Found September 05, 2012 on Pirates Prospects:

Since Brock Holt joined the big league club, the infielder has created a spark at the top of the lineup. Holt picked up two hits in his first big league start, and came back even better on Wednesday at PNC Park. With Holt being able to get on base, it put more pressure on the Houston Astros’ starter Jordan Lyles as Andrew McCutchen put together a big night as well.

“They showed up big time for us,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “You get 10 hits on the night and you have two players with eight of them. You don’t see that very often. Stayed on balls, pushed the ball around different parts of the field on different pitches. Very impressive…With Andrew, the ability drive in runs in three straight at-bats also, it helped us get some separation early.”

The Pirates entered game action with a four game losing streak and having won just three of their last 13 games, but the two players together were able to help snap the skid with impressive nights.

“The guy’s good,” McCutchen said of his teammate. “He’s a scrappy little player. He’s going to put the ball in play a lot and create a lot of havoc. And he did a real good job of that tonight getting on base and being able to score some runs.”

Holt, who hit leadoff and played second, picked up four straight hits, which included his first Major League double, while scoring two runs. It marked just the rookie’s third start with Pittsburgh. McCutchen picked up four hits of his own and the All-Star center fielder continues to get back on track from the month of August, where he hit just .252.

“It was a lot of fun out there,” Holt said. “I just tried to go out there and keep doing what I’ve been doing in Double-A and in Triple-A. I came out tonight and tried to stay with the same approach and it worked out tonight.”

“It definitely feels good to go out and produce and play a good game,” McCutchen said. “Just a work in progress. It’s just all about getting that feeling back. It felt pretty good tonight…Not trying to do too much. Just trying to stay within myself. Just let it get deep and put a good swing on the ball.”

The duo was able to work together in their first three at-bats. With Holt getting on base ahead of him, McCutchen was able to drive in an RBI in each of his first three at-bats. It wasn’t until after the Astros’ called upon their bullpen, that the two players did not piggy back each other in an inning. Holt notched his fourth hit in the sixth, while McCutchen came through in the seventh. Holt had a chance to go 5-for-5 on the day, but flew out to center field in the eighth frame.

“What I like is yesterday was yesterday,” Hurdle said. “Yesterday got a taste of something different and then bounced back today and just shot the ball all over the park. He’s not just a pinger. He’s not going to flip it into left field…He’s been a confident hitter for years and the one thing you encourage them as they come up, it’s very simple, you spell it out for them but it’s hard to do, fear nothing and respect everything. That’s kind of the way he’s going out there and playing.”

“It was a big night,” Holt said. “I was able to go out there and get on base. That doesn’t matter if the guys behind you don’t drive you in. McCutchen had a great game as well.”

 

Rodriguez Strings Together Scoreless Streak

Wandy Rodriguez entered game action having posting just a 1.84 ERA over his last three appearances. When Rodriguez first was traded to Pittsburgh from Houston, the left-hander admitted that he put too much pressure on himself. The result was 15 earned runs over his first four starts. But since pitching in relief in St. Louis and finding more comfort with the team, Rodriguez has put together a scoreless streak.

Rodriguez shutout the Cardinals his last trip to the mound, holding their club to just three hits over six scoreless. But the lefty veteran was even better on Tuesday.

The Astros scattered just four hits over seven shutout frames against Rodriguez, to allow the lefty to toss back-to-back shutouts and extend his streak to 13 frames. Rodriguez admitted after the game that pitching against his former club was special, having spent his professional career with Houston.

“Very effective fastball-changeup use,” Hurdle said. “Mixed in the breaking ball, dropped down to left-handers a couple different occasions to give them a different look. After the first inning, very rhythmic, very in tempo, very in sync, very good outing again. He continues to piggy back [St. Louis].”

Rodriguez retired 15 of his final 16 batters, which included nine straight to end his outing. He also tied his season-high with seven whiffs tonight. The last time the lefty struck out seven this season came on May 13 against the Pirates when he was with the Astros.

“My changeup was pretty good tonight,” Rodriguez said. “I used it a lot. Every hitter I tried to work ahead in the count and later use whatever I want, fastball in, my breaking ball…I feel very comfortable here.”

 

Alvarez Named National League Player of the Week

Third baseman Pedro Alvarez was named National League player of the week after putting together a .458 average and belting four home runs. Alvarez led the NL with a 1.042 slugging percentage while placing third in hits (11), fifth in OBP (.500) and tied for sixth with eight RBI.

“It’s never not good when one of your players wins player of the week,” Hurdle said. “And let’s revisit some of the conversations that we had about Pedro earlier this year. He’s taken us a whole lot of different places. And to his credit, he stayed after it, has been resilient, and persevered and continues to work hard. Good for him. I’m happy for him. Proud of him.”

Alvarez has put together some streaky runs this season, but the current one that Alvarez is in couldn’t come at a better time. When Alvarez is locked in, the ball jumps of his bat. The third baseman has struggled with consistency, but Hurdle believes that with more experience, he will be able to do just that.

