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Old 07-26-2019, 10:17 AM   #1
Jerry Helper
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Team of the Decade Tournament: 1900s

The idea of a best teams of the decade tournament has intrigued me for awhile. Comparing the 27 Yankees to their 98 counterparts is fun, but it feels unrealistic to imagine them competing. The conditions under which those two teams baseball was played were completely different.

But great teams from the same decade would have played under conditions that were very similar. Why not put the greatest teams of the decade on the field together and see who comes out on top?

I decided to start with the 1900s, with the hope that I can do the rest of the decades later. A few ground rules:
  • If a team won or reached the World Series, they get an automatic invite to the tournament. I know that there are times when a team that wasn't anywhere near the top of the standings all year is able to get hot and make the World Series. But this doesn't happen often in the pre wild card era. You'd basically need an entire league to be subpar to pull that off.
  • The World Series began in 1903. This meant 12 teams got automatic bids into the tournament. Although there wasn't an actual Series in 1904, the two pennant winners that year clearly needed to be added. With 14 teams, i felt like the correct course of action was to make this a 16 team tournament. I added two other great teams from the decade to round out the list. The two picks to add were no brainers for me. Both these teams probably should have been pennant winners anyway, if not for bad timing in one case and one of the flukiest endings to a game in history in the other.
  • I decided to seed this tournament by win %. I'm trying lay this out as fairly as possible and this seemed like the best way to do it. The length of the season is a unique feature of baseball, giving us a huge sample size to see who is truly great. To me, that needed to hold more weight in seeding than whether a team won the World Series or not. Not to take away from the 06 White Sox, but I wasn't interested in a tournament where they are seeded higher than the 06 Cubs. Also, schedules could be hit or miss in the first decade of the 20th century. Not all of these teams hit 154 games on the dot, so win totals were out as a measuring stick.
  • The tournament is reseeded every round. The highest seed always plays the lowest seed. So if the 16 seed wins, they don't play the #8 seed. They play the #2 seed, or whoever the highest seed was that won. If you're going to run the table here as a low seed, you have to earn it.
  • Playing conditions are the year of the highest seed, but again, this won't make a huge difference, if any. Injuries aren't a part of this. I want the best version of these clubs playing one another.

Finally, I give a brief synopsis of each team below. I'm human, so maybe there's an error or two in there. I also know that stats like OPS, WAR, and FIP aren't perfect and maybe aren't what everyone would use if they were comparing players. But i think these give a pretty good indication of who a player was during a certain year.

Without further ado, the seeds:

1. 1906 Cubs 763 (win %)
The juggernaut, the team with the highest win percentage in baseball history, thanks to the 154-game schedule. Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance are the most famous players on this roster, and Chance was the best position player on the team in 06, with a .849 OPS and 7.3 WAR, both the highest on the squad. But the second-best player, by a pretty decent margin, was 3B Harry Steinfeldt, a player almost no one knows today. His .825 OPS the only other +800 OPS season for the Cubs that year. Also putting up great seasons were outfielders Frank Schulte and Jimmy Sheckard, both over 700 OPS.

The pitching was led by a career year from Jack Pfiester, and Mordecai Brown, who led the team in ERA+, FIP, WHIP.

The Cubs were so dominant in 06 that the New York Giants won 96 games and still finished second by 20 games. Of course, this Cubs team is almost just as famous for losing that year's World Series as they are for winning 116 in the first place. They're the comfortable one seed in this bracket, but as they showed in real life, penciling them in as the champions at this point would be foolish.

2. 1902 Pirates 741
The first wild card team. The 1902 Pirates might be the best baseball team that no one remembers, thanks to the misfortune of missing the World Series era by one year. It's a tough call between the 02 and 09 Pirates for the title of best team Honus Wagner ever played on. The 09-team won 7 more games, but also played in 13 more contests. Maybe they’ll meet in the semi-finals and play it out.

