Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Mlb-astros-pirates

If there’s one thing we’ve learned this year about Pedro Alvarez, it’s that he doesn’t just have one good game. He’s been a very streaky player, and in most cases when he has a big game, it is usually the start of a nice hot streak.

We saw this in mid-April. Alvarez snapped out of a 1-for-24 start to the season by going 1-for-3 with a homer on April 18th. From then until May 4th, he hit for a .367 average and a 1.224 OPS in 49 at-bats, with six homers.

Alvarez had a few good games after that, but didn’t see another streak until June 16th. After seeing his average drop to .189 and his OPS drop to .627, the third baseman went 2-for-4 with two homers. It was the start of a hot streak that lasted over a month, seeing Alvarez hit for a .308 average with a 1.115 OPS in 104 at-bats, along with 13 homers.

He started to cool again in late July, and carried that cold streak in to August. In the first 15 games in August, Alvarez hit for a .200/.289/.200 line in 40 at-bats. Then on August 16th he went 3-for-4 with a double and a homer. That started a streak where he hit for a .342 average and a 1.058 OPS in 38 at-bats, heading in to tonight’s big game.

Those hot streaks can be defined through the benefit of hindsight, and we can’t exactly use that to suggest Alvarez will continue hitting this way. Or, for that matter, we can’t say how long he will hit this way if he does.

What we can say is that if there’s ever a time the Pirates needed a hot streak from Alvarez, it’s now. The win over St. Louis tonight moved the Pirates to two games back in the Wild Card race. A win tomorrow puts them one game back, and still very much in the race. From there, the Pirates have an advantage over St. Louis. They only play one winning team between now and September 28th, and that’s a three game series in Cincinnati. They play the Cubs and Astros a combined total of 13 times, the Brewers six times, and the Mets four times in that stretch. The Cardinals have games against losing teams, but not as many (18 vs 23 for the Pirates).

Even with 23 games against teams with losing records, wins won’t be guaranteed. We saw that this month. But it will be much easier to get those wins if Alvarez is hitting like he was from mid-June to mid-July. He’s the type of guy who can change the game with one swing, either giving the Pirates a big lead, or bringing them back in to a game. Andrew McCutchen is the MVP of the team, but when Alvarez is swinging the bat well he might very well be the better option, especially if the team needs a homer.

Perhaps tonight (and the performance over the last week) is the start of another Pedro Alvarez hot streak. It would be a great time for that to happen, since the team needs his bat more than ever with some of their other top players slumping lately.

Links and Notes

**The Pirates beat the Cardinals 9-0.

**Pirates Notebook: Alvarez Locked in at the Plate; McDonald Needs to Seek Greatness.

**Pittsburgh Pirates September Callups Preview.

**Prospect Watch: Six Shutout Innings for Irwin; Howard Has a Birthday Blast.

**Herrera Puts GCL Pirates One Game Away From Championship.

**DSL Pirates1 Advance to Second Round of DSL Playoffs.

**Irwin Pitches Six Scoreless Innings As Indians Shut Out Toledo.

**Pirates Recall Chase d’Arnaud.

**Minor League Schedule: 8/29/12.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dustin Pedroia on confidence after grand slam: 'Just watch'

Jon Jones thinks he can beat Cain Velasquez

Larry Bird jokes about pose of Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Barry Switzer urged Cowboys to draft Murray with great quote

SF Giants file brief in support of gay marriage to Supreme Court

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Report: Darrelle Revis' decision to come down to Patriots, Jets

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

WATCH: Duncan Keith makes young girl's dream come true

Top 10 storylines to watch in spring practice

Analyzing the top-five free agent quarterbacks

Five NBA players set to make biggest impact down the stretch

Five areas the Eagles must address this offseason

WATCH: Craig Sager emotional in warm welcome back to TNT

Likeliest landing spots for Ndamukong Suh

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Dodgers will have a tough time dumping Andre Ethier

MLB 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Analyzing the top-five free agent QBs

NBA players set to make biggest impact

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

AP will have 'robots' writing game stories

Manning officially returning to Broncos

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.