Tag: Andrew McCutchen

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen hits a solo-home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Dan Haren during the third inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Andrew McCutchen is battling some Achilles tightness


This probably isn’t what Pirates fans want to hear with a big weekend series against the first-place Cardinals coming up, but Andrew McCutchen is out of tonight’s lineup with what he describes as a “tight Achilles.”

McCutchen dealt with a left knee injury earlier this year, but he made sure to point out that it isn’t an issue right now. According to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the All-Star center fielder said that he’s just “been a little sore” and “hobbling around a little bit.” Barring something unexpected, it sounds like he will play in the series opener in St. Louis:

McCutchen was just named the National League Player of the Month after hitting .348 with a 1.079 OPS in August. The 28-year-old is batting .303/.404/.517 with 20 home runs, 85 RBI, and seven steals over 128 games on the year.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Justin Verlander

Tigers 5, Angels 0: How Justin Got His Groove Back. Verlander, that is, who took a no-hitter into the ninth inning and ended up with a complete game, one-hit shutout. Back when I profiled Verlander here at HBT he was struggling mightily. In his last four starts he has given up one earned run in 29 innings. In six of his last seven starts he has given up either zero or one earned run. It’s too late to save the Tigers’ season, but there is no real path back to respectability and competitiveness for the Tigers without Justin Verlander pitching like an ace. To see him doing it once again has got to be encouraging.

Astros 6, Yankees 2: Two homers for Gattis as the Astros take the series. They now have one more win than they had all of last year. And, indeed, more wins with a month and change to play in 2015 than they had in any season dating back to 2010.

Mariners 8, Athletics 2: Felix Hernandez has had a pretty miserable August but he won his 15th here after allowing two runs in eight innings. Then again, he always seems to dominate the A’s. Nelson Cruz drove in three. He leads the league in homers is 39 and is only a few points behind Jason Kipnis for the batting title. The RBI title is probably a stretch for him — he can blame teammates for not being on base too much for that — but it’ll be hilarious if he wins 2/3 of the Triple Crown and finishes, like, fifth or sixth in the MVP voting.

Padres 6, Nationals 5: Justin Upton homered twice. He’s on pace for a 28 homer, 90 RBI season with a less-than-amazing average and a lowish OBP for a guy who is the biggest threat in lineup. In other words: the Platonic ideal of a Justin Upton season. The Nats are now 6.5 back of the Mets. It’s getting late boys.

Mets 9, Phillies 4: Seven scoreless innings from Bartolo Colon and a nice night from Michael Cuddyer, including a moon shot homer. The Mets have won eight straight over the Phillies, 11 of their last 12 against them this year and 23 of 28 against them over the past couple of seasons. Time to change the Wikipedia page from “Owner: Phillies limited partnership (John S. Middleton, Jim & Pete Buck,David Montgomery, Pat Gillick)” to “New York Mets.”

Indians 6, Brewers 2: Just glancing at “Indians Brewers” I got a shot of nostalgia for the old American League East. Oh well. Jason Kipnis homered and drove in three. Toby Harrah, Andre Thornton, Ben Oglivie and Don Money were unavailable for comment.

Rockies 6, Braves 3: Braves: you are only four games ahead of the Phillies, who are dead last in Major League Baseball. I would never advocate tanking for a draft pick, but I’m not gonna advocate NOT tanking for a draft pick either. Now, I’m gonna leave these suggested lineups and strategies on the table. Then I’m gonna leave the room. Whatever you do with them is your business and I don’t even want to know. Just know that they’re there and that whatever it is you decide to do, I will still love and respect you. Godspeed.

Dodgers 7, Reds 4: Scott Van Slyke, A.J. Ellis and Yasiel Puig homered during a five-run fourth inning and the Dodgers’ bullpen slipped out of jams. From the game story:

Even though the Dodgers’ bullpen went into the game with the 13th-worst combined ERA in the National League, manager Don Mattingly doesn’t think it’s that bad.

“Things are never as bad as they seem or as good as they seem,” Mattingly said.

That’s pretty zen for a guy from Indiana.

