Refresh  
  Page last updated on Sun Mar 29 15:34:31 EDT 2015
TOP NEWS
PIRATES WON THE LONGEST GAME OF THE SEASON
Mon, 03 Sep 2012 10:12 PM EDT

There’s a sound that comes off Pedro Alvarez’s bat when the Pirates 3rd baseman is feeling it that can send a jolt through a stadium and a franchise making an attempt to escape 20 years of losing.

It’s not so much a ”crack’ ‘ as it is an explosion, a blast of fury in which the 25-year-old former 1st-round pick makes sending pitches to the distant part of ballparks look almost effortless.

It’s the kind of power that will carry a team, the kind the Pittsburgh Pirates have hopelessly required while fighting for their first postseason berth in 20 years.

Alvarez drilled 3 homers and drove in 7 runs in a spectacular 27-hour stretch as the Pittsburgh Pirates posted two shutout wins over St. Louis to end a dangerous freefall and pull back within a game of the Cardinals for the National League’s final wild card spot.

”Every once awhile when he shows up like that he’s the big kid on the playground,” Hurdle said.

One the Pirates need to be a bully over the past 5 weeks of the season if they would like to make the playoffs for the 1st time since 1992. While MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen has cooled down in August, Alvarez and Garrett Jones have provided the middle of the lineup with some needed thump.

Alvarez is hitting .280 during the season’s 2nd half and has already smashed a career-high 26 home runs. While he remains streaky – Alvarez is 4th in the National League in home runs per at bats but has also endured a couple of 20-game homerless droughts – when he’s hot he’s one of the toughest outs in the game.

It is a lesson St. Louis pitcher Joe Kelly learned. He tried to sneak an 82 mph curveball past Alvarez in the 3rd inning, and Alvarez turned on it and sent a shot to the right field seats so quickly his bat had barely hit the ground when the ball landed 400 feet away.

”He’s the kind of player that you just can’t pattern,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny expounded. ”Joe threw a breaking ball and most fellows are sitting dead red in that situation. He’s hit some good off-speed pitches against us. It isn’t like we’re simply tossing the ball up there.” Vegas odds

Alvarez hasn’t got an explanation for why he torched the Cardinals this season, hitting .398 with 7 homers and 23 RBIs in 15 games against the defending world champs. He isn’t actually concerned about finding one either.

”The thing about comfort is that you don’t really think much when you’re up there and you’re feeling comfortable,” Alvarez asserted. ”When comfort and confidence go side-by-side, it does lots for you.”

Now he’s helping lead a charge for a team that insists it isn’t fading shortly.

”These fellows like to play,” Hurdle said. ”They love the challenges in front of them. We aren’t trying to be slaves to the history that is here. We’re trying to create new history.”


