McCutchen left Sunday's game after flying out in the eighth inning. Coming out of the batter's box, he grabbed his left side and slowly jogged to first base. He was taken out of the game immediately and helped back to the clubhouse.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Cutch suffered a "serious oblique muscle injury" and is destined for the DL. The Pirates haven't made the move official yet. McCutchen could miss three to four weeks, according to the Post-Gazette, which would bring him back for the last few weeks of the playoff race. With the Pirates still behind but surging, an injury to their best player could spell doom.
McCutchen, of course, was also hit in the back Saturday night by Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randall Delgado. McCutchen lay on the ground in pain after the plunking. It was retaliation for the Pirates hitting D-backs slugger Paul Goldschmidt and injuring him for the season. No one has officially connected McCutchen's oblique injury to him getting hit in the back, but it's not entirely impossible. The oblique is near the back, but not the same thing.
The bigger problem for the Pirates is how they would respond without their star. The team has been hot since June. They're a game and a half back in the NL Central and half a game back from the second NL Wild Card spot. McCutchen has been Pittsburgh's cornerstone again. He leads the NL in batting average, slugging percentage and RBIs since June 1, according to ESPN Stats & Info, and overall this season he's hitting .311/.411/.536 this season with 17 homers and 67 RBIs.
It's rare that you hear about McCutchen being injured. His durability has been another of his top contributions to the Pirates since joining the team in 2010. This would be his first time on the disabled list. He's missed just 14 games combined the past three seasons.
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