Pirates 7, Marlins 2: Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in four. In April he hit .194 and his OPS was .636. OPS by month since then: .985, .933, .914, 1.088. Bryce Harper has had the better overall year and he has the age advantage, but at the moment McCutchen is the best all-around player in the National League and it ain’t even close, regardless of what he did in April.

Twins 5, Rays 3: Two homers for Eduardo Escobar as the Twins win again. If the season ended today they’d be the second wild card team, which is pretty wild. So much of this is attributable to young guys coming up and playing great right out of the gate, but you have to figure Paul Molitor wins Manager of the Year, right?

Blue Jays 12, Rangers 4: Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam. He has a 21-game hitting streak now. David Price allowed two runs over six innings for his 13th win. Price is 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA with a 41/7 K/BB ratio in 36 and a third innings since being traded to Toronto.

Red Sox 3, White Sox 0: Sox win. Rick Porcello returned and tossed seven shutout innings, outdueling Chris Sale. You’ve got serious problems to begin with if you bet on baseball, but if you did bet on baseball last night I imagine taking the White Sox over Boston given that matchup looked pretty enticing. Thoughts, prayers to my degenerate gambler friends.

Orioles 8, Royals 5: Wow, the Orioles scored some runs. I had forgotten they could do that. After scoring 15 runs in their past six games, all losses, they broke out big here with two-run homers from Chris Davis, Manny Machado, and Jonathan Schoop. Schoop’s may still be flying. It was beeping like Sputnik and entered orbit just slightly lower.

Cardinals 3, Diamondbacks 1: John Lackey allowed a run on seven hits and struck out four. His defense turned three double plays behind him, continuing what they did against Arizona on Tuesday night.

Giants 4, Cubs 2: Jake Peavy and the Giants end the Cubs’ six-game winning streak. Nori Aoki hit a homer as the Giants arrest a slide and win for the second time in seven games. The Dodgers can be had. The Giants have blown their chances to get ’em so far. But they could do it.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 10.09.10 PM

Blue Jays 12, Angels 5: The Angels are skidding out of it, losing four in a row and falling into third place behind the Rangers. Here the Jays do what the Jays do best: bash the hell out of the opposition. They even spotted the Angels a four-run lead after an inning. I guess you need a handicap sometimes. Edwin Encarnacion went 4-for-4 with a homer and four RBI and the Blue Jays are now back in first place in the AL East. The Jays scored 36 runs in the three-game series.

Indians 4, Yankees 3: Francisco Lindor had three hits including the go-ahead homer in the eighth off of Dellin Betances of all people. He homered and had three hits on Saturday too. Bad news for the Yankees, apart from the fact that they lost this game, was that CC Sabathia was forced to exit in the third inning with right knee pain. That’s the knee he had surgery on last year, ending his 2014 season. He’s going to have an MRI, but he’s almost certain to hit the disabled list. That’ll leave the Yankees with a rotation of Tanaka, Eovaldi, Nova, Severino and Pineda. Which, um, not to be rude or anything, consists of five starters, all of whom have been better than Sabathia this year. Though the big man has had a couple of decent starts this year, maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Or, at the very least, a sink-or-swim moment for the Bombers’ rotation.

Rangers 4, Tigers 2: The Rangers take three of four from a Tigers team which, for half a second, thought it might be righting the ship. Nah. Cole Hamels allowed two runs on eight hits over six innings and Mike Napoli and Chris Gimenez homered. Funny sequence here as Adrian Beltre got ejected for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. Except Beltre claimed it wasn’t him barking, it was Prince Fielder. Who, quite conveniently, had the day off yesterday. Even Fielder, quite conveniently, claimed it was him barking. Beltre:

“My teammate over there (Fielder) was the one who said something — he even said, ‘It was me, 84,’ but I guess I was the ugly one and got thrown out,” Beltre said. “I don’t know if he confused 84 with 29, we’re always wrong, the players. Umpires are always right.”

Then manager Jeff Banister was ejected for arguing and for not sending Beltre out of the dugout following his ejection. All kinds of lulz here, made all the funnier when you’re winning the game.

