Another fun debate for you guys to check out. Last week I debated about which pitcher is the best in Pirates history between Wilbur Cooper and Babe Adams. Now I’m going to debate which of the these two Pirates teams was better: The 1971 Pirates or the 1979 Pirates? Let’s find out.
The 1971 everyday regulars consisted of Bob Robertson, Al Oliver, and Roberto Clemente in the outfield, Richie Hebner, Gene Alley, Dave Cash, and Willie Stargell were on the infield, and Manny Sanguillen behind the plate. The starters combined to hit .287 with a .345 OBP and an .803 OPS. They hit a total of 133 home runs and drove in 557 runs. The starting rotation was made up of Steve Blass, Dock Ellis, Bob Johnson, Luke Walker, and Bob Moose. The rotation had a combined ERA of 3.40 and a combined 1.30 WHIP. Dave Giusti was the closer and had a 2.93 ERA with 1.28 WHIP and saved 30 games. The 1979 regulars were Bill Robinson, Omar Moreno, and Dave Parker in the outfield, Bill Madlock, Tim Foli, Phil Garner, and Willie Stargell on the infield and Ed Ott as their backstop. Their starters combined to hit .290 with a .346 OBP and posted a .796 OPS. They hit a total of 104 home runs and drove in 504 runs. The starting rotation consisted of Bert Blyleven, John Candelaria, Bruce Kison, Don Robinson, and Jim Bibby. They had a combined ERA of 3.34 and a 1.25 WHIP. Their closer was Kent Tekulve and he posted a 2.75 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP and saved 31 games.
The 1979 Pirates had the slighty better pitching with Kent Tekulve as the better closer in 1979 than Dave Giusti in 1971. However the 1971 Pirates were significantly better offensively, especially when it came to scoring runs. So even though the 79′ Pirates pitching was a little better, the offense of the 71′ Bucs outweighs what ther offense did in 79′ and their pitching was good as well. So in conclusion, the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates were the better of the two World Series teams.