San Francisco Giants outfielder Andrew McCutchen has had his moments this season. However, those moments have been few and far between. Against the Nationals, it looks like he is close to breaking out.
McCutchen got the offense going right away Friday night. With Stephen Strasburg pitching through an apparent injury, McCutchen did not hold back. He clobbered a home run to left-center to give the Giants an early lead. The Giants did not look back.
The look of the home run was different from most of McCutchen’s home runs this season. It was not a line drive; but, rather it had more lift to it.
McCucthen has been hitting the ball hard all season. In fact, he is probably one of the more unlucky hitters in baseball right now based on exit velocity. The problem with some of his hard contact is the lack of a launch angle. He hits it on the screws, but it does not have enough lift to get to the outfield.
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If he is able to get some more lift, then we may be celebrating a few more home runs from him. Anyways, the home run he hit gave the Giants a confidence boost that they needed. So often this season, the Giants have given up the first runs to the opposing teams. However, they took the charge against the Nationals thanks to McCutchen.
In addition to his home run, he also had a key single. The Giants pitchers were leaking runs, and he gave the Giants a much-needed insurance run. He got on base with a single, and Brandon Crawford drove him in. The Giants ended up winning by four, but McCutchen’s run gave them a cushion to work with.
For much of this season, McCutchen has not had the impact we have been expecting. His defense has been good with the exception of a few gaffes. However, the bat has not been consistently there.
McCutchen is known for his slow starts. However, it looks like he is beginning to break out of his rut. He has three home runs in June after hitting only three in the first two months. The ball looks to be jumping off of his bat differently. Prior to Friday night’s game, McCutchen had a .731 slugging percentage in June. His hits this month have not been cheap.
There were so many key contributors from Friday night’s game. However, the game started with the ball off of McCutchen’s bat. If he keeps this up, that would be swell.