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While the wiry Pittsburgh centerfielder with dreadlocks continues his march toward his first MVP, does the season he has put together rank among one of the all-time best?
We’ll be able to judge the full season later but from May 9 to July 13, McCutchen had an impressive 56-game run rivaling that of the legendary Joe DiMaggio in 1941.
During that historic streak, Joe D hit .403 with a .459 OBP and .691 slugging for a 1.150 OPS. Not bad. (Not as impressive as rival Ted Williams’ stretch during the same time period, but that’s a column for another day.)
McCutchen’s numbers are right there with DiMaggio’s. He hit .396 with a .442 OBP and .733 slugging for a 1.174 OPS. Arguably better.
DiMaggio hit safely in all 56 games, which is what makes that streak so special, obviously, and McCutchen hit safely in only 45 and reached by hit or walk in 51.
The Yankee Clipper was surrounded with a much better lineup and scored 57 times and collected 36 extra-base hits. McCutchen scored 45 runs and rapped out 33 extra-base hits.
So, maybe it’s not quite DiMaggio-esque, but it is curious that DiMaggio wasn’t walked intentionally a single time during his streak. American League pitchers never shied away from DiMaggio, presumably one of the hottest of any major leaguer ever. McCutchen was passed intentionally six times during his 56-game stretch, a sign of respect, or possibly disrespect for the Pirates’ lineup.
No one will remember McCutchen’s 56-game streak from May 9 to July 13, 2012, but it’s worth mentioning when talking about hot hitting stretches since McCutchen came in the league in 2009.
Charlie Miller (@AthlonCharlie)