“You want to believe in things, trust things,” Hurdle said. “Yes, I do think he’s on to some really good things. Time will tell…Experience can be a wonderful teacher. Just more games, more different circumstances…Once we get through the trust, we’ve all got a chance to be better.”


THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

First Pitch: Can Brock Holt Play Shortstop?

The most popular question I saw on Twitter tonight was “How many different movie titles, song titles, or Arrested Development references can we make using Brock Holt’s name?” The second most popular question was “Can Brock Holt play shortstop?” Brock Holt(!) is off to a great start to his pro career, hitting for a .462/.500/.538 line in 14 plate appearances after tonight’s...

Holt’s Whirlwind Season Gives Him Opportunity to Finish in the Bigs

Brock Holt stands at just 5′ 10″ and 170 pounds, but don’t let his size fool you of the drive that he has. “Isn’t that the beauty of this sport?,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “That he’s overachieving, but maybe he’s not because everybody else’s expectations of what’s successful should be, or what a successful second baseman should look like? I just love the fact...

Pirates Infielder Brock Holt's Jersey Number Sewn Onto Wrong Side of Uniform (Photo)

Pirates infielder Brock Holt hasn't been in the major leagues for very long, but he's been around long enough to dirty up a jersey or two. Apparently, he's used up his quota of the good ones. Holt took the field on Monday afternoon for the Pirates sporting his usual No. 2 jersey -- with one problem. Holt's number was sewn onto the wrong side of his jersey front, meaning...

Pirates rookie Brock Holt’s number on wrong side of jersey (Picture)

Brock Holt was playing in just his third major league game on Monday when he got the rookie treatment … from the clubhouse equipment manager. The rookie second baseman’s number was placed on the wrong side of the front of his jersey. The stats for the former Rice product through three games: two hits, one walk, one RBI, and one jersey fail. We’ve seen players with misspelled...

Flash in the pan or something more - Brock Holt

Just a disclaimer before I start this post. I'm working on kind of switching up the way I do things here on the blog. Before, a large majority of my posts were dedicated to game recaps and the like. I'm attempting to get away from that. I may still do it occasionally but only when I have writer's block. The big reason I did that for so long is in hopes...

What do the Pirates have in Brock Holt?

With his four hits last night, Brock Holt quickly ascended to the top of every single Pirate fan's "Please tell me this guy can be better than Clint Barmes when Neil Walker comes back" list. Because of the Pirates' utter lack of shortstop depth in the minors before Alen Hanson's emergence this year (and maybe again after Hanson makes what seems like an inevitable...

Why McCutchen should be the National League MVP

Getting Andrew McCutchen to talk about his chances of winning the National League Most Valuable Player award is no better than getting him to comment on the possibility of winning the NL batting title. The Pirates center fielder is not going to go there. "None of that really has any impact on me because we're trying to get to the playoffs," McCutchen said, mindful...

That’s more like it

It was a soggy, quiet night at PNC Park thanks to a rain delay and a terrible crowd of less than 13,000, but there was nothing depressing about the Pirates’ performance as they snapped their losing streak with a solid 6-2 victory against the awful Astros. The stars of the game were Wandy Rodriguez, Andrew McCutchen, and Brock Holt. Nobody else really did much of anything, but...

Wandy Rodriguez Dominates in 6-2 Victory over Astros

Final: Pirates 6, Astros 2 WP: Wandy Rodriguez (10-13, 3.71 ERA) LP: Jordan Lyles (3-11, 5.55 ERA) Wandy Rodriguez cruised through seven scoreless innings against his former team and the Pirates got big time production from Brock Holt and Andrew McCutchen to end their four game skid. Rodriguez struck out seven while walking just one. That’s back to back shut out performances by...

Pirates 6, Astros 2

Andrew McCutchen had his major league-leading sixth four-hit game of the season and drove in three runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Houston Astros 6-2 on Tuesday night. Brock Holt added four hits in just his third major league start and Wandy Rodriguez (10-13) scattered four hits over seven shutout innings against his former team to help Pittsburgh snap a four-game losing...

Simplicity Has Been Key for Garrett Jones This Season

Photo by Mark Olson All eyes have been on Andrew McCutchen’s MVP season this year with Pittsburgh. And he’s worthy of it. The center fielder has put up impressive numbers this season, but because of all the attention on McCutchen, perhaps another Pirates player that’s been having a career season has been overlooked. Garrett Jones has put together a solid season so far with...

Wandy tosses gem, Pirates beat Astros

Wandy Rodriguez has now pitched 13 consecutive scoreless innings over his past 2 starts.  The top of the lineup came alive tonight, Andrew McCutchen is returning to form, Brock Holt is making his mark, and the Pirates beat the Astros, 6-2. Wandy gave up a hit and a walk in the 1st inning, but he [...]

Lyles, Astros routed by Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Andrew McCutchen had his major league-leading sixth four-hit game of the season and drove in three runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Houston Astros 6-2 on Tuesday night. Brock Holt added four hits in just his third major league start and Wandy Rodriguez (10-13) scattered four hits over seven shutout innings against his former team to help Pittsburgh...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.