Describing his hitting as "under mediocre ... it's bad," a visibly frustrated Andrew McCutchen stood in front of his locker following tonight's 7-1 loss and fielded over seven minutes of questions about his offensive struggles. On a night in which the Pirates bats were once again depressingly lifeless, McCutchen spoke with uncommon emotion and frankness about his performance to date.
"I take full responsibility for how we're playing, and I know I'm a big part of it," McCutchen said. "I'm not doing what I should be doing for the money that I'm making."
After another 0-for-4 night, McCutchen is batting .185/.280/.293 with a 68 wRC+.
"I'm sick and tired of going 0-for-freaking-4," McCutchen said. "It ain't fun taking right turns when you're used to taking left ones."
McCutchen did hit a couple of balls hard tonight, and for the season his hard-hit rate is well above league average (34.3 percent to 28.3 percent), so he is dealing with some bad luck, as reflected by his .200 BABIP.
However, there is also something much more than bad luck going on. Whatever the cause, whether health-related or simply a mechanical adjustment that needs to be made, McCutchen is not pulling the ball with much authority.
|Pulled balls||Softly hit||hard hit|
During his postgame press conference, Clint Hurdle cited a "disconnect" between McCutchen's lower and upper body as the reason for his trouble pulling the ball.
"There is a little bit of a disconnection," McCutchen said. "I can feel it. I'm doing what I can to correct. I don't know how it got to that."
When asked whether he thought his health might explain his slow start, McCutchen said he feels strong and he doesn't think that his knee has anything to do with the problems at the plate.
"I'm not saying my legs are hindering me from being able to drive the ball the way I want to drive," McCutchen said. "I don't feel like that. I feel great. I just think something is a little off. I can't stand here and say my knee is the reason, or something like that. I don't believe my knee [has anything to do with it]. I just feel a little off."
Moreover, he is adamant that he doesn't want any time off to rest his legs.
"I don't like days off," McCutchen said. "I didn't like the day off we had yesterday, because I feel like I'm getting myself in a good position. No time off, no. I don't need that. I just need to go out there."
Although he is frustrated, McCutchen certainly hasn't lost any of his abundant and authentic confidence.
"I know it's going to come and sitting around ain't going to do it," he said. "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."