Last season, the Pittsburgh Pirates went an amazing 17-64 (.210) on the road. This season, going into Monday’s game at Citi Field, the Buccos already have 15 wins away from home (15-13, .536). That’s a .326 improvement so far in 2011.
So, which team has the best road winning percentage improvement from year-to-year? Here are the top four:
4) The 1905 Chicago Cubs were a perfectly respectable 38-36 (.514) on the road and then in 1906 they went an insane 60-15 (.800) as part of their record-setting 116-36 season, for a “road bump” of .286.
2) The Boston Braves of 1935 were one of the worst teams of the last 100 years, as they won only 1/3rd of their home games (25-50), and one out of every six games on the road (13-65, .167). They actually had a better record on the road than at home in 1936 (36-40 [.474] versus 35-43 [.449]), for an improvement of .309. Perhaps because they changed their name to the Boston Bees in ’36?
1) The 1908 Philadelphia A’s played .615 ball at home, but only .286 (22-55) on the road. The following season saw them balance their record regardless of venue (49-27 .645 at home, 46-31 .597 on the road), an increase of .311.
If the 2011 Pirates can keep close to their .536 pace on the road, they’ll get the 43 wins they need to set the single-season road improvement record . . . and maybe they’ll reach .500 overall for the first time since 1992.