The Bucs did it! They captured their 3rd franchise title in history, polishing off the ailing Yankees in 6 games. The KG, two-run homer in the first in GM 6 was all the spark the Bucs needed to claim their title seeing they didn’t have to sweat for the remainder of the game. Projected to be a .500 team at the beginning of the season, the team met that projection and then some by claiming first place and going over .500. This was their first title since 2015 and their third against the Yankees. The Pirates now lead in head to head WS matchups at 3-2 over the Yanks.
It all started with a 3-1 series win over the Diamondbacks who made their first postseason appearance in 2020. The Pirates were not so much on the “physical” offense all the time despite them leading in most stat categories. Their strategic/tactical approaches were often the key factor in beating teams. Their 8.9 walks/game were the highest total of any team in league, postseason history, outdoing the 2017 champion Mets who had 89 walks as well but in 12 games played as opposed to the 10 played by the Pirates in the 2020 postseason. Two of their seventeen homeruns were game tying or lead changing homers. They often punished teams in the 4th and 5th innings of both series and had big leads where they could sit back and relax in their victories. The backbone of this team was the pitching. A 2.74 ERA between the trio of pitchers in Gadani, Lavalley, and Kalic were all the Pirates needed to go 7-3 in the 2020 postseason.
Lavalley the late-season acquisition did his job with a 4-0 record in the postseason. Gadani had 3 grand slams in the postseason and the Game 6 victory despite losing two of his previous starts in the World Series which were both late inning, drama-infused games. Edin had 2 grand slams in the postseason which helped the Pirates in GM 1 of the LCS off of Josh and in GM 1 of the WS off of Mike. All in all, the “Core Four” + “Lava” took the title in the season that didn’t need to happen given the current pandemic conditions we face in 2020 globally. But after a 45 game regular season, 15 postseason games, a global pandemic, two articles & specials done on the league in just 103 days (!), we are now completed with the 2020 season and look forward to the trophy celebrations, winter meetings, 2020 awards, and many other league activities which will propel us into the 2021 season.
We do not know what lies ahead for the league but with so many consistent players now, new faces emerging constantly for us, new facets being added to the league, as well as the accolades and bragging rights that are to be had every season, we always feel refreshed and anxious to get the next one started.
So until we are back on the field next year, stay safe out there, stay up to date on all of our media outlets, and we will see you in 2021!
Congrats to the Pirates!