The Pirates completely lapped the rest of the field in 1902. Only one other team in all of baseball cracked the 80-win mark, while the pirates won 103 games. At 28, Wagner was at the absolute peak of his powers, and was arguably the best player on the planet, with the highest WAR in baseball (7.3) for the year. He did everything for the 02 team, played 32 games at first, 44 at short, and 61 in the outfield, and led the team in OPS, SLG, and RBIs. He also pitched 5.1 innings.

Wagner’s fellow outfielders, Fred Clarke and Ginger Beaumont, both cracked the .800 OPS mark, and third baseman Tommy Leach a 6 WAR, the second highest on the team. I didn’t realize the Jack Chesbro, famous for his 04 season with the Highlanders, was on this team. He posted the second-best WHIP total of his career in 02, and was joined on the staff by superb seasons from Jesse Tannehill and Deacon Phillippe, both of whom recorded over 100 strikeouts.


3. 1909 Pirates 724
The other iconic Pirates team of the decade. Pittsburg was consistently great between 02 and 09, winning less than 90 games only once. But they only reached the World Series once before 09, due to the bad luck of having to share the National League with the Cubs and the Giants.

One of the most interesting things I've realized since doing this project was how dominant the National League was during the 1900s. The top 6 seeds in this tournament are all National League teams and there was never a year where the American League had a team that dominated baseball. The new league only won the World Series twice, in 03 when the Red Sox and Pirates had nearly identical records, and in 06, when the White Sox pulled off arguably the greatest upset in Series history. The Cubs were the truly great team of the decade, but the Pirates and Giants were close behind. Chicago caught the short end of the completive National League stick in 09, winning 104 games and ending up as the only Cubs team from 06-10 to not win the pennant.

The three starting lineup holdovers from 02 were Wagner, Leach, and Clarke, all of whom posted over .700 in OPS. They were joined by a collection of under-30 starters, including 2B Dots Miller, who had solid season at .725 OPS. The big pitching World Series hero of that year was Babe Adams, who was joined on the staff by Howie Camnitz, Vic Willis, Lefty Leifield and Nick Maddox.

A final note on Wagner. An overview on these two teams really puts into perspective how great a player he was. Despite being 35 years old, he was the best player on the team by a wide margin in 09, leading the team in Avg, OBP, SLG, and OPS, and it wasn’t close in any of those categories. His OPS of .909 was the best in the National League, trailing only Cobb in all of baseball. And the craziest part? That was only the 9th best single season OPS total of his career.

4. 1907 Cubs 704
These are the Cubs win totals from 06-10: 116, 107, 99, 104, 104. That’s about as good a five-year run as you could ask for. The 07 team is, of course, historically overshadowed by its predecessor. If they weren’t following up a squad with the most wins in history, they would be widely viewed as one of the greatest single season teams in baseball history. Plus, they get the bonus of having actually won the World Series.

The starting lineup is essentially the same from 06, with the one big change being the major uptick in playing time for Utility Man Solly Hofman, who went from 221 plate appearances in 06 to 536 in 07. On the mound, Mordecai Brown again led the way, leading the majors in WHIP, and posting the third best ERA+ number of his career. It might not have been his best season, but it’s almost impossible to say which season was for Brown between 06-09. He’s basically indistinguishable across the stat lines for those four years. Jack Pfiester and Orval Overall rounded up the staff.

The 07 Cubs ran away with the pennant for the second year in a row, finishing 17 games ahead of the Pirates, before demolishing the overmatched Tigers in the World Series. They may be overshadowed by flashier teams in this bracket, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them standing at the end of all this.


5. 1904 Giants 693
The 05 squad is probably the most famous of John McGraw’s teams, but there’s an argument that the 04 team was better. They ended up becoming lost to history in a sense, thanks to the decision to pass on playing in the 1904 World Series. It’s too bad, because on paper they seem like a really good bet to have beaten the 04 Americans, a worse version of the World Series-winning team of the previous year. The Giants likely passed up being the first back-to-back World Series winners.

It’s hard to pick who was the best everyday player on this team. You could make a case for outfielder Roger Bresnahan, who led the team in OPS, SLG, and OBP. Maybe it should be someone from the left side of the infield, with SS Bill Dahlen and 3B Art Devlin leading the position players in WAR. 1B Dan McGann and OF Sam Mertes were great too, with both men cracking the .340 OBP and .730 OPS marks.

