Pittsburgh Pirates: The franchise all-time bracket

BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 18: Field level general view of the Pittsburgh Pirates logo on the field before the Spring Training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at McKechnie Field on March 18, 1999 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Vincent Laforet/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 18: Field level general view of the Pittsburgh Pirates logo on the field before the Spring Training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at McKechnie Field on March 18, 1999 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Vincent Laforet/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Pirates: The Franchise All-Time Bracket

Semi-finals

1909 vs. 1971

Game 1: The 1909 teams .724 winning percentage is among the best in franchise history. The 1971 team’s pennant was based on a .599 winning percentage, but that’s not good enough.

Game 2: Both teams won the seven-game World Series. The 1971 team added a 3-1 win in the NLCS, giving them the edge.

Game 3: In 1909, the Pirates’ team OPS+ was 107. That’s good, but not quite good enough to beat the 1971 team’s 109.

Game 4: Pitching was the strength of the 1909 team, which had a staff ERA+ of 125. Since the 1971 team’s ERA+ was 104, that evens the series at two games each.

Game 5: The 1909 Pirates ran up a 50.0 WAR. That’s good enough to beat 1971, albeit just barely, given the 1971 team’s 49.4 WAR.

Game 6: The 1971 team’s .979 percentage was identical to the league fielding average. The 1909 team fielded .964. How did that compare with the 1909 league average? It’s eight points better.

Result: 1909 in six games

More. Pirates: team shows support for local hospital. light

1979 vs. 1902

Game 1: The 1902 team’s 103-36 record amounts to a .738 percentage, the best in franchise history. As it did to its real-life competition, that buries the 1979 team’s .605 percentage by the equivalent of 16 and one-half games.

Game 2: Since the 1902 team did not play a post-season game, it concedes the second game to the 1979 World Series winners.

Game 3: Despite the presence of Madlock, Stargell, and Parker, the 1979 team’s offense was statistically average, measuring out to a 99 OPS+. Not so with the 1902 powerhouse, which turned in a 119 OPS+.

Game 4: the 1902 club also wins the pitching battle. With three pitchers above 125, its staff ERA+ is 11. The 1979 team’s staff ERA+ is close, at 114, but not good enough.

Game 5: Led by Wagner’s 7.3 season, the 1902 club amassed a 54.2 team WAR. The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates got a 6.7 season from parker, but the team  total stopped at 46.0

Result: 1902 in five games