DENVER Moments after Andrew McCutchen ripped a three-run triple Saturday night against the Rockies, I received this Tweet from the folks at the Raise the Jolly Roger blog: “Greatness in dreadlocks.”
That about sums it up, huh?
In 44 games this season before he was traded, Nate McLouth (remember him?) had 17 extra-base hits and 34 RBI.
In the first 16 games of his career, McCutchen has eight extra-base hits and 13 RBI. He already has FOUR triples. As a team, the Pirates had 21 last season.
So, the offense category is more or less a wash (McLouth had more homers, McCutchen gets the edge on speed and style points). But there is one area where McCutchen already has a clear advantage.
In the fifth inning, the Rockies had a runner on second base with two outs. The game was tied, 2-2. Todd Helton mashed a fly ball high over McCutchen’s head to straightaway center field. A go-ahead double, most likely. Maybe a triple.
McCutchen turned and revved into a full sprint and made a sweet over-the-shoulder catch for the final out.
“I knew I’d gotten a good jump on it, right when he made contact,” McCutchen said. “I knew probably when it was midway in the air that I had a good chance (to catch) it. I was able to get back and make a good catch. That’s what they have me here for, to cover a lot of ground.”
If McLouth is in center field, he’s probably still chasing that ball.
• Left fielder Nyjer Morgan made a fantastic catch in the third inning last night on Dexter Fowler’s pop-up in foul territory. Morgan came in at a full sprint, hopped up, spun around and snagged the ball. Morgan bounced off the back of a fan and ended up sitting on the low wall that separates the stands from the field. The fan wound up acting as a cushion and kept Morgan safe from what could been a nasty tumble.
• First-round draft pick Tony Sanchez capped his pro debut last night by driving in the game-winning run in the ninth inning for Class A State College. Sanchez entered the game at catcher in the sixth inning. In the ninth, Sanchez’s single scored Jose Hernandez, another member of this year’s draft class, to give State College a 4-3 victory.