But the story of this team was the pitching. Specifically, the pitching of two men, Joe McGinnity and Christy Mathewson. They combined for 68 wins, a 20th century record for two teammates, winning 35 and 33 games respectively. They had the two highest WAR numbers on the team and the two highest ERA+ totals. Mathewson struck out 212 men, the top of the NL leaderboard and the third highest total in baseball (Rube Waddell's baseball leading 349 strikeouts is still eyepopping). He was probably better in 1905, but not by much. McGinnity isn’t close to being as famous as Mathewson today, but he might have been the better hurler in 1904. His name is all over the National League leaderboard, first in WAR, ERA, Wins, Shutouts and Innings pitched.

John McGraw was only 31 years old when he managed this team and even played a few games as a middle infielder in 1904. Also 19th century legend Dan Brouthers had five at bats with the 1904 Giants at the age of 46!

6. 1905 Giants 686
The 05 Giants won one less game than the 04 squad. The lineup was basically the same, except Roger Bresnahan’s switch to behind the plate. His outfield spot was taken over by Turkey Mike Donlin, who came to the 04-team midseason in a three-team trade. In his first full year as a Giant, Donlin became the best offensive player on the team, leading his teammates in basically every batting category.

McGinnity took a step back in 1905 but was still a very good pitcher. He was joined on the staff by Hooks Wiltse, Dummy Taylor and Red Ames. But this 1905 team is remembered by most fans because of Mathewson.

1905 was when Mathewson became a legend. He ended the season with the second highest pitching WAR in the National League, led the league in strikeouts, ERA+, WHIP, and wins. And that was just the regular season. His three complete game shutouts in the 05 World Series remains one of the most dominant performances in the history of the game. It’s going to be a tall task for any team in this bracket to have to win a series while facing Matty three times.

7. 1903 Americans 659
An American League team finally appears! The winners of the first World Series, the Boston Americans aren’t a super recognizable bunch today, minus Cy Young. Many of these men played most of their careers in the 19th century. The best hitters on the team were outfielders Buck Freeman and Patsy Dougherty, with 3B Jimmy Collins and SS Freddy Parent right behind. This was the best offense in the American League that summer, leading the league in OPS, SLG, and hits.

Young was arguably the best American League pitcher in 1903, despite being 36 years old. The second-best pitcher on the Americans was Bill Dinneen and third best was Tom Hughes. I can say that with confidence, because they are listed in that order for the majority of team pitching stats.

8. 1903 Pirates 650
The Americans’ opponents in the inaugural World Series didn’t win nearly as many games as the 02 Pirates juggernaut. But what’s strange is they were offensively better in some ways. The 03 team had more hits, and better SLG and OPS numbers from the starting lineup. Wagner was actually a better player in 03, when he moved to shortstop for good.

The star pitchers on the team were Sam Leever, Deacon Phillippe and Ed Doheny. Pittsburg may have won the whole thing in 1903 if not for injuries to Wagner and several other key players. I’m very interested in their first-round matchup with this next team.

9. 1909 Tigers 645
The 09 Tigers seem to be the best shot for the decade’s most famous player to be a part of a run in this tournament.

During the final years of the decade, Ty Cobb was viewed by the baseball world the way Mike Trout is right now. Newspaper accounts and first-person player interviews highlight how much of a phenom he was, someone who was regarded as arguably the best player in the game by his second full season. By 1909, just Cobb’s fourth full season, people were already talking about whether he could be the greatest player to ever play. He was 22 years old in 1909.

Calling Cobb the best player in baseball in 1909 is an understatement. He led all of baseball in OPS, OPS+, SLG, OBP, BA, hits, and WAR, with none of those categories being particularly close. His OPS+ score was 16 points higher than the next closest player. His OPS was, and I’m not joking, .130 higher than any other player on the Tigers, and his 9.9 WAR was 3.4 higher than his closest teammate. If a position player can carry a team in baseball, this is it.

