Cutch Walks Off In Twelfth To Give Pirates Victory

by Zane Heiple

Photo by Getty Images
Zach Duke made his return to PNC Park tonight and faced his former teammate Paul Maholm.  Both pitchers made their debuts in Bucco uniforms during the 2005 season.  Duke was traded to Arizona during the offseason and has only made two starts this season, going 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA, since coming off the disabled list.  Maholm on the other hand is having one of his best seasons, even though win-loss record does not show.  After a rough outing for Paul in his last start, he would look to bounce back and defeat the former Pirate he would be opposing.
Pittsburgh continued its trend of scoring first again tonight.  Andrew McCutchen would bring home Jose Tabata on a sacrifice fly to left field.  Unfortunately this was the only run Maholm would receive in support tonight.  Paul would go six innings allowing zero runs, while walking three and striking out four.
Jose Veras came in during the seventh and had little success against Arizona.  After walking the first batter, Willie Bloomquist would bunt to move the runner over to second.  Stephen Drew then hit a pinch hit single to tie the game for the D-backs.  Veras left the game after hitting Justin Upton and was replaced by Tony Watson who made his Major League debut.  Watson would strikeout the first two batters he faced on 3-2 counts to end the inning.
Zach Duke pitched well tonight as well, even though he would not factor into the decision.  His final stat line read seven innings pitched, nine hits, one earned run, and one strikeout.  While Duke may have not had the best career as a Bucco, it is good to see him have success with another team.
Nine innings would not be enough tonight.  The Diamondbacks wasted little time taking the lead.  Drew struck again as he singled home Kelly Johnson off of Pirates reliever Daniel Moskos.  In past years the Pirates may have been counted out, but this year is different.  After a ground rule double by McCutchen, Neil Walker would single to tie the game at two.
Pittsburgh found themselves in trouble in the eleventh.  Arizona had runners on first and third with no outs, but Daniel McCutchen was able to slither his way out.  After striking out Ryan Roberts for the first out of the inning, D-Cutch was able to induce a 3-6-3 double play to end the inning and keep the game tied.  The Pirates then had runners on first and third in the bottom part of the inning, but were unable to capitalize as Xavier Paul would fly out to left field to end the threat.
The twelfth saw more Pittsburgh heroics as the dreadlocked one we call Cutch would step to the plate and hit the walk off homerun to give the Pirates a 3-2 win and bring the team back to .500.
While the Pirates were unable to get Maholm the win it was great to see them continue to battle.  The bullpen faltered at times, but was also able to get big nights from Joel Hanrahan, Daniel Moskos, and tonight’s winner Daniel McCutchen.  Pittsburgh will finish this series tomorrow night with Arizona as Jeff Karstens will take the hill for the Buccos.
Side notes from the game:  Pedro Alvarez reinjured his quad during an extended spring training game today and will be rested for the next week to rehab the injury.  Also tonight Chris Snyder left the game with a back injury while trying to stretch a single into a double.  If this injury lands him on the DL, then Pittsburgh will need to call up a catcher from AAA Indianapolis for tomorrow’s game.
Record vs. Diamondbacks:  2-0
Record vs. N.L. West:  9-9
Record at Home:  13-15
Overall Record 30-30
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!!!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.

Leave a Reply