While Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers faced the minimum number of batters in their 6-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night, third baseman Pedro Alvarez did the maximum amount of damage to a Tim Hudson breaking ball during the second inning.
To say he destroyed it may not be a strong enough description. The ball actually clears the right field bleachers at PNC Park, which as you can see in the video is a pretty amazing feat. It's not something that happens very often, either, and he actually came very close to being only the second player in the stadium's 13-year history to hit one directly into the Allegheny River.
As it stands, Daryle Ward is still the only player to accomplish the impressive feat of strength all the way back on July 6, 2002 as a member of the Houston Astros. Ward's ball traveled an estimated 479 feet. It's said the shortest possible distance a home run can travel and land directly in the water is 456 feet right down the right field line. Alvarez's homer was officially listed at 448, but was closer to straight away right field.
Based on where the ball landed, Alvarez probably needed those extra 30 feet to join Ward on the exclusive list. This particular big fly was impressive enough, though, and at 26 years old there's no doubt Alvarez will have several other chances to measure it up and get his splashdown in the future.