McCutchen hit in head with ball during playoff practice



PITTSBURGH - One day before the Pittsburgh Pirates end their postseason drought of more than two decades, superstar outfielder Andrew McCutchen was hit in the head with a ball during practice.

Channel 11 Sports Director Alby Oxenreiter talked with McCutchen, who told him that the brief scare occurred when he was shagging fly balls and an unnamed teammate distracted him. The MVP candidate turned his head. That's when a ball off the bat of Jordy Mercer hopped off the ground and caught him around his right ear.

Cutch said that the ball took him "by surprise," but he walked off the field under his own power and said he should be fine to play in Tuesday night's NL wild-card game against Cincinnati. McCutchen joked he owes the ball an apology because it got the worst of the collision.

"I'm good to go," he proclaimed, reassuring Pirates fans.

McCutchen declined to identify the teammate who tried to get his attention, claiming with a smile that he's "no snitch."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.