PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- Andrew McCutchen is swinging a hot bat – and that may be an understatement. Coming into play on Wednesday, Cutch has improved his batting average by 68 points since falling all the way down to the .200 even mark on May 23.
Pirates broadcaster Bob Walk joined “The Fan Morning Show” during his weekly spot on Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. He said that McCutchen has his old swagger back and won’t fall back into the major slump he was in before this hot streak.
“He’s relaxed, he has this relaxed confidence that was missing before and I really love to see that about him,” said Walk. “The little bit of showmanship has kind of come back to him that he’s always had. It’s not like an overblown thing, it’s like he uses it right at the right time, at just the perfect amount, he’s really got a good feel for that. Those are the kind of things when he’s scuffling that you don’t see, so you know that he doesn’t have that self confidence so you kind of lose it yourself when you’re watching him.”
“I would be shocked to see him get into any kind of a funk like he was last year or even earlier this season. I think he’s really going to be, maybe not as hot as he is right now hitting about .400 the last month or so, but he’s going to be the old hitter the rest of the season which is a nice little boost for us.”
Bob also commented on Chad Kuhl’s outing on Tuesday night and how he just can’t seem to get past the fifth inning of work.
“I’m really excited about him, I know that last night [Tuesday] I was probably more critical than you would expect from me about on a guy that is winning a game, but I thought that under the circumstances of getting that big, early lead he would attack the strike zone a little bit more than he did. That’s what I wanted to see and he really didn’t do it. He had to again fight to get through those five innings, always on the edge of a big hit knocking him out of the ballgame,” Walk said.
Bob said that although this team’s record doesn’t look pretty, they are right in the thick of things in the NL Central and it’s rather remarkable.
“You’re kind of treading water right now, you’ve got these games in your own division coming up, quite a few of those so an opportunity there to make up some ground,” said Walk. “But it’s all about the division not being very good this year. Perhaps something in the high 80’s as far as a win total could end up not getting you a Wild Card this time, but actually winning something, coming in first place and going straight into a series. It’s a fortunate situation I think the Pirates find themselves in.”
Pirates reliever Felipe Rivero, who manager Clint Hurdle wanted to sit down and give rest to recently, was called upon in the ninth inning on Tuesday night, despite a six-run lead. Walk says that the more rest you can give a reliever, the better.
“I would lean toward trying to give guys as much time off as you can,” Walk said. “In a general sense, it was a shame last night [Tuesday] that you had to use five guys out of a bullpen when you had a 6-0 lead before you even went on the field.”
You can hear the entire interview with Bob Walk on the Fan Morning Show above.
Again, be sure to check out Bob’s weekly hit with the show on Wednesday’s at 8:30 a.m.