Bucs set rivalry aside out of concern for Piscotty
Harrison runs out fly ball, unaware of severity; McCutchen familiar with difficulty of left-center at PNC Park
PITTSBURGH -- Like the rest of the 30,198 people packed into PNC Park, the Pirates went silent when they saw Cardinals rookie Stephen Piscotty collide with center fielder Peter Bourjos in the seventh inning of Pittsburgh's 3-0 loss to St. Louis on Monday night.
Bourjos' knee hit Piscotty in the head as they were pursuing Josh Harrison's line drive into the left-center-field gap. Piscotty immediately fell limp on the outfield grass, with blood appearing to come out of his mouth.
Piscotty was eventually carted off the field on a stretcher. He lifted his hand to wave, drawing a standing ovation from the hushed Pittsburgh crowd.
"You hate to see things like that. You hope that he's OK and that it's nothing too serious," Harrison said. "It's always encouraging, when you see a guy getting carted off the field, when he throws his hand up."
The news late Monday night was at least relatively positive, given the scary scene that unfolded hours earlier: Piscotty suffered a head contusion, but test results came back negative for fractures or a serious head injury. He was held overnight for observation.
After lining a full-count fastball from Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist into the gap, Harrison put his head down and kept running, unaware that Bourjos had caught the ball. He didn't see the collision take place, and he didn't get a sense of the severity until he returned to the Pirates' dugout.
"When they were on the ground, I couldn't see the ball, so I kept running," Harrison said. "As I got in, guys were like, 'It was pretty bad.'"
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has spent seven years patrolling that area of PNC Park. He pointed out that it's a difficult job for any outfielder, especially for one player (Bourjos) who was just inserted into the game and another (Piscotty) who moved from right to left.
"It's just all about knowing who can get that ball," McCutchen said. "A ball like that in no-man's land, it's tough. It's just one of those balls that both guys are trying to catch."
Harrison could sympathize as well, having split time between the infield and outfield -- and understanding the inherent risk that comes along with going all-out to make a play at any position.
"That's a scary play for outfielders going that way, same as infielders going back for the short pop fly where an infielder may be diving or an outfielder may be sliding," Harrison said. "You just kind of trust your instincts. Unfortunately sometimes that's going to happen.
"You just hope and pray that everything turns out all right."