Cobb did have one other regular Tiger who gave him some legit help, Hall of Famer Sam Crawford, who posted a .817 OPS. But no other position player gets over .700 OPS, .400 OBP, and only SS Donny Bush got above a 4 in WAR. George Mullins and Ed Killian led the pitching staff. Upon closer inspection, the 07-09 Tigers might not be quite the strong dynasty that they seem to be. They did win three pennants, but the 07 and 08 squads posted the worse two winning percentages of any of the decades pennant winners, and both teams were smoked in the World Series. The 09 team as definitely the best of the bunch, and came within a game of winning it all, but this isn’t exactly a Murderers Row.

A final brief note on Cobb, who is one of the most controversial figures in sports history. Anyone reading this is probably already aware, but it’s worth mentioning that many, if not most, of the widely held beliefs regarding Cobb’s personality have been shown to be false over the past few years. The damage done to his reputation by repeated falsehoods told over the decades is borderline criminal, and at this point it seems only right that any mention of Cobb should include this disclaimer, if only to try to course correct and get the word out to as many people as possible. Read the Charles Leerhsen and Tim Hornbaker books to learn more and toss the Al Stump and Charles Alexander books in the trash.

10. 1908 Cubs 643
This was the only Cubs team from 06-10 to not win 100 games, and their winning of the pennant was controversial to say the least (more on that in a moment). The best player on the team was Mortdecai Brown, who put up team highs in 0.842 WHIP and 9.1 WAR. Ed Reulback, Jack Pfiester, and Orval Overall were all under 1.2 in WHIP.

Joe Tinker led the position players in WAR and Frank Chance hit over .700 in OPS again. But the real standout was Johnny Evers, who had arguably the best season of his career, leading the team in OPS by a wide margin and literally saving the season with a single play.

11. 1908 Giants 636
That play was at the center of one of the most infamous moments in baseball history, a play that really might have swung an entire pennant. This is why I’m putting the 08 Giants as my second “wild card” add in. Every World Series participant gets to play in this tournament, and you could make an argument that this team should have made it there this year. They certainly came the closest to making the World Series without actually doing it, losing a one game playoff at the Polo Grounds. Plus, what’s the point in having a Field of Dreams type tournament if you can’t give Fred Merkle a chance at redemption?
This was a different team than the back to back pennant winners of a few years earlier. The holdovers included Mike Donlin, probably still the best position player on the team, 3B Art Devlin, and C Roger Bresnahan. Impactful newcomers included middle infielders Larry Doyle and Al Bridwell.

Mathewson was 27 in 1908, near the peak of his powers, and probably the best pitcher in baseball (although you could make arguments for Addie Joss, Ed Walsh and Mordecai Brown). He had the highest WAR and FIP of any pitcher in baseball and was second in WHIP and third in ERA+. Hooks Wiltse had a very nice year as the Giants #2 starter, with Doc Crandall, and an aging Joe McGinnity making up the rest of the staff.

12. 1905 A’s 622
The As are sort of an odd fit on this list, one of only two franchises to only have one team on the list. Connie Mack’s teams are basically remembered as a pair of dynasties in different eras, but his first pennant winner was before the $100,000 infield.

The lineup is a collection of players that won’t be recognizable to non-dead ball nerds. The best of the bunch were 1B Harry Davis, OFs Topsy Hartsel and Socks Seybold, and 2B Daniel Murphy. There was no real super star though; no player hit over .756 in OPS and only one player barely got over the .400 OBP mark.

But believe it or not, I actually think there’s a chance this team could pull an upset, thanks to the pitching of one man…Rube Waddell. Rube isn’t known by many today, and most who do recognize the name tend to only think of his quirky personality. But a look at the stats shows that this guy was an absolute monster in the first half of the decade.

There’s a kind of four-man first class of the dead ball pitchers: Mathewson, Young, Walter Johnson and Grover Cleveland Alexander. Waddell is rarely talked about in the same breath as these guys, but at his peak he was in the exact same class. From 1902-1905, this was how Rube finished overall in baseball for WAR among pitchers and FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching):
WAR 2, 3, 1, 2
FIP 3 ,1, 1, 2
In 1902, he finished second in the game in strikeouts. The following three years, he led the majors every season, including a modern record 349 in 1904 that stood for over 60 years. This guy was probably the best pitcher in baseball for multiple seasons. His peak wasn’t a long one, and when it was over, he absolutely cratered, but he was a machine in his prime. And 1905 was still his prime, which gives this team a chance.

