Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 7/10/12

Here’s an abbreviated rundown of Pirates action in Kansas City this week:

All-Star Game

  • Andrew McCutchen entered in the 5th inning and played CF for the rest of the game. He clobbered a line-drive single off lefty Chris Sale in his first at-bat (and reportedly flashed the “Z”, although the TV cameras missed it). He grounded out–barely–in the ninth against Fernando Rodney, when Elvis Andrus‘ strong throw from third beat him to the base by a split-second. Cutch also did a pretty awesome dance in a pre-filmed shot coming out of a commercial break.
  • Joel Hanrahan was one of three NL pitchers to appear in the ninth inning. He struck out local favorite Billy Butler, sending KC fans home disappointed. Joel was wild (he threw three balls that missed badly, and one went for a wild pitch) but recovered for an impressive 3-2 98 MPH fastball for strike three. Butler was the only batter Joel faced.
  • And of course, the NL won 8-0. The team with the best home record in baseball will have home field advantage if they make it to the World Series.

Home Run Derby

McCutchen hit four homers, coming up one short of possibly advancing out of the first round. A couple were hit very well but there were no real tape-measure shots. Here’s video of all four. It wasn’t a dazzling performance by Cutch, but he hit two more homers than anyone else had in Pirates history (Bay 0, Bonds 2, Bonilla 0), hit more than two other contestants (Cano, Kemp) and tied another (Gonzalez). Not bad.

Many criticized ESPN for interviewing Josh Hamilton during Cutch’s session, but that is relatively commonplace during the Derby (in fact, Cutch was interviewed during David Ortiz’s turn last year) and it wasn’t their fault that his session didn’t last very long. McCutchen has gotten plenty of national recognition (countless writers have named him their midseason MVP) and will continue to do so if he keeps this up.

Futures game

  • Gerrit Cole pitched the second inning. He looked great to start, throwing the upper 90’s fastball with good-looking breaking stuff. He got the first two batters to strike out and ground out, but then seemed to lose his command when he walked a batter and allowed a homer on a pitch right over the heart of the plate. The inning summed up his development perfectly; Cole absolutely has the stuff to dominate, but needs to be better with his location.
  • Jameson Taillon also pitched an inning. His pitches looked pretty good on TV (95-ish fastball, sharp curve), but they got hit relatively hard. The World team doubled twice and scored a run off him before a relatively lucky DP (thanks to a nice play by the SS) ended his inning.

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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