In the midst of what will likely be a 19th straight losing season, the Pirates had to do something to keep all 25 of their fans entertained. Enter Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez, the #2 overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft is the Buccos' most highly touted prospect, earned his first MLB start on Wednesday in a home game against the White Sox. The Alvarez era started slowly - 0 for 2 with a strikeout, walk, and a run scored, but it's clear that the Pirates will be banking on the young New Yorker to be the cornerstone of their two-decade long rebuilding effort.
Of course, instead of making the six mile trip to see Pedro play AAA ball in downtown Indianapolis, I've instead decided to wait it out for the six-hour drive to Pittsburgh to watch "The Bull" rake in the major leagues. PNC Park has been home to the majority of the baseball games I've seen in my lifetime, thanks to an abundantly cheap supply of tickets and an infinite supply of boredom during summer months in the Steel City sandwiched between classwork and internships. As a result, I'll be there Saturday night, sneaking into the good seats to see Pedro Alvarez take on the position made famous in Pittsburgh by such luminaries as Jose Bautista, Freddy Sanchez, Ty Wigginton, Aramis Ramirez, Ed Sprague, Joe Randa, and Charlie Hayes.
The Buccos are currently on an 11 game skid and in need of some serious help, necessitating the call-ups of Alvarez and other prospects like Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln. They'll be facing the 25-40 Cleveland Indians, a team whose expectations for crappiness inspired a series of films - something that the Pirates can only dream of. However, as a bonus incentive of watching these two teams battle for the 26th spot in the big leagues, PNC Park has been gracious enough to offer free ceramic beer steins to all ticket holders. Follow along with me as we'll track Pedro's quest for his first major league hit, and, god-willing, we'll also answer the question of whether he's tolerant enough to sign a visibly intoxicated grown man's D.J. Moore jersey after the game. We'll have updates here at AoG after the game, and via twitter during.