McCutchen had tweaked the foot when landing awkwardly following a futile leap at the center-field fence for Allen Craig's fourth-inning homer in Friday night's game. He completed that game, but was convinced to take Saturday's off.
"I didn't even want to take that off. Whatever I can do to help the team and not hurt myself, I guess," McCutchen said.
"He never likes to [miss a game]," manager Clint Hurdle saidd, "but another area in which he has grown and matured is understanding the bigger picture. We had a very good conversation in [my office] and we all felt it was best to do what we did."
Given McCutchen's attitude, little thought was given to having him also sit Sunday night which, with the off-day on Monday, would have given him three straight days' rest.
"He went through a battery of tests, and things he wasn't capable of doing [Saturday] he is today," Hurdle said. "He's, 'If I can go, I want to go.' Last night, there wasn't really a 'Go' button to go to. He feels there is today."
Competing well enough to take down St. Louis, 4-3, on Saturday without their Most Valuable Player -- and even with other factors forcing infielders Gaby Sanchez and Jordy Mercer into outfield play -- gave the Bucs an unexpected boost.
"When you can get through a game like that, it shows the other guys and [McCutchen] what they're capable of without him in the lineup. A lot of good stuff can come from it."
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.