Bucs Defeat Reds On McCutchen's Clutch Double

CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 12: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates swings at a pitch during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark on September 12 2010 in Cincinnati Ohio. He hit a three run double in the ninth inning to help the Pirates beat the Reds 3-1. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I was at the game this afternoon in Cincinnati, and it was interesting to see Andrew McCutchen deflate an entire stadium in a matter of seconds. The Bucs soldiered through the first six or so innings just doing what they often do - not really playing overtly horribly, but doing so few actively positive things (McCutchen's throw to gun down Joey Votto at third in the fourth inning and Brian Burres holding the Reds to one run through seven were really about it) that it's hard to say what I would've written about. Burres' six-strikeout performance certainly wasn't nothing, but the Pirates didn't even have a hit that left the infield until the seventh inning, and Johnny Cueto was just cruising against them, so the game felt like another really lackluster effort overall.

Anyway, Francisco Cordero seemed determined to give the game away in the ninth, which began with the Reds protecting a 1-0 lead. The Pirates seemed equally determined to stop him - after John Bowker walked to start the inning, I was annoyed to see Ryan Doumit squaring around to bunt, even though Lastings Milledge and Ronny Cedeno were coming up and the game was on the road, so tying the game wouldn't have even guaranteed it would have gone into extra innings. Doumit ended up singling after Cordero threw the first two pitches out of the zone, and then Milledge tried to bunt and ended up failing to move the runners. Then Garrett Jones pinch-hit for Cedeno and singled, loading the bases. After Jose Tabata hit into a fielder's choice that failed to bring home a run, I was about to curse Milledge and/or John Russell, particularly after Cordero quickly recorded two strikes against McCutchen, but all was forgiven when McCutchen hit that bases-clearing double to left.

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