Andrew McCutchen makes emotional return to Pittsburgh

Andrew McCutchen

Andrew Mc Cutchen

McCutchen had said he wanted to finish his career in Pittsburgh, but the Pirates traded him to the Giants in January for Kyle Crick, minor league outfielder Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 in worldwide bonus pool space.

San Francisco sends rookie Andrew Suarez to the bump for his 4th start of 2018 versus Pittsburgh. It came in a trade from Pittsburgh during the winter. "What's it going to be like?' I don't know until I'm there and until I'm in the moment", McCutchen said earlier Friday (via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). The reception he received was pretty darn awesome, including a standing ovation and MVP chants.

McCutchen got off to one of his typical slow starts - he's hitting.250 (40 points below his career average) with a.757 on-base-plus slugging percentage, three homers and 14 RBIs - but has heated up lately. It's a far cry from his heyday with the Pirates.

Buster Posey is dialed in at the plate, recording 11 hits along with five RBI's in his last six games.

"I wouldn't be able to tell you right now", Hanson said, when asked if he thinks the injury is serious. "As soon as the jersey gets put on me, that's what I am". "To be going back and doing a fairly good job definitely is a plus".

Pittsburgh Pirates fans were understandably disappointed when the team traded away the franchise's cornerstone, Andrew McCutchen, this past offseason to the San Francisco Giants.

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Samardzija has struggled to find anything resembling rhythm this season and failed to go longer than five innings in each of his first four starters this season.

Suarez, 25, will be making his fourth major league start. Suarez is 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA and 18 strikeouts.

A few thoughts and observations about where the Pirates have been over the past few days and where they're headed ...

The Pirates are sending righty Jameson Taillon (2-3, 4.42 ERA) to the mound.

Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (4-2, 3.13 ERA) is slated to pitch Tuesday's opener of a two-game series against the visiting Chicago White Sox. That includes giving up a season-high seven runs in 3 2/3 innings April 25 against Detroit. Taillon left his outing on Friday after three innings. The left-hander had allowed at least three earned runs in each of his past five starts, but kept Pirates hitters off balance with a fastball that bumped up to 93 miles per hour and a slider that helped him rack up five swinging strikes.

"You're hoping it's not one of those games where you have buzzard's luck, but we did have some hard outs", Bochy said.

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