Well nothing like having another breakout performance against the Brewers to put a lot of Pirate fans in a good mood. Zach Duke had a less than stellar start, but he did something that Brad Lincoln wasn’t able to do last night, hold onto a big lead. This was totally different from last night in that I never really felt that the Brewers had a chance once the Pirates put up a six spot in the fourth inning. Pretty good feeling.
The Pirates strung together 13 runs between the fourth and eighth innings after Brewers starter Randy Wolfe retired nine straight Pirates. That is what good offenses do. A month or so ago the Pirates would have rolled over after Wolfe got on a roll, but the kids are starting to understand this whole hitting thing, including Pedro Alvarez.
Alvarez followed up a two home run, five RBI, with another two home run night and three more RBI. Dude is what you call “in the zone”. I think we are just getting the hint of what this kid can do when he starts to get comfortable. Pedro is up to hitting .259 with a .509 slugging percentage. Not too shabby for a kid that people were talking about getting sent back down. Oh how the tides turn. He just makes it look so easy. There hasn’t been someone in the lineup with this kinda power in a long time. Refreshing to see.
Thanks to some good work from Rocco we can see that Pedro is getting it done. In July he is going for a .339/.406/.742 = 1.148 OPS in 16 games and 69 plate appearances.
Speaking of things going good that Neil Walker and Jose Tabata characters can play some ball too. Tabata put together a 2-for-4 night to raise his average to .266 and Walker continued his torrid streak going 2-for-5, while also getting robbed of two other hits to keep his average at a robust .314. Again Rocco puts the numbers together for the “Calvary” (Tabata, Walker, Alvarez) and they have gone 31-for-67 with 9 2B, 4 HR, 5 BB = .463/.500/.776 = 1.276 OPS in the last five games. Nice.
Lastings Milledge continues to rake and Delwyn Young even went 3-fo-4 with five RBI. How good does it feel to watch baseball like this? Very fun to watch and be a part of and hopefully this is just a glimpse into the future of this young core.