Sunday, May 28, 2023

Cutch Down


Of course the Andrew McCutchen comeback season I've been waiting years for happens the second he gets back to Pittsburgh. Of course it does.

I've followed Cutch every step of the way, and I enjoyed his time in Philly because I got to drive maybe 20 minutes to see him play, and when one of your favorite players is local for a bit, that's always a good thing. Granted, his only real triumph of a year was his truncated 2019 season, where he had 10 homers and 29 RBIs in 59 games. The other two years on that contract weren't as good, despite 27 homers in 2021. The Brewers year last year was mostly a low key DH role, which not only relegated Rowdy Tellez to playing defense but didn't give his offense many favors. In fact, most surprisingly, Cutch's best statistics last year came from his 42 games in the outfield, where he still provided a leg up compared to most defensemen.

Granted, he hasn't been needed as much in the outfield as much in Pittsburgh, as Bryan Reynolds, Connor Joe and Jack Suwinski are getting the nods there, even if defense isn't what any of them are known for. Though, admittedly, all six of McCutchen's appearances in right field have gone pretty well. But at this point in his career, I don't think the intention was to get Cutch for his defense.

In Cutch's last five games, he's had three multi-hit affairs, including a home run. He's hitting .268 right now with 8 homers and 20 RBIs, and his 8 home runs are second-most on the team, behind Jack Suwinski. Cutch is on pace for what would be his fifth 25+ home run season, and, most crucially, he is ten hits away from the 2000 hit mark.

I think the single best thing about this revitalized play from McCutchen is that it's happening in Pittsburgh, the city where he became a star and an MVP. There was so much emotion behind his first few games back at PNC, including crucial home runs and big moments. The fans never fell out of love with this guy no matter where he went, and I remember being there in one of his last seasons in Pittsburgh and seeing him hit a home run to a crowd that absolutely loved him. He will hit his 2000th hit as a member of the Pirates, and, as he's five away, he will also hit his 300th home run as a member of the Pirates. And that's absolutely fantastic. 

Even if the Pirates continue to slip, which, while they're well enough ahead of the Cardinals, is still a possibility, I'm glad that Cutch could have a season like this as the team is doing well. The pitching's been fantastic, Reynolds is earning star status, the 43-year-old has 4 wins, it's going better than anyone anticipated and I am here for it.

Coming Tomorrow- There aren't many pitchers in the game's history who've started in the MLB as well as this guy.

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