Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alvarez Pulls His Weight

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alvarez Pulls His Weight

Article excerpt

MILWAUKEE -- That bit about the sound that is or isn't made when a tree falls in the forest remains safely unsettled, philosophically speaking, but there is no doubt about the sound made by Pedro Alvarez's bat in the fourth inning Friday night as it echoed through the giant urban warehouse called Miller Park.

Had Pedro produced that sound by hitting some tree in some forest with the stroke he put on a pitch from Mike Fiers, that tree would have been felled instantly: THWOCK!

The baseball - we probably should work baseball into this column before long - went screaming toward deepest center like something that had just gone wheels up on an airport runway, not stopping until it had climbed 25 feet up the coal black batter's eye beyond the 400 feet sign.

It was both Alvarez's second homer of the week and second hit of the game the Pirates would use to discover the win column - 6-2 - after a dreary series in Cincinnati, if you'll excuse the redundancy, and it provided the most vivid of reminders of the absolute menace the new first baseman can provide when he's comfortable at the plate.

His second-inning single, scorched over the mound with Neil Walker on third, gave the Pirates their first run, and his exquisite diving stop to his right that snared Jonathan Lucroy's shot in the first helped get Jeff Locke into a rhythm that would serve him through six innings, a very good thing for a club that had called the bullpen 11 times on the previous two workdays.

The Brewers came into this series every bit as winless as the Pirates, and with an even more embarrassing statistical profile. Pummeled, 10-0, by the generally non-threatening Colorado Rockies in their home opener Monday, the Brewers got to the weekend having led for all of three innings in three games. They had been outscored, 20-6.

Running Fiers out there against the Pirates couldn't have been the master plan as Fiers brought a 5.60 career earned run average against the Pirates to the mound. He left five innings later with a 6.12 career earned run average against the Pirates.

If Milwaukee had constructed any kind of evident plot to escape the National League Central Division basement ahead of the Pirates, it seemed built around the notion that the Brewers might annoy Alvarez on the giant center field videoboard. …

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