Aug 3, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) looks on against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates Andrew McCutchen Exits With Left Rib Discomfort

Aug 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) reacts after getting hit with a pitch in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) reacts after getting hit with a pitch in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew McCutchen was removed from the game against the St. Louis Cardinals tonight.  The Pirates reigning NL MVP, McCutchen grimaced after popping out to right field in the first inning.   And then a great catch up against the PNC Park center field wall in the third inning made Cutch bend over for an extended period of time after snatching the ball out of the sky.   MLB Gameday

The Pirates pulled Cutch in the sixth and released a statement that said McCutchen had left rib discomfort and would be evaluated.   After the game, Cutch said he would be in the lineup today.

The Pirates superstar has gone seven for 25 which is a .280 batting average since returning from a rib fracture.  McCutchen returned from the disabled list on August 19 and many thought his power would be lacking after such a remarkably quick return to game action.  The power has gone nowhere—as three home runs have brought his season total to 20 bombs.

He ranks second in the National League in OBP at .406 is second in slugging at .542 and was third in hitting at .309 coming into the game.  The impressive numbers for Cutch is that he is hitting .331 with runners on base, but saves his best for the bright lights.  The Bucs CF has a league leading .342 average in night games.

Obviously the Pirates can ill afford a setback to their star.  The Bucs offense maintained run production in August while McCutchen was out, but the dynamic force McCutchen brings to the offense is unmatched.  The departure of Cutch would be especially telling with the lack of solid consistent starting pitching.

 

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