Diamondbacks 4, Reds 0: The Reds get swept, losing their ninth straight game. Chase Anderson threw shutout ball into the seventh inning. Not bad for a guy who was optioned to the minors on Tuesday and only was in this one because Jeremy Hellickson got hurt. But then again, it may be harder to face a Triple-A team than the Reds right now. At least the Triple-A team hasn’t given up.

Phillies 2, Marlins 0: Trading away all the guys who made the Phillies great for a few years has really sucked, but Phillies fans have to be at least somewhat optimistic about the future when they see stuff like Aaron Nola pitch eight dominant innings. Three hits, no runs and only one opposing runner advancing beyond first base. That’s the thing about a last place year: there’s always something to latch on to. Something that let’s you say “you know, it’s gonna be better.” And even if it doesn’t get better for a while, I think some of the purest joy of being a major league baseball fan is seeing some young kid come up and figure it out in the bigs. Some days he’s lost, some days he’s not, but when he puts a nice outing together like this, you don’t think about the losses. You don’t think about contracts and possible trades. You just think “look at this kid!” There’s always another kid to give you hope like that.

Twins 4, Orioles 3: Manny Machado was a shortstop prospect, but found his home at third base thanks to a combination of injuries and J.J. Hardy being too good to move off the position. Yesterday, after some substitutions, he played short for the first time in the bigs, taking the position in the twelfth inning and it cost Baltimore when he misplayed an Eduardo Escobar grounder, allowing Escobar to reach second base. Then Jimmy Paredes, playing Machado’s usual position at third base, made an error which allowed the go-ahead and eventual winning run to score. Hardy is hitting the DL now thanks to a groin injury. Miss U already, J.J. The Twins sweep the O’s in the four-game series.

Royals 8, Red Sox 6: The Royals mounted a four-run rally when they were down two in the ninth to win 8-6. Could’ve been more but leadoff hitter Omar Infante was thrown out at home trying to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park homer. Junichi Tazawa probably think he dodged a bullet with that, but three of the next four batters singled and then Eric Hosmer knocked in two of them in with yet another single. Following a walk, Mike Moustakas doubled in two more. Moustakas had four RBI on the day with an earlier RBI double and a homer as well.

Nationals 9, Brewers 5: On Friday Yunel Escobar collided with a fan while tracking down a foul ball and hurt his neck. That caused him to be out of this game, allowing Danny Espinosa to hit a three-run, go-ahead double in the third inning. Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos homered. The Nats are still five games back, though, because the Mets . . .

Mets 5, Rockies 1: . . . won their third in a row, sweeping the Rockies. Logan Verrett, making a spot start for Matt Harvey, looked a lot like Matt Harvey, at least in the box score, allowing one run over eight innings, striking out eight. Only five runs for the Mets after scoring 28 in the previous two games, though. Must be slippin’.

Astros 3, Dodgers 2: Jason Castro smacked a walk-off homer in the bottom of the tenth. This was the Astros’ fourth walkoff win in eight games. More importantly, it was the series sweep over the Dodgers, keeping their lead in the West at four over the surging rangers and five and a half over the other Los Angeles team.

Cubs 9, Braves 3: Five homers for the Cubs, two of which came off of Kris Bryant’s bat. Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero and Kyle Schwarber went yard as well. A scary moment here, however, as a fan was sent to the hospital after being hit by a foul ball. The second such incident in as many days.

Athletics 8, Rays 2: It was a close game until the bottom of the seventh when the A’s put up a seven-spot. Makes me think of a 7 and 7, which I remember my parents making for people at weird parties they held in the 70s but which I’m pretty sure no one drinks anymore. Hell, you can hardly find 7-Up anyplace anymore. What the hell happened to 7-Up? It was the un-cola.

Mariners 8, White Sox 6: Robinson Cano had a two-run homer and Nelson Cruz drove in two with a double. The M’s avoid a three-game sweep. Cano on why it’s nice to avoid a three-game sweep with a Sunday win:

“Like I told the guys in the dugout, it’s good to end it up with a happy Sunday,” Cano said. “You can have a nice evening. You don’t have to go to bed and, `What do we have to do win a game?”

