and Raul Ibanez all have three hits. Halladay allows six runs in 52/3 innings but gets the win. Wilson takes the loss and goes just 32/3 innings, and the Phillies leave a whopping 19 runners on base. Catcher Mike Napoli goes 4 for 5 for the Rangers.
Phillies 040 410 000 - 9 17 0
Rangers 020 004 100 - 7 15 1
WP: Halladay (1-1). LP: Wilson (1-1). 2B: Rollins, Pence, Howard, Ibanez, Napoli, Moreland.
HR: Beltre. SB: Rollins.
Game 6: Phillies 3, Rangers 2
Back at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies tie the series at three games apiece when Mayberry slams his fifth homer of the series off reliever Alexi Ogando in the bottom of the 10th. Hamels allows just seven hits and two runs in 91/3 innings, and the Rangers strand eight runners. Utley strikes out three times.
Rangers 000 002 000 0 - 2 9 1
Phillies 001 100 000 1 - 3 7 0
WP: Bastardo (2-0). LP: Ogando (0-1). 2B: Andrus, Pence,Polanco. 3B: Victorino. HR: Young, Mayberry.
Game 7: Phillies 4, Rangers 3
Philadelphia goes wild when Howard slaps the series-winning single off Mike Gonzalez in the bottom of the ninth inning. Lee goes eight innings and allows nine hits, and Brad Lidge get the win with a five-pitch ninth.
Rangers 200 001 000 - 3 9 2
Phillies 000 201 001 - 4 8 0
WP: Lidge (1-0). LP: Adams (1-1). 2B: Rollins, Ruiz. 3B: Victorino. HR: Napoli. SB: Victorino, Ibanez.
Contact staff writer Frank Fitzpatrick at 215-854-5068, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @philafitz on Twitter. Read his blog, Giving 'Em Fitz, at www.philly.com/fitz.