CHICAGO Right-hander Daniel McCutchen has rebounded from some struggles earlier this season at Triple-A Indianapolis. Saturday, McCutchen tossed six scoreless innings his second straight shutout start in Indy’s 7-0 victory against Columbus.
McCutchen (12-6) is second in the International League in victories. He’s worked at least six innings in each of his past seven starts, going 5-1 in that span. In two starts this month, he racked up 19 strikeouts in 20 innings.
• Friday’s 17-2 wipeout against the Cubs was the first time the Pirates had allowed 14 runs over the first two innings. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the previous club “record” was 13 runs on May 31, 1994 in a 15-5 loss at San Diego. The Padres scored all 13 runs in the second inning.
• Since 1954, most runs allowed by a Pirates starting pitcher in an outing of one inning or less:
… 10 by Charlie Morton, Aug. 14, 2009 at Cubs, one inning pitched
… 9 by Rick Rhoden, July 4, 1982 vs. Expos, one inning
… 8 by Steve Cooke, May 31, 1994 at Padres, one inning
… 7 by Ryan Vogelsong, Sept. 24, 2004 vs. Reds, zero innings
… 7 by Rick Rhoden, Sept. 21, 1985 at Mets, 2/3 inning
… 7 by Jim Bibby, May 8, 1983 at Giants, one inning
… 7 by John Candelaria, May 28, 1982 vs. Giants, one inning
… 7 by Al McBean, June 3, 1962 vs. Houston Colt .45s, 2/3 inning.
• As you’d expect, that loss sparked a lot of e-mail venting from the fan base:
… “The team is a joke, the owners are a joke, the whole organization is a joke.” Shawn Mikesell, Shrewsbury
… “They deserve everything that happens to them now for selling out us fans. I hope they lose every game.” Nick Grant
… “How about asking Pirates ownership if it is considering a major ticket price reduction, since the product it is selling is a lower-quality item?” Dave, Greensburg
… “I can’t help but think the Pirates are in a nosedive to fall below the Nats in the overall ineptitude standing. I think it’s not only possible at this point, but probable. The silver lining could be an opportunity to draft the high school sensation Bryce Harper, the kid Sports Illustrated calls the LeBron James of baseball prospects.” Jeff Zahratka, Virginia Beach, Va.
• Lineups for this afternoon’s game:
PIRATES (46-70) 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Delwyn Young 2b, 3. Garrett Jones rf, 4. Ryan Doumit c, 5. Steve Pearce 1b, 6. Brandon Moss lf, 7. Andy LaRoche 3b, 8. Ramon Vazquez ss, 9. Ross Ohlendorf (10-8, 4.30) rhp
CUBS (60-55) 1. Kosuke Fukudome cf, 2. Milton Bradley rf, 3. Derrek Lee 1b, 4. Aramis Ramirez 3b, 5. Jake Fox lf, 6. Mike Fontenot 2b, 7. Geovany Soto c, 8. Aaron Miles ss, 9. Rich Harden (7-7, 4.30) rhp