Andrew McCutchen was hit in the back of the neck, just below the helmet, by a pitch from Mike Leake. He left the game and the team exploded for six runs in the second inning.
Cutch has been diagnosed with a bruise and day-to-day, expected to miss only a couple of games. That’s the good news. More good news is that the Pirates and Paul Maholm withstood the Reds attempted comeback.
The second inning started out well. Chris Snyder drove home his first runs with a single. Paul Maholm delivered a two out base hit to keep the inning alive and bring up McCutchen. After being hit, he was down for several minutes before being able to leave the field. Delwyn Young took his spot down at first base. Jose Tabata delivered an RBI single, keeping the bases loaded. Neil Walker popped a bases clearing double that put Pittsburgh up 6-0.
Cincy scored a run on a Chris Heisey RBI single in the fourth. Pittsburgh got it back in the fifth as Walker had an RBI knock. The Reds got two more off Maholm in the sixth as Heisey and Ramon Hernandez each collected two out RBI singles. Maholm allowed the first to runners to reach in the 7th inning and was pulled in favor of Evan Meek. Paul Janish delivered an RBI groundout but Meek got the next two hitters with no more trouble. That didn’t last long. Meek allowed a two run, two out double to Brandon Phillips in the 8th to let the Reds pull to within one run of the lead.
Joel Hanrahan allowed a lead off single in the 9th but struck out the last two hitters to end the game and get the save. Leake was charged with all seven runs (six earned) in five innings. He struck out two and gave up seven hits. Maholm was the winner. He went six plus innings and gave up nine hits and four runs. He struck out two and walked two.
Not a huge fan of hitting people intentionally, but I feel Maholm sent the right message by hitting Leake during his first plate appearance after Cutch was beaned.
Walker had three hits and knocked in four.
Tabata and Lastings Milledge each had two hits.
McCutchen getting injured. I commented at some point – I think last year after I saw him play for the first time in person in Indy before he was called up – that Cutch’s body reminded me of Rocket Ismail’s and my biggest fear was that he would be fragile. Hopefully I’m wrong. This injury certainly wouldn’t be classified as typical, nagging baseball injury.
This was Leake’s third career start against Pittsburgh and his first decision. He had previously allowed just four earned runs in 14-1/3 IP. Maholm is now 6-4 against Cincinnati and 2-0 against them in 2010.
Hanrahan last save was 5-24-09 for the Nats. He recorded three saves that month for Washington.
Walker had never driven in more than two runs in a game before. This was his fifth career game with at least three hits.
Garrett Jones has gone four games without a hit. Pedro Alvarez is in the middle of a 2-31 slump.
Meek got a hit in his first official at bat. In his only other career PA he laid down a sac bunt.
Chris Heisey has 12 RBI on the year and six of those have come against the Pirates.