One of the brightest spots in the Pittsburgh Pirates immediate future is without question, center fielder Andrew McCutchen. There is nothing quite like watching Cutch hit a bomb. The one he crushed to the pantry – a few dozens rows above the Heinz ketchup bottle – the other night in PNC Park was unreal. Just murdered.
The trouble is, that despite hitting 23 bombs this season, the hitting and OPS that McCutchen typically provides the Pirates has disappeared in September.
McCutchen is hitting .143 in his past ten games. He is six-for-41 in the month of September. Perhaps the shake weight is to blame? Cutch has struckout thirteen times, which is a bit alarming considering the competition he has faced.
The lack of time on the sacks has also negated the other plus tool Cutch possesses, his speed. McCutchen has attempted to get one steal this month, and was thrown out.
It will be interesting to see if Cutch comes out of the funk as the season wraps up. There is no reason to think he won’t. The power is so refreshing to see, as everyone knows power is something the Pirates are desperately lacking as an organization.
Everyone loves the long ball, and, until we looked closely, we didn’t really realize that Cutch was in a slump. It’s an interesting thing we are witnessing. The speedy, do-everything star center fielder is displaying some serious power and yet the all-around skills McCutchen has flashed is what we love to see.
Could he be finishing the season like he started it? In April, McCutchen had 21 hits in 96 at-bats. Nine of them went for extra bases, with five bombs. In September, McCutchen has six hits. Four of them have gone for extra bases with three bombs.
But make no mistake – power can win games like Cutch did on September 7, when his two homers fueled a comeback win against the Astros.
It’s just fascinating to watch the power materialize for McCutchen. Even more so when one remembers that he came out of the game on September 2 after being hit squarely in the hand.
To consider that McCutchen can become even more of a threat for the Pirates once all the facets come together, rather than be scattered throughout portions of the season, is scary to even think about.