With a 10-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday night, the Pirates have taken the first two games vs Milwaukee, extending their winning streak to three games, after snapping their seven game losing streak on Wednesday against the Braves.
Since May, the Pirates have shown when healthy that they can compete with just about anyone in the NL and we’re about to find out if that holds true. Pittsburgh climbed within four games of first place and are 1.5 games out of a wildcard spot.
With Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Jordy Mercer back healthy, Josh Harrison continuing to be a difference maker at the plate and arguably the Pirates MVP this season, Russell Martin having one of his best seasons in over seven years, Starling Marte starting to show signs of getting it as a hitter, batting .356/.440/.616 since the All-Star break, the Pirates could in fact end up as a team trending up over the final month of the season, despite the seven game losing streak.
A key development for the Pirates Saturday night? A breakout game from Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez who entered the game in a 5-34 slump, homered twice, going 2 for 3 with four RBIs, a walk and also stole a base, his seventh of the season.
Alvarez hit a three-run shot in the fourth inning to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead as Pittsburgh scored the final 10 runs of the game. Alvarez had his 8th multi-home run game in the past 3 seasons. All other Pirates hitters have 9 multi-home run games since the start of 2012
Based on Alvarez play this season, Saturday night still shows nothing that this is a sign of things to come but his ability to give you this type of game every once in a while is why the Pirates have to get his bat in the game a few times a week at first base.