Originally posted on WHYGAVS?  |  Last updated 6/7/12

The Pirates didn't play a very good game on Wednesday. That pretty much goes without saying. Brad Lincoln had a tough start, getting touched up for five runs in four innings. Johnny Cueto dominated the Pirates for much of the night, holding them to just three hits in his first seven innings of work. For a long portion of the game, the Pirates seemed headed for their usual, ineffectual loss. 

The game had one moment, though, where it looked like it could be something else. With the Pirates down 5-1 and finally getting to Cueto, Dusty Baker came out and removed his starter in favor of Logan Ondrusek. Ondrusek's been a solid righty out of the pen for him for the last couple of seasons or so, and he didn't want his flagging starter facing Andrew McCutchen. He knew that if 'Cutch came through with a big hit, that it'd be a different ballgame. McCutchen took Ondrusek's first pitch for a strike, then sent the second one rocketing over the right-center fence, pulling the Pirates to within a run and breathing life into what had been a listless game for the team.

It ended up not mattering with the Reds having Aroldis Chapman to lean on in the ninth, but McCutchen's homer was a lightning bolt that turned an erstwhile blowout into something worth paying attention to. When 2012 is all said and done, it's pretty doubtful that anyone will remember this game. It'll just be another waypoint on the map to whatever the Reds and Pirates end up doing; for the Reds, it's a win that was a little tougher than it should've been, for the Pirates it's a loss that they let get too far away early. Every team plays a ton of these games. In the moment, though, McCutchen's three-run homer in the eighth seemed significant. It was a big hit by the guy the Pirates need to be their big-time player. It didn't amount to anything, but for now it's something nice to hang a hat on after an otherwise ugly game.

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