No one can deny that this season has been something special for the Pittsburgh Pirates. To finally achieve a winning record and be competing for a playoff spot is something that many Pirates fans had forgotten what it was like. It has created an excitement in the Steel City that is palpable.
This is certainly evident on this Pedro Alvarez inside-the-park homerun. Just look at the crowd going crazy.
The Chicago Cubs had jumped out to a 3 run lead before Alvarez came up for his second at-bat of the game in the fourth inning. When Alvarez made contact it looked as if he might be able to just jog around the bases the easy way, but the ball missed clearing the fence by inches. No matter, Alvarez was hustling from the get-go and had made it to second base by the time the ball deflected off of the outfielder.
The point that jumped out to me was Alvarez’s hustle. Many major leaguers today would have started into an admiring home run trot after contact and would have had to turn on the after-burners just to make it into second with a double. I may sound like a curmudgeonly old man, but I appreciate true hustle when I see it in the game today. If you were wondering how his team responded to his hustle realize that the next two batters both hit homeruns (of the over the fence variety) after him. It looks like his hustle fired the team up as well.
You can hear in the video that this homerun was Alvarez’s league leading 33rd of the year, but certainly the one that he has spent the most amount of energy on. That type of passion is exactly what the Pirates need if they are going to make any noise in the postseason.