No, really, everything.
Andrew McCutchen leads the Pirates in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, runs batted in, runs scored, walks (tied with Neil Walker), doubles, triples and stolen bases.
Root Sports Pittsburgh points out that he’s the first player to lead a team in all of those categories this late into the season since the Astros’ Jose Cruz in 1984.
With a .342/.397/.586 line, McCutchen currently ranks sixth in the NL in OPS. He’s a big reason the Pirates are just two games back of the Reds in the NL Central, and he’d have to be in the top five in NL MVP balloting at the moment. Personally, I’d probably put him third behind Joey Votto and R.A. Dickey.
There is one word of warning here, though: McCutchen also appeared to be in the midst of a breakthrough season at this time last year, only to disappoint in the second half. He’s performing better now than he was then, but he needs to keep it going for a full year to truly establish himself as a superstar.
Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.