Magical Night from Andrew McCutchen Leads Pirates to Victory

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 4-1 in their past five games

A wise man once said there is a first time for everything. This applies both to life and baseball, and it is something that fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates experienced on Tuesday night. On Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates were powered to victory by the first career grand slam of Andrew McCutchen.

With their 10-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night, the Pirates are now 72-85 on the season and they are 4-1 in their past five games. Tuesday night was the start of six games in a six day stretch for the Pirates to finish what has been a disappointing 2017 campaign.

McCutchen’s grand slam and eight RBIs on Tuesday night was a great moment for both him and the Pirates. It gave one of the all-time great Pirates yet another unforgettable PNC Park moment, and this one was a little extra special as tomorrow very well might be his final home game as a Pirate.

It did not take the Pittsburgh Pirates long to take the lead on Tuesday night.

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Starling Marte singled to start the bottom of the first inning, advanced to third on a throwing error by Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman, and then scored on a double by Andrew McCutchen. Josh Bell then doubled home McCutchen to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead after an inning of play.

The bottom of the second inning is when the magic happened for McCutchen. Walks by Max Moroff and Starling Marte, as well as an Adam Frazier double loaded the bases with two outs for number 22. Cutch then proceeded to blast his first career grand slam, making the score 6-0 Pirates.

Kevin Gausman would last just four innings for the Orioles on Tuesday night. Gausman allowed six runs on five hits, two walks, he hit a batter, and he struck out five in his four innings of work.

Jimmy Yacabonis took over on the mound for the Orioles in the bottom of the fifth inning. Three consecutive singles by McCutchen, Bell, and David Freese loaded the bases with no one out. Gregory Polanco then hit into a fielder’s choice making the score 7-0 before Elias Diaz hit into an inning ending 5-4-3 double play.

To go with McCutchen’s big night, the Pirates also got a fantastic start from Trevor Williams on Tuesday night. In six innings pitched Williams allowed just one run on a Chris Davis solo home run, three total hits, he walked one, and he struck out six. his start was an excellent way for Williams to finish what has been a great rookie season that has seen Williams firmly plant himself in the Pirate rotation for 2018.

If this start was his final one this season than it was an excellent way for Williams to finish what has been a great rookie season. As a starting pitcher this season Williams owns a sub-4 ERA and FIP in 25 starts and he has firmly planted himself in the Pirate rotation for 2018.

Yacabonis remained in the game for the Orioles in the bottom of the sixth inning. After Adam Frazier and Starling Marte hit back-to-back two out singles, Andrew McCutchen continued to add to his unforgettable night. McCutchen hit a three-run home run over the Clemente Wall to make the score 10-1 Pirates.

McCutchen’s second home run of the game, and 28th of the season, gave him a career-high eight RBIs. This made him the first Pirates’ player to have eight RBIs in a game since Jason Bay in July of 2004. After this home run, McCutchen received his second curtain call of the evening.

After McCutchen took the field for defense in the top of the seventh inning, he was removed by manager Clint Hurdle. This allowed McCutchen to receive one last big ovation from the crowd. Tip of the cap to Hurdle for this.

Steven Brault then became the new Pirate pitcher in the top of the seventh inning. Brault would pitch the final three innings for the Pirates. In three scoreless innings pitched Brault allowed two hits, he did not walk a batter, and he struck out one.

Andrew McCutchen is a magical player and his performance made Tuesday night a magical one at PNC Park. Hopefully, 2018 is McCutchen’s tenth season as a Pirate. Even if it is not, he has cemented himself as one of the best players in the franchise’s storied history.

Let’s all hope Tuesday night was not his final magical moment as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But in case it was, everyone should be grateful that it took place and that we got one last reminder at what a great player Andrew McCutchen is.

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The Bucs and O’s will play the second and final game of their abbreviated series on Wednesday night in what will be the Pirates’ final home game of 2017. Chad Kuhl will start for the Pirates while the Orioles will send Gabriel Ynoa to the mound for just his seventh career start. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05.