Cutch had a slow start to the 2015 season. Eventually he got things figured it out and got rolling as Cutch normally does. 2015 wasn’t quite up to the standards of his previous seasons, but a .889 OPS from your center fielder is nothing to sneeze at.
Coming into the 2016 season Cutch assured everyone that the lingering knee issue was in the past and he looked forward to getting off to a blistering start. Well, so far that has not been the case. Going into Wednesday night’s clash with the Reds, Cutch is batting .248 with 6 home runs and 13 RBI. 3 of those home runs came in a single contest. On top of that, Cutch has not been himself in the field. In the dreaded Cubs series, McCutchen was smoked by a line drive when charging in for it. This should have been the third out of the inning. Instead, he was charged with an error. The next at bat resulted in a three run bomb and put the Pirates in a 0 to 3 hole that they were never able to climb out of. Following the game Cutch made remarks about how the scorer for that game should be fired. Not the type of behavior we have came to expect from the 2015 Roberto Clemente Award Winner.
What was the turning point for Cutch to get past his early season 2015 struggles? There was this memorable quote at the end of an angry Cutch rant after an 0 for 4 game.
“I know it’s going to come and sitting around ain’t going to do it. Once it gets going, it ain’t going to stop. So, while I’m down right now, get me while I’m down. Once I get going, I ain’t stopping.”
McCutchen hasn’t had his normal command of the strike zone. He is swinging at more pitches outside of the strike zone and as a result his contact rate is down. He is still hitting the ball with authority, though.
So what’s eating Andrew McCutchen? Perhaps after a long night he goes on a post game tirade and notes how he’s tired of going 0 for freaking 4 and starts tearing the cover off the ball. The Pirates have held down the fort while waiting for their superstar to get going but sooner than later, if the Pirates expect to keep winning, they will need Cutch to be Cutch?