29-year-old Eddie Plank isn’t a bad #2 starter, and Andy Coakley had a solid season as well. A young Chief Bender was on this team too, his third big league season.

13. 1904 Americans 617
Boston’s second straight pennant winner had to fight off a historic season from Jack Chesbro and his New York Highlanders team. This squad is pretty straightforward. Just picture the 1903 Americans roster. Now make all the players just a tad worse. That’s this team.

14. 1906 White Sox 616
The Hitless Wonders were aptly named, as not a single regular hit over .700 OPS. As a team, they were in the bottom half of baseball in OBP, SLG and OPS.

It was all in the pitching for these guys. The 06 White Sox had three different pitchers under 1 in WHIP. In doing this project, you realize that many of the great teams of this era used only three pitchers. So win totals will be massive for the first two starters, decent for number three, and then will fall off. This isn’t how it was with the White Sox. Four different starters pitched over 200 innings and five of them were in double digit wins.

Ed Walsh gets all the attention, but Doc White was fantastic in 1906. Roy Patterson, Nick Altrock and Frank Owen rounded out this deep staff. They may be a low seed, but no one needs to be told that this group is capable of pulling off an upset.

15. 1907 Tigers 613
The outfield was the standout of the first Tigers World Series teams. Cobb and Crawford were the stars, with plus .800 marks in OPS, but Davy Jones was also third on that list. The pitching staff consisted of three twenty-game winners, Bill Donovan, Ed Killian, and George Mullin.

This was Cobb’s breakout season, the year he began leading the American League in most offensive categories. He was probably not quite the best player in baseball yet (if I had to pick, I’d go with Wagner in 07) but he was almost certainly the best in the American league. He led the league in AVG, SLG, OPS and Total Bases.

16. 1908 Tigers 588
It’s sort of bizarre that this team won a pennant. They’re the only sub .600 winning percentage team in this tournament, and they barely survived a wild finish to the season, with the Indians ending up only half a game back, and the White Sox 2.5.

Cobb and Crawford were the standouts again, far ahead of everyone else in most offensive categories. But they had help from OF Matty McIntyre and 1B Claude Rossman, both of whom hit well over .700 in OPS. McIntyre actually had the highest OPS on the team!

That was about the only American League category that Cobb didn’t win. He finished first in AVG, SLG, OPS and Total Bases.

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Old 07-26-2019, 10:20 AM   #2
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ROUND ONE:

08 Tigers vs 06 Cubs (16 vs 1)

07 Tigers vs 02 Pirates (15 vs 2)

06 White Sox vs 09 Pirates (14 vs 3)

04 Americans vs 07 Cubs (13 vs 4)

05 A's vs 04 Giants (12 vs 5)

08 Giants vs 05 Giants (11 vs 6)

08 Cubs vs 03 Americans (10 vs 7)

09 Tigers vs 03 Pirates (9 vs 8)


*I'm going to be playing the matchups in random order

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Old 07-27-2019, 05:41 PM   #3
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ROUND ONE:

(16)08 Tigers defeat (1)06 Cubs (4-3)

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This was an absolutely stunning outcome. Game one was exactly what I expected, with Brown throwing 9 innings of 6-hit ball for a 4-2 win. But then the Tigers ripped off three wins in a row. Two of the wins were by one run, including an extra inning game 2 win. The Cubs exploded in games 5 and 6 though, outscoring Detroit 24-8.

All of this led to an absolutely unreal game 7 at the West Side Park. The Tigers jumped out early and went into the 9th inning with a 6-4 lead, apparently ready to pull off the impossible. Evers grounded out, but then the Cubs made a last stand. Schulte singled, Chance doubled and suddenly runners were on 2nd and 3rd. Steinfeldt grounded out, putting the entire series on the shoulders of Jimmy Sheckard. On the first pitch, Sheckard tripled, tying the game in the most stunning fashion imaginable. At this point, a Chicago win felt like destiny.

