The Pirates Need Andrew McCutchen To Repeat His August
August was by far the best month of Andrew McCutchen‘s 2016 season. Now, the Pirates need him to repeat that in September if they are going to earn a fourth consecutive postseason berth.
For most of the 2016 season Andrew McCutchen has struggled. This is evident in his overall numbers this season. Through his first 541 plate appearances this season McCutchen has a 9.6 percent walk rate, 22.9 percent strike out rate, .161 ISO, a .248 batting average, .327 on-base percentage, .317 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 98. All of these numbers are career worsts for McCutchen.
However, in the month of August Andrew McCutchen started to look like himself again. This is a big reason why the Pittsburgh Pirates were able to make up ground in the National League Wild Card race during August. But the Pirates need McCutchen to keep going.
If the Pirates are going to earn their fourth consecutive postseason berth then Andrew McCutchen needs to repeat his August in September. Hell, McCutchen might have to be even a little bit better than he was in August. And this is something that he is certainly capable of doing.
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During the month of August Andrew McCutchen looked, by far, the best he has all season. In 110 plate appearances McCutchen slashed .280/.391/.419 with a .355 wOBA and a wRC+ of 124. McCutchen also saw his strike out rate drop to 15.5 percent, while his walk rate rose to 15.5 percent.
Andrew McCutchen also looked the healthiest he has all season during the month of August. McCutchen played stellar defense in center field and he stole three bases as well. During the first four months of the season, McCutchen’s defense was a liability and he was not a threat at all on the bases.
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Even with how well McCutchen played in August, he still has more in the tank. We have all seen that time and time again during his Major League career. And the Pittsburgh Pirates need McCutchen to dig down deep in September and to leave nothing in the tank.
As the Pirates prepare to start their September schedule against the Milwaukee Brewers tonight, the Bucs have work tonight. They start the day two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the loss column for the second National League Wild Card spot. However, their situation is not as dire as it may sound.
First off, the Pirates have a game in hand on the Cardinals. And secondly, the Pirates still have six more games against St. Louis this season. Due to the fact the Pirates are 8-5 against the Red Brids this season, you have to like their chances of taking at least four of those six games. So the Pirates still have a great chance of making the postseason.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to earn a fourth consecutive postseason berth for the first time in franchise history, Andrew McCutchen needs to have a strong September. In August, McCutchen was the Pirates’ best hitter. However, he needs to be even better in September. And he is very capable of doing that.