I could have written an entire story about Andrew McCutchen’s first inning catch. But since in print we only have so much space, and there were a few other details to include in the game report, I’ll write to my heart’s content here.
We in Pittsburgh are used to seeing McCutchen make the crazy-good catches that show up on highlight reels and make everyone ooh and aah. We’re lucky like that. But I can assure you that the jaws of all the New York writers in the press box here at Citi Field were on the floor after that one.
This is a big, big park. There’s a lot of space out there. Jason Bay blasted the ball and McCutchen ran, like so few others can, and made a sliding catch, legs out, on the warning track just as he got to the wall. Here’s his take on it:
“At first I was seeing where (Matt Diaz was at). Then I saw him looking at me, then I knew I had to get on my horse. It hung up there and I was able to slide and catch it.”
Ho hum. No big deal. At least that’s what you’d think if you asked him about it and hadn’t seen it with your own eyes.
The slide, he said, was to put the brakes on.
“I was close to the wall, so you don’t want to be running at full speed to the wall. I just needed something to slow me down. I was able to judge it pretty good and make a pretty good play.”
Yeah, pretty good.
Now here’s manager Clint Hurdle talking about it:
“There’s probably already a top 10 for him 54 games into the season as far as what he’s done defensively. … That one might be towards the top. We’ve seen a bunch, though, that are right there. They’re exciting. He’s gone left, he’s gone right, he’s come in. The only one I think we’re missing is straight back over his head so far. But that one probably, as far as distance, that’s the farthest he’s covered, and to make a sliding catch at the base of the wall, that’s impressive.”
Couple other little notes:
= Tonight was the 9,600th win in franchise history.
= The Pirates’ starters are 6-3 with a 1.80 ERA during this 13-game stretch in which they’ve given up two or fewer earned runs.
= Brandon Wood, who said before the game that his pinch-hit, two-run single on Tuesday could be a confidence builder, came in late in the game and finished 1 for 2 with a double, RBI and run scored. Could the arrival (and immediate success) of Josh Harrison lit a bit of a fire under Wood?
= The Mets finished with 10 hits tonight. It was the third time in the last four games they’ve had double-digit hits.
= Jose Reyes, who went on the bereavement list on Monday following the death of his grandmother, is expected to return for today’s fourth and final game of the series.