Better yet, you can avoid a case of the Mondays.

Cardinals 10, Padres 3: Four runs in the first inning are all the Cards would need but they added six more anyway. Stephen Piscotty homered twice and drove in five. The Cards avoid a sweep and a case of the Mondays too.

Pirates 5, Giants 3: The Pirates scored three first-run innings off of Ryan Vogelsong and never trailed. Homers from Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez gave them a greater margin for error later. Not that they needed it. The Giants scored two unearned runs and the Pittsburgh bullpen allowed jack squat from the sixth inning on. The Pirates are only three and a half games back of the Cardinals now.

GM Dave Stewart: “We want to make [Paul Goldschmidt] a lifetime Diamondback.”

Paul Goldschmidt

If Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart has his way, he’d keep first baseman Paul Goldschmidt in Arizona for his entire career. He said by phone to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, “We want to make him a lifetime Diamondback.”

The organization will consider a longer-term contract when the season is over. Goldschmidt is signed to one of the most team-friendly contracts in baseball, currently in the second year of a five-year, $32 million extension signed on March 29, 2013. After 2015, he’ll earn $40 million over the next four seasons.

Goldschmidt, 27, finished second to Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen for the 2013 National League Most Valuable Player Award. He’ll at least finish high in the NL MVP Award balloting after this season, as he enters Friday’s action hitting .341/.457/.584 with 22 home runs, 83 RBI, 74 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases. He leads the majors in batting average and walks (89), and leads the league in RBI. According to FanGraphs, only Bryce Harper (6.9) has more Wins Above Replacement than Goldschmidt (5.6) in the NL.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Matt Boyd

Tigers 2, Royals 1: For the second time this week the Tigers got a nice debut from one of the pieces they got in the David Price trade. Here it was Matt Boyd, who outdueled Johnny Freakin’ Cueto, allowing one run on seven hits in seven innings. This morning Peter Gammons noted that Boyd got 15 fly ball outs, three grounders, and then quoted a scout who told him that Boyd was “born to pitch in Comerica Park.” I’d say. And based on that kind of ratio we can see why pitching in Rogers Centre was basically death for him.

Red Sox 2, Yankees 1: A nice debut for Luis Severino, who struck out seven and allowed only one unearned run in five innings. But it was a nicer night for Steven Wright who allowed only one over eight while striking out nine. David Ortiz welcomed Severino to the bigs with a solo homer. He had a good day, but he’ll have better days.

Giants 6, Braves 1: Madison Bumgarner pitched into the eighth, allowed only one run and struck out nine. Kelby Tomlinson drove in three, which has to be the best ever MLB performance by a guy who sounds like the second string QB for a second-tier SEC team that liked to feature a spread offense before it was fashionable. Coach would bring in Tomlinson after LSU ran up a big lead on his boys and he’d flash a lot of moves, but so much of it was based on facing the B-team defense and taking off and running before going through all of his reads. Can’t pull that in the first quarter against Georgia next week. They’ll eat him alive.

White Sox 6, Rays 5: A walkoff walk! The second one in less than a week, in fact, as the Cardinals beat the Rockies this way last Thursday. Here it was Avisail Garcia doing the taking and Brad Boxberger doing the giving in the bottom of the tenth. Garcia is a on a roll lately. Earlier in this game he hit a three-run homer. He also went deep on Tuesday night.

Rockies 7, Mariners 5: An extra innings walkoff of a different, more exciting kind as Michael McKenry hit a two-run homer in the 11th. Nelson Cruz’s homer streak ended at five but he kept a 16-game hitting streak alive. This game took four hours and seven minutes. Or as we call it in the business, a DoubleBuehrle.

Angels 4, Indians 3: Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but the home team won in a walkoff. This was a three-run ninth inning rally by the Angels, won on a wild pitch that scored Taylor Featherston. Just before that C.J. Cron had hit a tying two-run single with two out. Tough day at the office for Indians closer Cody Allen. In other news, Mike Trout was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is 4-for-27 in the last week. Maybe someone should ask him if he’s really healthy, because it’s not often we see the TroutUnit malfunction like this.

