Pedro Alvarez is 16-for-his-last- 40, with five bombs and four doubles. The Pirates pitching staff put up 17 strikeouts over nine innings, setting some kind of new record. Erik Bedard struck out eleven batters in five innings. The bullpen walked five, but struck out six.
Yeah, it all makes perfect sense. We saw this one coming all along.
Baseball is a great sport exactly because of games like the one that happened in St. Louis yesterday.
Pedro Alvarez has gone from being dubbed a “non-prospect” by a sour scout, a guy who couldn’t hit AA pitching by some fans, to an All-Star candidate (complete with his own campaign poster that we are working to finish), and check this out – even Vote for Pedro t-shirts are popping up. All of it has happened in less than a month.
So, what’s next for Alvarez? Fans screaming “M-V-P! M-V-P!” at PNC Park? (Well, actually, that’s my plan for Saturday night)
Erik Bedard has gone from a huge question mark when he started the season in the Pirates rotation to the stopper-type hurler that teams count on to put up zeroes and change a series. Bedard now has 37 strikeouts in his 34 innings pitched. He only made it five innings yesterday, his neck probably hurts from shaking off Mike McKenry so much, but take a peek at the box and you will see he once again gave the Pirates a chance to win by allowing just two runs.
Clint Barmes ripped two doubles, for chrissakes, and is now 9-for-his-last-33.
Juan Cruz, a non-roster invite a month ago, has thrown 9.1 innings without allowing a run despite giving up ten hits and five walks.
Jason Grilli had two more punchouts, giving the right-handed setup man eighteen strikeouts in ten Godzilla-like innings pitched.
So, what’s it all mean? We think this: there is such a thing as a sophomore slump, and Pedro felt it big time last season. We do believe in bounce-back years, seasoned veterans, and allowing a good month before really looking at a player’s performance. Now, about that Barajas guy….