McCutchen to return to face resurgent Pirates

Austin Bechtold, Staff Writer

This weekend marks one of the most anticipated returns in Pittsburgh sports history: Andrew McCutchen is coming back to PNC Park as a member of the San Francisco Giants this weekend after nine seasons with the Pirates.

During his time in Pittsburgh, McCutchen created a special place in the heart of Pittsburghers everywhere.

Cutch returns to the team where he hit .291 with 206 homers and 739 RBI. He was a five-time All-Star, won four Silver Sluggers, a Gold Glove, hit a memorable grand slam, won the 2013 NL MVP, and brought the Pirates out of the worst stretch of losing in North American history.

With the Giants this year, he has not put up those kinds of numbers yet. He is hitting .250 with three home runs and 14 RBI on the season.

His return to the city he became a star in and the city he named his son after should be marked by smiles, cheers, and tears. McCutchen will more than likely be overcome with emotions when he first steps up to the plate and will receive the welcome he has certainly earned.

Since he left, the Pirates have found success with Starling Marte in center and newly acquired Corey Dickerson in left. Dickerson is their most productive hitter outside of Francisco Cervelli.

Dickerson, who is hitting .323 with five homers and 26 RBI, has already recorded a 1.5 WAR, which measures how many wins a player is worth to the team.

But there is no denying how special McCutchen is to the Pirates, the city, and the fans he left behind earlier in the year. McCutchen, who has stated that he will let his emotions go wherever they take him, has been waiting for this moment since the day he was traded.

It will be a wild night and the one special moment for Pittsburgh legend Andrew McCutchen that could lead to more ceremonies yet to come.