Three walkoffs and Mike Trout struggling is weird. It’s not Ryan Adams staying up all night and laying down an entire cover album of Taylor Swift’s “1989” in the style of The Smiths weird, but it’s weird. And in case you think I’m joking:

Orioles 7, Athletics 3: Not a walkoff as the O’s are on the road, but it was a four-run rally in the 10th inning. All four runs came courtesy of Chris Davis’ bat when he hit a grand slam off Arnold Leon. Davis, by the way, has six homers in his last nine games and moved his line up to .248/.330/.517 and is now on pace for a 42-homer, 120-RBI season. That’s the sort of year, back before anyone paid attention to on base percentage and stuff like that, which really impressed awards voters. It’s nothing of the sort this year, but it’s a nice bounceback season for a guy who had only 26 homers and 72 RBI all last year, both numbers he has already surpassed.

Diamondbacks 11, Nationals 4: The Nats lose their fifth of six games and ended up putting their utility guy, Tyler Moore, on the mound. Totally the kind of game you want to have less than a week after you traded for a bigtime closer. For Arizona, Wellington Castillo hit a three-run homer and Paul Goldschmidt, Ender Inciarte and A.J. Pollock each got three hits in the Nats’ 17-hit attack. Goldschmidt did get retired by Moore, though, so he was kinda humbled.

Dodgers 4, Phillies 3: Brett Anderson allowed one run in six innings and Yasiel Puig hit a three-run home run as the Dodgers won for the fifth time in six games, cooling off the Phillies. Jeff Francoeur homered, though, because you can’t keep a good man down.

Pirates 7, Cubs 5: Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen homered and the Cubs’ six-game winning streak ended. Dan Haren gave up both of the bombs. I said when he was traded away from Miami that homers, already a problem for him but somewhat minimized by his old home park, would become a problem. Get ready to watch the homer odometer roll on him now that he’s a Cub.

Blue Jays 9, Twins 7: The fourth win in a row for the Jays, this with the help of a grand slam from some guy I’ve never heard of. Just a sort of nobody. Forgetting his name. One sec, let me go back and check the box score. “Jose Bautista.” No clue. Any ideas, anyone?

Cardinals 4, Reds 3: More extra inning heroics, this from Randal Grichuk who hit a homer in the 13th inning. The Reds lead this one 3-0 into the sixth but the Cards chipped back with Matt Carpenter tying it in the eighth with a solo shot. Cardinals relievers blanked the Reds for the final eight innings of the game.

Mets 8, Marlins 6: New York keeps rolling, winning their sixth in a row and extending their lead in the NL East to two games. They had to work for this one, holding off the Marlins who rallied for six runs in the ninth. Not the best night when you enter the ninth with an 8-0 lead and you actually see the other guys bring the potential winning run to the plate. Before that messiness, however, Juan Uribe hit a three-run homer, Lucas Duda drove in three and Matt Harvey tossed seven shutout innings. Bullpen probably bought dinner for everyone later.

Rangers 4, Astros 3: The Rangers sweep the first place Astros. This despite the fact that they walked eight Houston hitters and hit another one with a pitch. The Astros’ first inning defense was clownshoes, however, with Scott Kazmir allowing a runner on with an error and Hank Conger committing a throwing error on what would’ve been a sacrifice. It was 4-0 after the second inning and after that Nick Martinez and the bullpen — well, most of the bullpen — did a nice job.

Brewers 8, Padres 5: Taylor Jungmann struck out eight, scattered six hits and didn’t walk anyone. Jonathan Lucroy, Shane Peterson and Jean Segura each drove in two runs. Philosophical question: is this the most meaningless series of the season? I realize there are worse teams, but could this be the most meaningless? I guess Milwaukee is close enough to 30th in MLB to where there could be draft implications, so maybe, say, a Rockies-A’s series is less meaningful. But this has to be up there.