It got off to a bit of a bumpy start on the flight to Kauffman Stadium when Cutch tweeted "So in Minneapolis and delayed til 11:10 central time...
ESPN had a sort of shaky presentation of McCutch. Chris Berman stuttered and blanked out at the end of Cutch's Home Run Derby intro, and the network talking heads interviewed Josh Hamilton the entire time Cutch was up during the derby (they did the same for CarGo). The TV crowd missed the tale of McCutch, the first place Buccos, his high school coach feeding him pitches... But it certainly wasn't all bad; there was big love given during other ESPN pieces for both Andrew and the club.
And btw, he hit four long balls (one went 436'), doubling the previous Pirate high held by Barry Bonds while smoking a few liners, his usual MO. So much for ruining his swing.
It sure didn't in the game. He came in after the yelling was over - with the NL's five run first, that was true of everyone who didn't start - and in the sixth lined a single to left off the White Sox' Chris Sales, a lefty, of course. He even flashed a Zoltan after the knock, though TV missed it. Sales and Cutch go way back to high school days in Lakeland, Florida, and McCutch remembers homering off him in high school. Didn't go long this time, but a guy's first All-Star hit ranks right up there. He also bounced out to third against Tampa Bay's Fernando Rodney in the ninth.
He even was gettin' down to James Brown during the pre-game promo sessions, so we guess a good time was had by all. Now back to the regular season; can he possibly improve on a .362/18/60 slash line with 58 runs and 14 stole sacks? If so, he could be contending for a Triple Crown, and those MVP chants could be forecasting the real thing.
And let's not forget Hanny. Joel made his entrance with one out and one on in the bottom of the ninth inning as Tony LaRussa tried to get everyone in the game. Hanrahan faced hometown son Billy Butler of the Royals, and provided his usual drama. He got "Country Breakfast" to fish for a slider during an eight-pitch at bat to finish a K, with a couple of wild pitches thrown in. Now Carlos Ruiz can appreciate what Hot Rod and The Fort face on an everyday basis. He did clock 98 on his heater, and though he disappointed the KC fans, he did thrill the homies from his native haunt of Des Moines, who were out in force to watch him at work.
- Two guesses as to the NL Player of the week, on top of being named the June Player of the Month - aw, you got it.
- Matt Snyder of the Eye On Baseball digs "The Unbelievable And Still Underrated Andrew McCutchen"
- The Pirates will discount tickets in each the Lower Outfield Box and Outfield Box area of PNC Park for the July 23rd 25th Cub series to $18 in honor of Cutch's 18 long flies.
- Bruce Keidan's 2010 piece on the young Cutch - "Eye On The Ball" from the Pittsburgh Quarterly. He was a special kid even in high school, and not just as an athlete.
- Andrew Logue of the Des Moines Register covers Hanny's career.