But the Cubs couldn't bring Sheckard home and the game remained scoreless into the 14th inning. Finally Germany Schaefer singled for the Tigers, and Bill Coughlin eventually drove him home. The juggaraunt 116-win Cubs have been defeated in round one by the only sub .600 win percentage team in the tournament.

This was sort of a bummer in some ways. It would've been cool to see the Cubs face off against some of the higher seeded teams in the tournament. But this is the same team that lost in real life in one of the biggest upsets in World Series history. Maybe they're just cursed.

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Old 07-27-2019, 05:52 PM   #4
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ROUND ONE:

(9)09 Tigers defeat (8)03 Pirates (4-3)

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This series was exactly what you'd expect, a back and forth slugfest with teams trading wins over the first six games. Deacon Phillippe pitched a gem in game 1, a complete game shutout. But it was all downhill from there. He was pulled after 1.1 innings and 6 runs in a game 4 loss, and couldn't get the win in game 7. Crawford and Cobb were the best two players for Detroit, while Wagner and Clarke were the Pirates standouts.

Fittingly, the series came down to Cobb and Wagner trying to will their team's to victory in game 7. With Detroit leading 3-2 in the bottom of the 7th, Wagner singled to load the bases. This was clearly going to be Pittsburg's best chance to flip the score. Three batters later, the score was tied from a sac fly, but there were two outs. George Mullin threw a pitch that got by the catcher, and Wagner broke for the plate, scoring the go-ahead run for the Pirates.

But just three outs from victory, the Pirates couldn't hold on. The Tigers rallied to tie it in the 9th, with the tying run coming after a line drive by Cobb was dropped. Cobb then roared in from second on a single by Jim Delahanty to wrap things for Detroit.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:00 PM   #5
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ROUND ONE:

(4)07 Cubs defeat (13)04 Americans (4-3)

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The 07 Cubs won, but it was much closer than expected. The series went the full seven, thanks to one of the most bizarre endings I've ever seen in game 3. Ahead 2 games to none, the Cubs took a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth before Jack Pfiester completely imploded. He allowed five hits and four runs, as the Americans stole the game and turned around the entire series. They won the next two games in Boston too, forcing the Cubs to win both at home to escape with a series win.

The highlight of this series was watching Cy Young and Three-Finger Brown go head to head three different times. Brown ended up getting the better of Cy, winning games one and seven, while Cy was only able to win game 4. Brown was masterful in game 7, allowing just two hits in the last four innings and no walks all game.

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Old 07-27-2019, 07:25 PM   #6
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ROUND ONE:

(2)02 Pirates defeat (15)07 Tigers (4-1)

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This was what I was expecting with the 06 Cubs vs 08 Tigers series. In the end, the Tigers were just overmatched here. Pitching ruled the day, as it was a very low scoring series. What happened to these teams was a microcosm of their seasons, which doesn't happen as often as you'd think in these small sample size series. For the Pirates, the pitching was fantastic, with just 6 walks allowed by starters all series, and both Phillippe and Chesbro ending with ERAs of 0.50. The Pirates were deep offensively, with five different players ending the series with 7 or more hits.

For Detroit, Crawford and Cobb were fantastic. But there was a major drop off after that, with only one other player barely scraping over the .300 OBP mark. The Tigers pitching was solid, but there just wasn't enough offense to support it.

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Old 07-27-2019, 07:29 PM   #7
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ROUND ONE:

(10)08 Cubs defeat (7)03 Americans (4-1)

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I honestly thought this would be closer. The 08 Cubs handled their business with relative ease against the first World Series champs. Frank Chance was phenomenal, finishing the series with a .474/.545/.632 split. Just like in the 04 americans vs 07 cubs series, Brown outclassed Cy Young. Brown and Orval Overall each won both of their starts, with ERAs of 2.50 and 1.00 respectively. They were lights out in their back to back game 4 and 5 starts, basically finishing the series.

