Pittsburgh Pirates superstar Andrew McCutchen finally got his stars.
He played well with them on his jersey in front of 31,000+ at PNC Park having a celebration for his well deserved selection to the All-Star Game. He did it with a bang. McCutchen is now batting .291 with 14 home runs after blasting a three-run bomb off Cubs starter Ramon Ortiz.
Ortiz was the pitcher who plunked Cutch last season and the Bucs got their satisfaction by ripping seven hits and building a 4-0 cushion after just three innings. McCutchen had the key blast, but we enjoyed Paul Maholm’s work in the batter’s box just as much as he battled for a leadoff walk.
Maholm was nasty. He pounded the ball inside and didn’t seem concerned when he beaned two Cubs batters as he had a season-high eight strikeouts. His approach and command have never been in question, but his willingness to pitch inside has made a difference for the always dependable left hander this season. It’s been fun to watch.
The Pirates defense turned double play after double play behind Maholm who upped his record to 6-9 by allowing just one run on four hits.