After hitting .446 in July, Pittsburgh Pirates phenom Andrew McCutchen has batted only .252 in August. In addition to being bad news for the Pirates, who went 10-16 during the month, that’s also bad news for McCutchen’s shot at the MLB batting title — his dip in average knocked him out of first place. What’s even better is who replaced him.
Yep! That would be the same Melky Cabrera who just received a 50-game suspension for using steroids. But (coincidentally? not coincidentally? probably not coincidentally), Melky had been having a pretty great year prior to his suspension — he was the All-Star Game MVP in addition to that .346/.390/.516 line.
It’s certainly possible that McCutchen could catch Cabrera, particularly if he has another month like, hmm, May, June, or July, in which he hit .360, .370, and .446. And not to get our signals crossed here — even if he loses the batting title to Cabrera, McCutchen’s having the better season, since 1. he didn’t get suspended for using steroids and 2. he has 53 stolen bases, 5.8 WAR, and a higher OPS.
I can safely say that Major League Baseball, which has been trying to outrun the steroid era for the last decade, can’t be too excited about this. Unfortunately, the MLB isn’t run by David Stern. Stern would make sure McCutchen got the title.