In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

A Kuhl moment

Last night the Pittsburgh Pirates used a lot of early offense to beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3. Chad Kuhl pitched another solid ball game as he went six innings, allowed three runs on five hits and struck out six. In five starts since the All Star Break, Kuhl has a 3.30ERA and has pretty much kept the team in every game he’s pitched. It’s been a startling contrast from the first half of the season.

The biggest takeaway from Kuhl’s performance last night wasn’t pitching related, it was with his bat. Kuhl has never been a very strong hitter but last night he had his best moment with the bat. He didn’t exactly crush the ball but he put a good enough swing on a pitch to drive in two runs. Chad Kuhl may never be a good hitting pitcher but for at least one night, he was an offensive weapon. He contributed to the Pirates large early lead that they never relinquished.

However, Kuhl is, of course, a starting pitcher first and he did his job well last night. He kept Detroit’s offense off balance and used his two-seamer very effectively. Kuhl does have some quality stuff overall, his biggest problem has been learning to trust it consistently. Since the break, he’s done that and you’re seeing a very different pitcher.

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 Cutch Keeps Happening

Last night Andrew McCutchen continued to produce and if there are any people still doubting him, they’re very quiet. McCutchen hit his 23rd home run of the season and threw in another base hit for good measure. It wasn’t a particularly great game by any means but it’s good to see that a multi-hit game is no longer news for the former MVP. From 2016 until around June of this year, it felt like any great performance was newsworthy.

I struggle with objectivity when it comes to Andrew McCutchen. When he was performing poorly, I was constantly defending him because I refused to believe that he lost his skills so rapidly. Now that he’s back, I struggle to not get super giddy when he hits another home run or makes a great catch in Center Field. However, that’s what Wake Up Calls are for. So let me just say, I feel the same joy watching Andrew McCutchen right now that I did from 2009 through 2015. Enjoy McCutchen while you can because there will certainly come a day where he’s wearing a different uniform. McCutchen plays in a city with Ben Roethlisberger and Sidney Crosby so it’s understandable why he’s a bit overshadowed. He may not have the rings but he helped bring a franchise back from the dead

Enjoy McCutchen while you can because there will certainly come a day where he’s wearing a different uniform. McCutchen plays in a city with Ben Roethlisberger and Sidney Crosby so it’s understandable why he’s a bit overshadowed. He may not have the rings but he helped bring a franchise back from the dead. Prior to McCutchen’s run of greatness, the Pirates has no real superstar to speak of. McCutchen is one of the game’s best and Pittsburgh has been lucky to call him ours since 2009.

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Steve Kubitz

Steve Kubitz was born and raised in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. He is a long time and annoyingly positive baseball fan. He bought into the Pirates’ 5-year-plan before it was cool. He is best known for staying calm about losing streaks on twitter and trying his best to make sure other fans don’t overreact to when the Pirates lose a tough ballgame to a division rival. The only thing he isn’t positive about is the wave during close ballgames.