Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates Pull off Back-to-Back-to-Back HRs Started by Inside-the-Park Homer

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 13:  Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates rounds third base to score an inside-the-park home run in the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs during the game on September 13, 2013 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Ely SussmanCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2013

We can add back-to-back-to-back home runs to the list of amazing things that the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates have accomplished.

With the Bucs trailing the Chicago Cubs, 3-0, on Friday night in the bottom of the fourth inning, Pedro Alvarez got the party started with an inside-the-park homer. Russell Martin followed with a solo blast of his own, and Garrett Jones tied the game with this round-tripper to center field.

Here's El Toro running like you've never seen him before:

Just how unique is it for Pittsburgh fans to witness three straight homers from their team? Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette addresses that query:

Last time the Pirates hit back to back to back homers at home in Pittsburgh? July 6, 1955 against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

— Jenn Menendez (@JennMenendez) September 14, 2013

That's the same year Scrabble was invented, and Disneyland opened to the public.

The Elias Sports Bureau adds that the Pirates are only the third team in the past 50 years to hit three straight long balls when one of them was of the inside-the-park variety.

Alvarez was already leading the National League with 32 home runs this season. He even participated on the NL's Home Run Derby team this past July, so the fact that he had to rely on his legs to add to his power-hitting totals is certainly ironic.

As someone with only three career stolen bases and ordinary ratings in most advanced baserunning stats, the 26-year-old was an odd candidate to execute an inside-the-parker.

Twitter agrees:

Pedro Alvarez with an inside the park homer! @cantpredictball

— Tim Williams (@timwilliamsP2) September 14, 2013

World is ending. Pedro Alvarez inside the park HR.

— dragosgm (@smlennon) September 14, 2013

Wait, Pedro Alvarez, the clean up hitter, hit an inside the park home run? I think I can hear the twilight zone music.

— Fordy (@Short_Duration) September 14, 2013

Martin's round-tripper was also somewhat of a shocker, but for entirely different reasons.

The veteran catcher batted an anemic .115/.223/.115 with seven strikeouts through his first eight games of September. Starting for the fifth straight day wasn't going to help him break out of that funk. Moreover, he had been just 3-for-15 with zero extra-base hits in his career against the opposing pitcher, Jake Arrieta.

Not only did Martin beat the odds—he pimped the home run a bit by skipping down the first-base line. At least he didn't partake in Jose Fernandez-like antics.

Compared to the aforementioned pair, Jones was under much more pressure to produce when he stepped to the plate. The 32-year-old was trying to emerge from his own mini-slump and prove that he still deserved semi-regular playing time on a roster that's becoming increasingly crowded with first basemen and outfielders.

Reaching the seats beyond the deepest part of PNC Park was an effortless task for G.I. Jones. On two previous occasions, he has deposited baseballs into major bodies of water (the Allegheny River and McCovey Cove).

We explained earlier this week that the Pirates have a relatively weak remaining schedule compared to MLB's other playoff contenders. Looks like they're already taking advantage of it.

 

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