Pedro Alvarez was dubbed the Pirates savior when the team drafted him with the second overall pick in the 2008 June amateur draft, and for good reason. Alvarez possesses the kind of raw power that not too many people in the game of baseball have. A few months ago, Bucco skipper Clint Hurdle said that, in all the years he's been around baseball, he's only heard about five or six bats make the kind of sound that Alvarez's does when he makes solid contact with a baseball. It's a very distinctive sound, and if you need any visual proof, here it is. That was the second of two blasts for Alvarez, as he led the Pirates to a very much needed 9-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park this evening. The homer cleared the stands in right-center, believe it or not, and it went an estimated 469 feet. It's the fourth longest home run ever hit at PNC, and the longest ever by a Pirate in the 12 seasons at the beautiful ballpark.
The struggling as of late James McDonald also contributed heavily to the victory, as he continued his curious mastery of the Cardinals' potent lineup with seven shut-out innings.
The Pirates can't seem to get on much of a roll as of late, but maybe tonight's gem of a victory will finally wake the team out of its four week slumber.
The Pirates now find themselves two games back of the Cardinals for the second wild card spot in the National League. I don't need to tell you how crucial a victory would be tomorrow. After tonight's win, a loss isn't going to kill them, but a win sure would make things a lot tighter, and a lot more exciting for the Pirates and the fan base.