You Are Here > Baseball-Reference.com > Bullpen > 1972 Pittsburgh Pirates - BR Bullpen

1972 Pittsburgh Pirates

From BR Bullpen

(Redirected from 1972 Pirates)
Jump to: navigation, search
Pirates6086.gif

[edit] 1972 Pittsburgh Pirates / Franchise: Pittsburgh Pirates / BR Team Page

Record: 96-59, Finished 1st in NL Eastern Division (1972 NL)

Managed by Bill Virdon

Ballpark: Three Rivers Stadium

<< 1971

1972 Postseason

1973 >>

NL Championship Series (3-2) Reds over Pirates

World Series (4-3) Athletics over Reds

AL Championship Series (3-2) Athletics over Tigers

[edit] History, Comments, Contributions

The 1972 Pittsburgh Pirates - not their 1971 or 1979 world champion counterparts - were the best Pirate team of the 1970's, and that's saying something. Not even the extended absence of Roberto Clemente (who missed 53 games) could slow down this team, which boasted five solid starters, five .300 hitters, and a tag-team bullpen of Dave Giusti and Ramon Hernandez, who combined for 36 saves and a 1.82 era. The 1972 Bucs ran away with the NL East, finishing 11 games ahead of Chicago, and won a major-league leading 96 games in a season slightly shortened by a players' strike.

The 1972 Pirates had five All-Stars with Willie Stargell, Clemente, Manny Sanguillen, Al Oliver and Steve Blass, the largest contingent they would send until 2013.

Unfortunately, several of the Bucs regulars slumped badly in the NL playoffs against the Cincinnati Reds. First baseman Stargell had the worst playoff of his career, going 1 for 16 with no RBI. Shortstop Gene Alley went him one better (worse?) with an 0 for 16 performance. Good pitching kept the Bucs in the series, and they had a chance to win, entering the ninth inning of game 5 with a slender 3-2 lead. But the Reds' Johnny Bench tied the game with a leadoff home run off Giusti in the bottom of the ninth. Minutes later, with George Foster on third base, reliever Bob Moose threw an errant pitch that bounced over catcher Sanguillen's head, allowing Foster to score the winning run.

The gloom in the Pirates' clubhouse after the game foreshadowed what would transpire over the next year. First, Clemente died in a tragic New Year's Eve plane crash while trying to deliver humanitarian supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Then, pitching star Blass lost his ability to throw strikes, leaving a gaping hole the Pirates' rotation (and ending Blass's career shortly thereafter). A clearly lost Pirates team would stumble to a third-place finish and sub-.500 record in 1973.

Pittsburgh Pirates seasons
1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010 · 2011 · 2012 · 2013 · 2014
Personal tools