The Pirates had home field advantage tonight, and it might have led to the un-raveling of Johnny Cueto. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Last weekend the Pittsburgh Pirates swept the Cincinnati Reds. They only needed two wins for home field advantage in the Wild Card game. At the time that sounded good, mostly due to how well Francisco Liriano pitches at home. What was underplayed was the impact of the home crowd. In the second inning, the fans at PNC Park showed the advantage that home field can have.
Marlon Byrd led off the inning with a home run off Johnny Cueto. That put the Pirates up 1-0. Two batters later, Russell Martin came to the plate. The fans were loud from the start of the game, but suddenly a booming "CUE-TO" chant started. And immediately Cueto dropped the ball.
That's not a metaphor. Standing on the mound, Cueto actually dropped the ball out of his glove. It rolled down the mound. With PNC Park trolling him by chanting his name, Cueto had to step off the rubber, wa...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.