Young struck out 11 in his two starts, but lost both games and finished with an ERA of 4.41.

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Old 07-27-2019, 07:32 PM   #8
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ROUND ONE:

(11)08 Giants defeat (6)05 Giants (4-2)

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This was a real trip, especially when Christy Mathewson matched up against himself in games 1 and 4. 05 Matty may have been a legend in the World Series that year, but he failed to live up to the hype here. He lost both games he started and ended with a 4.24 average. Although it probably makes the losses a little easier to swallow when you're losing to yourself.

08 Mathewson on the other hand was a monster, pitching a 4 hit shutout in game one and winning game 4 as well. Al Bridewell and Roger Bresnahan each hit over .400 for the 08 team, while only Mike Donlin hit over .350 for the 05 squad. It wasn't the outcome i was expecting, but the 08 Giants are a great story, as they attempt to right the Merkle wrong.

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Old 07-27-2019, 07:36 PM   #9
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ROUND ONE:

(3)09 Pirates defeat (14)06 White Sox (4-0)

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No magic for the Hitless Wonders this time, as they were absolutely steamrolled by the 09 Pirates. Ed Walsh didn't have a top notch performance, ending with 21 hits allowed and a 4.76 ERA in two games. He didn't get a ton of help from the offense. Patsy Dougherty was fantastic, but that was about it for the Sox.

Wagner was exactly what you'd expect, batting .471 with 8 hits in four games. He was joined by a great performance from Bobby Byrne and fine pitching performances from Willis, Camnitz and Adams.

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Old 07-27-2019, 07:38 PM   #10
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ROUND ONE:

(12)05 Athletics defeat (5)04 Giants (4-1)

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Another big upset. The wheels came off in game one and it seemed like the Giants just spiraled from there. New York came from behind on Waddell to score two runs in the 7th and one in the 8th to take a one run lead going into the ninth. But McGinnity couldn't finish the deal. Murphy led off the inning with a single and a double from Harry Davis brought the tying run home. As if that wasn't enough, Joe then threw a wild pitch two batters later, allowing Davis to come home from third.

The Giants just never got going offensively. Sam Mertes and Art Devlin played well, but not a single other batter hit .300. On the A's side, Harry Davis and Topsy Hartsel were fantastic, with 11 and 9 hits respectively in a five game series.

The 04 Giants were all about the tandem of McGinnity and Mathewson, but neither one had a great performance. On the other side, Eddie Plank was the star of the show, winning both his starts with a 2.00 ERA, and striking out almost as many batters as Joe and Matty combined.

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Old 07-27-2019, 07:41 PM   #11
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ROUND TWO:

(2)02 Pirates vs (16)08 Tigers
(3)09 Pirates vs (12)05 Athletics
(4)07 Cubs vs (11)08 Giants
(9)09 Tigers vs (10)08 Cubs
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:51 AM   #12
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ROUND TWO:

(16)08 Tigers defeat (2)02 Pirates(4-3)

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They did it again. The 08 Tigers, the 16 seed, the only sub .600 winning percentage team in the tournament, who got rolled over in the real life World Series, have now taken down the top two seeds.

Game one was a thriller, with the Pirates jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the 2nd inning. But the Tigers clawed back, tying the game by the 6th inning. It came down to two outs in the bottom of the ninth, when Fred Clarke drove Wagner home from second with the winning run.

But just like in the first round, the Tigers battled back, winning games 2 and 3. The Pirates won games 4 and 5 though, and it seemed like this one was going to course correct. But the final two games at Exposition Park were a pair of pitching masterpieces for Detroit. In game 6, Ed Summers threw nine innings of 6-hit ball, holding the mighty Pirates to a single run, and winning his second game of the series. In the deciding game, the Pirates were held in check by Bill Donovan, who shut them out.

The Tigers showed up big time on offense for the series, with Rossman, Schaefer, and Crawford all ending up with double digit hits. McIntyre, Cobb and Schmidt almost got there too, with 9, 8, and 8 hits respectively.

