Pittsburgh Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen was an offensive force last night against the Florida Marlins. McCutchen hit a bomb to leadoff the seventh inning (we expect the homerun trot to be a new record, breaking Cutch’s former under 18 second trot.) The ball was hit to the deepest part of PNC Park, but that has nothing to do with our list. What caught our eye was McCutchen in the sixth inning with the Pirates clinging to a 2-1 lead.
The first was McCutchen’s lead off single in the sixth inning. He crushed that Chris Volstad pitch.
The second was the outstanding lead and break he was able to get on the Marlins huge right hander Volstad.
The third was when McCutchen stole second base. We trust his running continues. Why it took so long for him to start stealing bases again is a mystery. Yes, he struggled at the plate and some would say he can’t steal first, but McCutchen looked like he wasn’t interested in stealing during the past month of the season.
The fourth spark that McCutchen provided was when he was leading off second base. His antics had a great deal to do with the crucial walk issued to Jose Tabata. Cutch was dancing, moving his body as if he had a nervous twitch and making excellent head fakes as he feigned getting a jump to steal thrid. Volstad was visibly annoyed.
We were thrilled to see the agressiveness.
The fifth was what we call the McCutchen Effect. With Cutch on second and Tabata on first, Volstad didn’t know where to look first. The Pirates solid hitting Neil Walker was squared around for a sacrifice bunt.
Volstad beaned him.
Volstad was gone.
The Pirates had the bases loaded. Nobody was out. The rally to set the Pirates victory at the final score of 7-1 was ready to roll.
Andrew McCutchen stood smiling on third base.