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.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.