Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 11/17/14

23 June 2009: Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) fields a fly ball during the Cleveland Indians 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo via Newscom

Getty Images

The Pirates got superb performances early Thursday night from James McDonald and Andrew McCutchen, and were able to hang on to the lead and earn a win against the Nats.

For whatever reason, McCutchen destroys the Nationals. He homered twice off Jordan Zimmermann – four of his five homers this year have come against the Nats. His batting average is up to .349 on the year, and against the Nationals he’s hitting .463 for his career.

Rod Barajas also homered off Zimmermann–a two run shot. Barajas is legitimately heating up…his average is all the way up to .214! Ever since that walkoff blast last week, he’s been swinging the bat with much more confidence.

If the power surge wasn’t enough to make Bucco fans happy, James McDonald certainly did. J-Mac was as dominant as he’s ever been to start the game–he was perfect through four with TEN strikeouts. He took a no-hitter into the sixth before promptly falling apart, which was very unfortunate and ruined what could have been an amazing outing. He still finished with 11 K’s, but didn’t finish the 6th and allowed the Nats to cut the lead to one.

The Pirates picked up an insurance run in the seventh, and the bullpen was able to get the job done despite some hiccups in the last three innings. After McDonald fell apart, it felt like the Pirates were bound to blow the game eventually–and the Nats got five baserunners in the final three innings–but the bullpen (Juan Cruz, Jason Grilli, and Joel Hanrahan) held on. Thank goodness they did, because wasting the spectacular efforts by Cutch and J-Mac would have been incredibly depressing.

Pirates 5, Nationals 3 / Box / 2012 Record: 18-20 / Next: Friday, at Tigers, 7:05

MVP: Barajas (+.217) / LVP: McDonald (-.077) / Key play: Barajas’ HR

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.


Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Eli Manning expects Giants' offense to take off in 2015

Bruce Irvin apologizes for DUI April Fools' joke

Report: LeBron James calls plays, David Blatt repeats them

Anthony Davis puts Harden ahead of himself for MVP

LeBron James lists his top three friends in the NBA


Reds to have in-stadium nursery

Izzo: MSU could win football, basketball titles in same year

Durant ‘would love to’ spend entire career with Thunder

Elementary school sportswriter has hot take on Cam Newton

Romo was willing to take pay cut to keep DeMarco Murray

Marcus Mariota reportedly not planning to attend NFL draft

Final Four fact or fiction

Five worst situations at quarterback in NFL

Young sportswriter behind Cam Newton column speaks out

Tom Brady posts Photoshop as April Fools' joke on Facebook

'Zo on MJ: He would average almost 50 in today's NBA

Report: Las Vegas season ticket drive passes goal of 10,000

WATCH: Steph Curry drops Chris Paul with crossover

WATCH: Spoelstra gives nice shoutout to Craig Sager

WATCH: Drew Miller takes skate to the face

WATCH: Gronk describes his perfect wife

Reigning National Champions to boycott Final Four in Indiana

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Final Four fact or fiction

Five worst QB situations in NFL

WATCH: Curry drops CP3 with crossover

Durant wants to spend career in OKC

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Moss shares story on meeting Deion

Five coaches already on the hot seat

Can we envision the Hawks in the Finals?

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.