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A play-by-play guy trying to survive in a mid-major world

Speed Kills

I couldn’t help but wonder if last night was one of the last times I would interview Andrew McCutchen.  Last night the Indians CF went 3-4 with two infield hits and scored FROM SECOND on a groundout to right side of the infield.  Here is McCutchen leading the team off the field after the win. 


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His performance was a reminder of how athletic and exciting a player he can be.  With one out in the 8th inning McCutchen attempted to steal 3B, as he was running Jeff Salazar hit a routine ground ball to Gwinnett second baseman Brooks Conrad.  McCutchen never stopped running rounding the bag at third as Conrad threw out Salazar at first.  The throw from first to home never had a chance and ‘Cutch stole a run pushing the Tribe lead to four runs.  It was something, watching him hit the bag in full stride and push the envelope.  McCutchen was the star of the game and here is what he had to say about the play:

I had already stole third base and by the time the second baseman had the ball I was around third so I basically just waited for him to throw the ball and took off for home.  I guess you could say my legs felt pretty good today.

McCutchen is tied for the team lead with 18 extra-base hits and leads the team with a .826 OPS.

(On his infield hits) That keeps you out of a slump and some people can’t do that, so thankfully I can and when I don’t feel too well at the plate I can lay down a bunt or hit one on the ground and it works out for me.

 

That is a pretty confident sentence isn’t it?  I don’t think he uses his speed as well as Nyjer Morgan, but McCutchen has a ton more power than Nyjer.  ‘Cutch is only 22, but his game is more like Grady Sizemore (minus the K-rate) than Juan Pierre or Morgan.  Sizemore was 21 years old when he made his debut with Cleveland in 2005.  His break out season was in double-A where he hit .304 with 50 of his 151 hits going for extra-bases.  McCutchen was drafted the summer Sizemore made his ML debut and his break out season was in 2006 when he combined to hit .291 with 45 (17HR) of his 156 hits going for extra-base hits.  His ’06 year was split 75-25 between high A and double-A.  As Sizemore grew older his power numbers really made a jump.  He has averaged 26 home runs the past four seasons after totaling 27 in 529 minor league games.  McCutchen has more minor league home runs in 30 fewer games.  I leave projections to the guru’s over at Baseball Prospectus, but I have to remind myself that McCutchen is only 22 and this is his fifth year of pro ball.  There are times when don’t think he is ready for the Pirates (who am I to decide, but you asked, from time to time he will miss the cut-off men, not a polished base stealer, too pull happy at times, it’s nit-picking I know.), but then there are games like last night when you see why the Pirates fell in love with his speed.  I’m going to enjoy watching him play because I’m not sure when his last day will be in an Indians uniform.

The Indians win last night places them in a tie for first in the West Division.  The Tribe has won 8 out of their last 12 games and a win tonight will give them a .500 record for the first time this season.  Newcomer Eric Hacker (0-1, 5.82) will make his second start since his trade from the Yankees system.  The Tribe will face Braves #1 pitching prospect Tommy Hanson (3-3, 1.51).  Hanson has 73 strikouts in 53.2 innings of work while only walking 15 and giving up 30 hits.  If McCutchen has another three hit night and it comes against Hanson the locals in Pittsburgh will be wondering when the 22 year old plays in PNC Park.

I’m going to post some pictures of Gwinnett Stadium.  Would you believe the stadium was built in just 9 months? 


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The outfield dimensions are identical to Turner Field.  The Indians bullpen is beyond the wall in right while the Braves pen is behind the left field wall. 


GWN 017.jpgFor the first time in my life I was too tall for a ride.  Doesn’t that look like fun?  A BIG thanks to Jen Langoosch for providing a link to my blog.  I’ll have you know, I check out her site daily and it is a great way to keep up with the Pirates and their minor leauge system.

4:00 UPDATE: 

Vidiot:  (according to Urban Dictionary) a person habitually consumed in video or computer games to the point of losing contact with the world around him, often evidenced by a blank or glazed look and disheveled appearance.


GWN 029.jpgFrom left to right..Virgil Vasquez (just watching), Steve Pearce, and Andrew McCutchen.  My name is Scott McCauley and I’m a vidiot.  I’ve been clean now for nearly three years.  My addictions were Madden, College Football (multiple NCAA titles for Ball State), Tiger Woods, and Golden Tee.  It’s a battle each and every day and at a moments notice I can be sucked into the life of video games.  The vidiots here are playing Call of Duty and I have no idea what Pearce is thinking with his new haircut.     

       

 

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One thought on “Speed Kills

  1. jquyle@alumni.indiana.edu on said:

    I agree Andrew McCutchen has great wheels, but he still needs to develop the judgement to use them correctly. I’ve seen him over-confidently play shallow in the outfield and then prove unable to catch up with deep balls hit over his head. I’ve also see him kill some potential innings by getting too reckless on the basepaths and getting picked off.

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