Sponsored Links

Download Printable Schedules
Now you can download and print schedules for each sport so you can plan ahead and track your results.
UPDATED:
PRINTABLE BRACKETS - UPDATED AFTER EVERY ROUND
BASKETBALL 3/10/2015 - 4/15/2015
2/10/2015 - 3/9/2015
HOCKEY 3/10/2015 - 4/11/2015
2/10/2015 - 3/9/2015
TOP TEN WAGERS
RK Team
1
Michigan State
2
Duke
3
Louisville
4
Michigan State
5
Gonzaga
03/29/2015
ATP - Miami, USAWAWRINKA, STANISLAS vs. MANNARINO, ADRIAN09:50 AM PST
WTA - Miami, USAAZARENKA, VICTORIA vs. PENNETTA, FLAVIA10:00 AM PST
WTA - Miami, USAERRANI, SARA vs. MUGURUZA, GARBINE10:40 AM PST
College BasketballMichigan State vs Louisville11:20 AM PST
ATP - Miami, USABERDYCH, TOMAS vs. TOMIC, BERNARD11:45 AM PST
NHLCapitals at Rangers12:00 PM PST
ATP - Miami, USAMONFILS, GAEL vs. TSONGA, JO-WILFRIED12:00 PM PST
WTA - Miami, USALARSSON, JOHANNA vs. STEPHENS, SLOANE12:00 PM PST
WTA - Miami, USAWILLIAMS, SERENA vs. BELLIS, CATHERINE CARTAN12:15 PM PST
ATP - Miami, USAVERDASCO, FERNANDO vs. NADAL, RAFAEL12:30 PM PST
NBALakers vs Nets12:35 PM PST
NBATimberwolves vs Pelicans1:05 PM PST
NBA76ers vs Cavaliers1:35 PM PST
NHLPanthers at Senators2:00 PM PST
NHLRed Wings at Islanders2:00 PM PST
NHLBruins at Hurricanes2:00 PM PST
NHLFlames at Predators2:00 PM PST
College BasketballGonzaga vs Duke2:05 PM PST
NBAClippers vs Celtics3:05 PM PST
NBAPistons vs Heat3:05 PM PST
NHLDucks at Devils4:00 PM PST
NBAGrizzlies vs Spurs4:05 PM PST
NBAMavericks vs Pacers4:05 PM PST
NHLSharks at Penguins4:30 PM PST
NHLBlackhawks at Jets4:30 PM PST
WTA - Miami, USALISICKI, SABINE vs. IVANOVIC, ANA4:30 PM PST
ATP - Miami, USAMONACO, JUAN vs. GARCIA-LOPEZ, GUILLERMO6:00 PM PST
NBAThunder vs Suns6:05 PM PST
03/30/2015
NBACeltics vs Hornets4:05 PM PST
NBALakers vs 76ers4:05 PM PST
NHLLightning at Canadiens4:30 PM PST
NBABucks vs Hawks4:35 PM PST
NBARockets vs Raptors4:35 PM PST
NHLCanucks at Blues5:00 PM PST
NBAKings vs Grizzlies5:05 PM PST
NBAJazz vs Timberwolves5:05 PM PST
NHLKings at Blackhawks5:30 PM PST
NHLFlames at Stars5:30 PM PST
NHLOilers at Avalanche6:00 PM PST
NHLSabres at Coyotes7:00 PM PST
NBASuns vs Trail Blazers7:05 PM PST
03/31/2015
NHLPanthers at Bruins4:00 PM PST
NHLHurricanes at Capitals4:00 PM PST
NHLDevils at Blue Jackets4:00 PM PST
NHLLightning at Maple Leafs4:30 PM PST
NHLSenators at Red Wings4:30 PM PST
NHLCanucks at Predators5:00 PM PST
NHLRangers at Jets5:00 PM PST
04/01/2015
NHLMaple Leafs at Sabres4:30 PM PST
NHLFlyers at Penguins5:00 PM PST
NHLOilers at Ducks7:00 PM PST
NHLAvalanche at Sharks7:30 PM PST
04/02/2015
NHLIslanders at Blue Jackets4:00 PM PST
NHLCapitals at Canadiens4:30 PM PST
NHLLightning at Senators4:30 PM PST
NHLBruins at Red Wings4:30 PM PST
NHLHurricanes at Panthers4:30 PM PST
NHLFlames at Blues5:00 PM PST
NHLRangers at Wild5:00 PM PST
NHLCanucks at Blackhawks5:30 PM PST
NHLOilers at Kings7:30 PM PST
04/03/2015
NHLBlackhawks at Sabres4:00 PM PST
NHLCanadiens at Devils4:00 PM PST
NHLBlues at Stars5:30 PM PST
NHLAvalanche at Ducks7:00 PM PST
NHLCoyotes at Sharks7:00 PM PST
04/04/2015
UFCL Murphy vs L Carmouche08:00 AM PST
UFCA Yakovlev vs G Maynard08:00 AM PST
UFCT Johnson vs S Abdurahimov08:00 AM PST
UFCJ Jones vs R Stallings08:00 AM PST
UFCR Lamas vs C Mendes10:00 AM PST
UFCA Iaquinta vs J Masvidal10:00 AM PST
UFCM Clarke vs M Chiesa10:00 AM PST
UFCM Dudieva vs J Pena10:00 AM PST
UFCR Peralta vs C Guida10:00 AM PST
UFCD Ferreira vs D Poirier10:00 AM PST
NHLFlyers at Hurricanes10:00 AM PST
NHLPenguins at Blue Jackets11:00 AM PST
NHLCanucks at Jets12:00 PM PST
NHLMaple Leafs at Bruins4:00 PM PST
NHLCapitals at Senators4:00 PM PST
NHLLightning at Panthers4:00 PM PST
NHLSabres at Islanders4:00 PM PST
NHLDevils at Rangers4:00 PM PST
NHLWings at Wild4:00 PM PST
NHLStarts at Predators5:00 PM PST
NHLSharks at Coyotes6:00 PM PST
NHLFlames at Oilers7:00 PM PST
NHLAvalanche at Kings7:00 PM PST

x