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Insider Only The Andrew McCutchen Problem is Growing

DHP_5084 - Edited

The Andrew McCutchen Problem is Growing

Does Andrew McCutchen stink?

Sunday night ,on WPXI TV’s Final Word, Mark Madden asked the question : “Are we allowed to say that Andrew McCutchen stinks?”

I’m afraid the answer is yes.

His body of work as a Major League player doesn’t stink. In fact, he was on a pretty smooth path to the Hall of Fame.

McCutchen had just gone 0-8 in an 18 inning win over the Nationals on Sunday and his average had dropped to .244. Going 0-5 in Tuesday’s 9-5 loss now has McCutchen hitting .242 on the season.

As has been pointed out here before, McCutchen has been bad since last August. He’s been a .245 hitter for about five months.

Pedro Alvarez is hitting .254. Come on.

McCutchen’s hitting .225 against left handed pitching. Last season he hit .328. Have left handers figured him out?

It’s possible. We’re talking about five months here.

Nobody could blame you for expecting him to get hot based on his track record, but that should have happened by now.

Last year, after hitting below the Mendoza Line at .194 in April, he went crazy and batted .325 for May, June, July and August.

McCutchen only has three hits and a walk in his last 20 playoff appearances.

And he’s making up for all of that by playing shaky defense.

McCutchen is the Pirates second best centerfielder. He should switch places with Starling Marte in left.

Barry Bonds was a pretty good centerfielder, but when Andy Van Slyke showed up he moved to left field and started winning Gold Gloves.

Speaking of Barry Bonds, he started slower than McCutchen but, once he reached superstardom, he never was this bad for this long.

Even the greatest players have slumps, but I feel pretty safe in telling you that the superstars who preceded McCutchen on the Pirates never stunk for five consecutive months.

Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Dave Parker never came close to being this bad for this long when they were McCutchen’s age.

Parker dropped off considerably in the early 80s but becoming fat and playing on a team noted for its cocaine use might have had something to do with that.

McCutchen still has lots of time to turn it around and salvage the season but he’s past the point where his struggles only make you believe that he’s about to explode any minute.

Five months is a long, long time.

DHP_2020-The Pirates upcoming schedule has created a lot of optimism for the second half among fans and media but this season was always going to be about them doing a better job against the easier teams.

They were 8-11 against the Reds and 9-10 against the Brewers last year. If they had turned those records around they would have won the National League Central Division.

-If you’re enjoying the current struggles of the Brewers and Reds, you might want to keep in mind that it was only a few years ago when those two franchises were being held up as examples for why the Pirates should stop whining about being in a smaller TV market.

The Twins, Athletics and Rays were also supposed to be arguments against the need for a salary cap. All three are in last place.

Jung Ho Kang stinks, too, by the way. He’s hitting .242. The Pirates have done a good job of not letting the sexual assault accusation become a huge story. Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

John Steigerwald

TIOPS Columnist

John Steigerwald, a life long Pittsburgher, has been covering PITTSBURGH sports since 1977 as a TV anchor/reporter, columnist radio reporter/commentator and talk show host. He is also the author of one of the best selling local books in Pittburgh history, "Just Watch The Game."

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