Pirates' McCutchen hurts wrist in victory over Cardinals
By Rob Biertempfel
Published: Saturday, June 30, 2012, 4:58 p.m.
ST. LOUIS — Andrew McCutchen patrols center field with a linebacker's mentality. Sometimes, he'd be better off wearing shoulder pads.
In the Pirates' 7-3 victory Saturday over the St. Louis Cardinals, McCutchen crashed into the outfield wall chasing a fly ball and later sprained his left wrist as he made a diving catch.
McCutchen left the game after the top of the seventh inning with the Pirates holding a 6-2 lead. X-rays showed no breaks, and McCutchen is listed as day-to-day.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said McCutchen likely will not be in the lineup Sunday for the series finale. After the game, McCutchen indicated he might appeal that decision.
“We'll see how I feel (Sunday),” McCutchen said. “I don't get days off unless I'm hurt. I'm not trying to get a day off. I'll get days off in the offseason.”
In July 2010, McCutchen missed six games after spraining his shoulder while making a similar diving catch. That injury did not force him to change his all-out approach.
“I know my limitations,” McCutchen said. “I dive for balls I know I can get. Sometimes, you get injured. It's part of the game. I just go out and play hard.”
Hurdle is used to seeing McCutchen hurl his body around the field, trying to make big plays.
“My heart doesn't go in my throat anymore,” Hurdle said. “I've seen it all happen. I just wait until they get up or they don't get up, then go accordingly. I want him to play the game (hard), and that's what he does.”
The Pirates surged to seven games over .500 and won 17 games in a month for the first time since August 2007. Sunday, they will have a chance to pull off their first three-game sweep in St. Louis since May 27-29, 1991.
The Pirates took a 4-0 lead in the first inning when Pedro Alvarez hit a grand slam off right-hander Lance Lynn (10-4). Alvarez took a borderline pitch to work a full count, then drove a fastball 432 feet into the right field bleachers.
“I treated it like any other at-bat,” Alvarez said. “If I walk, that's an RBI. If I get a hit, even better.”
Alvarez's second career grand slam was the Pirates' 39th homer this month, tying the franchise record for June. The Pirates have homered in eight straight games, their longest streak since June 10-19, 2008.
Tony Cruz began the bottom of the third with a double off the center-field wall. McCutchen slammed into the padding as he tried to make the catch but was not injured on the play.
“It would've been a sick catch,” McCutchen said.
The Cardinals scored two runs in the inning, which ended with McCutchen doing a high-speed belly flop to snag Carlos Beltran's sinking liner in shallow center. McCutchen stayed on the ground for a few moments after the play, then had his left wrist examined in clubhouse while the Pirates batted in the fourth.
“An awesome catch,” said Jeff Karstens (1-2), who worked seven innings for the win. “But then, I thought he might be hurt, and I was wishing he hadn't tried to catch it. McCutchen is our best player. We can't afford to lose him.”
McCutchen stayed in the game but was in obvious discomfort. While batting in the fifth, he threw down his bat and briefly stepped out of the batter's box after taking an awkward swing.
“I tried to hold up, and it tightened up,” said McCutchen, who took himself out of the game after flying out in the seventh.
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7811.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Film about former Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis in prestigious festival
- Pirates get pitcher, outfielder in trade; Jones walks plank
- Pirates notebook: McKenry healing, awaits arbitration fate
- Bucs acquire catcher and designate McKenry for assignment
- Pirates make offers to 7 players at arbitration deadline