Pedro Alvarez lifts the Pirates’ and fans hope in the 10th inning
Before I even start my post, you must listen to the Call by Steve Blass and Greg Brown from the extra inning, walk-off homerun by Pedro Alvarez.
I was sitting my seat, nervously shaking my foot, bitting my nails when Garrett Jones was at the plate. He worked a walk. Pedro walked up to the plate. I say it now, and I will say it again. He is very special. He gives me hope and excitement that I haven’t felt for a player from the Pirates in a very, very, very long time. The moment Pedro connected with the ball I flew out of my seat, arms up in the air, screaming as loud as I could. I knew it was gone. Everyone in the stadium knew it was gone. The sell out crowd jumped to their feet and went nuts. The stadium shook with cheers and screams. I jumped around like a little kid, high fiving everyone around me. All of my emotions went wild. I skipped to my car after the game. I’m not even kidding. I can’t even remember a more exciting game at PNC Park in my life. It was by far, one of my favorite games to be at. Everytime I replay the video from the Walk-Off, I get tears in my eyes and chills up my spine. Pedro is a superstar in the making, he is just going to continue to get better and better. It was so awesome to see a glimpse of what could be in store for the future Pirates.
“Running around the bases, I don’t think it could have been any louder,” Alvarez said, “or the place would have collapsed if it were.”
“It’s pretty unreal,” he said. “I can remember one other time hitting a walk-off home run, and obviously here on a Saturday night, a packed house, in the big leagues — nothing can beat that, maybe except Game 7 of the World Series.”
“In all honesty, when Garrett’s up there having that great at-bat, I’m hoping he gets on,” Alvarez said. “I wanted to go up there.”
“Pedro loves to play, loves to win,” Russell said. “And he wants to be on that stage. I say that in a good way. Not in a cocky way. He wants to be that guy. I think Pittsburgh fans are going to see some really special things out of this group, and Pedro’s one of them.”
“That guy that’s on deck, with what he’s shown us already, all the big hits … I’m not seeing anything to hit, but I’m thinking how he’s the guy I want up next,” Jones said. “And then, when I’m on first, I had a really good feeling about it. And sure enough …”
“I think the baseball gods finally looked down on us and said, ‘Enough is enough,’ ” Pirates manager John Russell said.
The Walk-off Homerun was by far the highlight of the night, but here is more notes from the game:
Chris Synder hit his first Homerun as a Bucco in the 6th inning with two on and one out.
Garrett Jones hit a Solo-Homerun in the seventh inning.
Joel Hanrahan came into the ninth inning for the save. Back-to-back nights, Hanny blew the lead. Hanrahan entered Friday given up five runs over his past 27 innings, he has now allowed five runs over the past two games. His 3.40 ERA jumped 4.20.
Sean Gallagher in the 10th inning gave up a two-run home run to Todd Helton.
Ross Ohlendorf pitched six innings giving up four hits, two runs, one earned, one walk, six strikes. He got the No decision.
Other News and Notes:
- The Pirates traded Brian Bixler to the Nationals for Cash Considerations.
- Ryan Doumit was activated from the DL, Erik Kratz was optioned to Triple-A Indy. Doumit is expected to split time with Lastings Milledge in right field and Chris Snyder at catcher.
“We’ll piece it together, but it’s going to be a little bit of a challenge to make sure we get all the guys in, get some playing time,” Russell said, adding, “I know he was ready to come back here, so it’s good to have him back.”
“Any time you play against better competition, you learn from your mistakes, but you also learn from watching guys doing it very well at the level I want to be at for a long time, so if you can watch those guys and learn from those guys in a live setting, that’s priceless information that you can gain,” the 30-year-old Kratz said. “Would I love to stay longer? For sure. I would love never going back, but that’s not the reality of the move that they made right now.”
- Jim Leyland on helping young players: “These kids don’t need somebody yelling and screaming at (them) and asking them to do things they’re not quite capable of doing yet. This team needs coaches and a manager right now that are trying to help them through some real tough times, get them acclimated to the big leagues, hope they get the big hit in a big situation once in a while, and keep encouraging them. They don’t need negative (stuff). If I was dumb and a young manager, I might appease the public and tear the clubhouse up tonight and set the place on fire. The fans would say, “He really cares.” -Detroit Free Press
- The Pirates relieved pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and bench coach Gary Varsho of their duties Sunday morning. Assistant pitching coach Roy Searage will take over as the interim pitching coach, and minor league field coordinator Jeff Banister will be the interim bench coach.
“Both Gary and Joe are quality baseball men who have worked hard during their time with the organization,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement. “However, [manager John Russell] felt strongly, and I agreed, that [Kerrigan and Varsho] were no longer the right fit for our staff and a change at this time was in the best interests of the club.”
“It was a very gut-wrenching decision,” Russell said. “There are some issues I’ve been working through for quite some time now that could not be resolved in a way I felt would be for the betterment of this organization. I respect both men greatly. I lost two friends today. That’s tough to deal with. But my main focus is this team, this organization, and I felt moving forward that this was the time to do this. With two months left in the season, I wanted to accomplish something this year moving into next year.”
“Just some issues that I felt we needed to change,” he said. “Things I tried to work through. I’m not going to go into details out of respect of those two men. I’m just going to leave it at that.”
On the starters’ potential, Searage said: “We just have to work hard and get back to the drawing board. There are some specific things I don’t want to address right now because I haven’t gone over them with the starters. But, if I you saw what James McDonald did the other night, throwing changeups to right-handers, and Ross Ohlendorf did that last night, with changeups to right-handers, that is an important thing you must have as a starter. If you’re going 50-50 with fastballs and sliders, that’s easier for the hitter.”
-Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Pedro Alvarez in his last four games: 7-for-16, 3HR, 8RBI.
Today is the first time since June 11th that Garrett Jones has started in Right field.
The Pirates signed their fourth round pick, Nick Kingham. He is the 20th player the Pirates have signed so far in the 2010 Draft.
Today’s Pitching Matchup:
Esmil Rogers (RHP) 1-2, 4.85 ERA
Paul Maholm (LHP) 7-9, 4.59 ERA