Gamescape: McCutchen takes flight for catch
Center fielder robs Granderson of extra bases; Martin has rough slide
A survey of the Pirates' game, with a closer look at the insets to the big picture -- streaks, trends and subplots below the surface.
• You're cleared for takeoff
Andrew McCutchen went airborne again. Cutch was clutch with the glove, robbing Curtis Granderson of extra bases to keep the Pirates tied with the Mets in the eighth inning of Friday's 3-2 win.
Granderson's leadoff smash off lefty Justin Wilson would not have cleared the wall at the right-center mark. Had McCutchen not run it down and snared it with a perfectly timed leap, however, it would have smacked high off the barrier and the fleet Granderson likely would have wound up on third with none out in a 2-2 game.
A sellout crowd of 37,952 saluted McCutchen with the familiar "MVP! MVP!" chant. He already is the National League's Most Valuable Player. So perhaps chants of "Gold Glove! Gold Glove!" -- which he lost last season to Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez -- would've been more appropriate under the circumstances.
• A takeout special
Russell Martin almost took himself out with his takeout slide of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in the fourth inning.
As Martin slid in, he tried to brake himself by hooking his left arm around the second-base bag. The force of his slide extended his left shoulder, and he remained on the ground rolling in pain for a spell.
After gathering himself, he jogged back to the bench and kept stretching the shoulder for the rest of the inning. He was back on the field when the fifth began, and afterward said he "was lucky" to avoid a serious injury.
• The turnstiles are whirring
The Bucs appear on the way to setting a park record for a four-game series. The first two games of this set have attracted 74,599 and the mark for a four-date series is 129,623, established last July 29-Aug. 1 against the Cardinals.
• Going long, but not deep
With his second straight seven-inning effort, Brandon Cumpton is clearly proving he can go deep in games. As opposed to batters going deep in his games -- which simply does not happen.
The right-hander has allowed one home run in 52 2/3 innings this season, and two in 83 1/3 career innings.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.