If the Bucs' team showing -- they enter play Tuesday night with a record of 35-23, fourth best in the NL -- is a surprise, their ballot-box showing is not. Their cozy-capacity home of PNC Park always puts them in a disadvantage when it comes to in-stadium voting, but Pirates fans are known for rallying in support of their favorites.
All one needs to remember is how fans carried McCutchen to the cover of MLB The Show '13.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, July 4, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, fans must be logged into an MLB.com account when submitting any online ballot. To obtain an MLB.com account, visit MLB.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15.
The 2013 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 7, on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com on MLB.com.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
McCutchen himself has been rallying into familiar prominence, having hit .316 since a slow .247 start in April. At that, his first-ballot standing is an improvement over a year ago, when he started out ranking 10th, with 100,000 fewer votes.
Realistically, McCutchen is the only candidate to be voted the Pirates' first All-Star starter since outfielder Jason Bay in 2006.
That hardly means the Bucs won't be well-represented in Citi Field. At least two members of their standout bullpen are strong contenders to be chosen for the staff manager Bruce Bochy will assemble, setup reliever extraordinaire Mark Melancon and closer Jason Grilli. Sophomore lefty starting pitcher Jeff Locke is also in the running.