Wagner was magnificent for the Pirates, with 12 hits and a .400 average. Beaumont also had a huge series, with 12 hits of his own. But besides those two, only one other player hit over .250 for Pittsburgh.

Detroit ended up outscoring the Pirates 33-23 over the entire Series, a truly dominating performance all around. They'll have to play another great team in the semi-finals, but at this point anything is possible for this team.

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Old 08-11-2019, 12:54 AM   #13
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ROUND TWO:

(3)09 Pirates defeat (12)05 Athletics(4-2)

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The 09 Pirates looked like a juggernaut in round one and they might be the favorite at this point, but the A's put up a real fight here. Pitching was the story in this series, with only 31 runs scored total between both teams.

Waddell was fantastic, with only 8 hits allowed and 19 strikeouts in his two starts. He was outdueled 1-0 in game one by Howie Camnitz, but came back to tie the series in game four. Babe Adams was the only pitcher to win both his starts, with wins in games 2 and 5. Fred Clarke was the star of the series at the plate, with 9 hits and a .429 average.

The two games that swung the series were games one and six. Waddell pitched a one-run four-hitter, but the A's couldn't muster a single run for him. In game six, the A's came from behind to take a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth inning. But Andy Coakley couldn't hold the lead. Bobby Byrne got to play the hero, driving in the tying run in the ninth and scoring the winning run in the 11th.

Up next, the Pirates will be facing the miracle 08 Tigers. This means that either Cobb or Wagner will be playing in the final round.

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Old 08-11-2019, 12:57 AM   #14
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ROUND TWO:

(10)08 Cubs defeat (9)09 Tigers(4-1)

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The 08 Cubs have been the most dominant team in this tournament so far. They were the only Cubs team from 06-10 to not win 100 games, but they've handled their business with ease in both rounds one and two. After dispatching the World Series-winning 03 Americans in five games, they put away the strongest Detroit Tigers squad in five as well.

The Tigers came out of the gate strong in game one, and were three outs away from taking a 1-0 lead in the Series, But the Cubs rallied to score the tying and winning runs, with the go-ahead score coming off a Johnny Evers hit. The Tigers were never the same after game one, with meaningless extra-innings win in game four as their only triumph of the series. Although George Mullins deserves a hat tip for throwing 160 pitches of one-run ball over 12 innings that day.

Mordecai Brown and Orval Overall had dominant performances, with Overall winning both his starts and striking out 16 batters. Brown struck out 11 in the series and sported a 2.00 ERA. Tinker and Evers led the way for the Chicago offense with 10 hits a piece and both infielders batting over .400. Cobb had a great performance for Detroit, but it wasn't enough.

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Old 08-11-2019, 01:45 AM   #15
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ROUND TWO:

(11)08 Giants defeat (4)07 Cubs(4-3)

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If there's anything to be taken from this Series, it's that the world may have been robbed by not having the Giants in the World Series in 1908. Christy Mathewson may have given baseball fans a greater performance than he did in 1905.

No pitcher has dominated any series in this tournament like Mathewson did this one. He was THE reason why the Giants survived against a dominant Cubs team. He won all three of his starts, pitching complete games all three times, and ending the series with a 1.33 ERA.

This was the series that seemed the most interesting of the round 2 matchups and it was fitting that it went 7. The teams split the first four, with Mathewson winning games 1 and 4, while the Cubs offense carried the days in games 2 and 3.

Games 5 and 6 were a pair of pitching masterpieces. First, Orval Overall shutout the Giants, allowing only five hits. But Hooks Wiltse returned the favor in game 6, pitching a shutout of his own. Jack Pfiester actually allowed less hits, but his Cub teammates left, and this isn't a misprint, 24 men on base in game 6. The Cubs had bases loaded in so many situations in games 6 and 7 at home, but couldn't get it done. A bitter loss for sure.

Up next for the 08 Giants...a date with destiny that you couldn't make up. A chance for redemption against the 08 Cubs.

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Old 08-11-2019, 01:46 AM   #16
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ROUND THREE/SEMI-FINALS:

(3)09 Pirates vs (16)08 Tigers
(10)08 Cubs vs (11)08 Giants

(Coming Soon)
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