They have too many candidates. It’s a chain gang.
All season, Clint Hurdle and his players have espoused the one-for-all, all-for-one character of the team. The statistics back up that appraisal. So do the daily results.
Asking “Who is the Bucs’ MVP?” is like asking “What will the weather in Pittsburgh be like today?” It depends on what day you ask.
They connect the dots … and pass the lunch pail.
This morning, it obviously is Russell Martin. On Sunday, without question it was Josh Harrison. That time he hit a tying home run in the ninth and a game-winner in the 11th, it had to be Andrew McCutchen. Pick any day he delivers a clutch hit, and it’s unquestionably Neil Walker.
Nine Pirates have hit 10 or more homers.
Eight Pirates have 40 or more RBIs, and 11 have 30 or more.
The reigning MVP, McCutchen, won’t reach the 84 RBIs that last season were the fewest for a full-season MVP in a quarter-century.
Cutch’s repeat chances are hurt by the fact he’ll have to split the votes with the Bucs’ breakout sensation. Harrison is the MVP choice of McCutchen himself — as well as of PNC Park fans who have begun to greet his at-bats with chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!”
Then, there is Martin — whom we thought was invaluable last season, then he showed up for this one.
In 2013, Martin batted .192 in 120 at-bats with men in scoring position, with 30 RBIs.
In 2014, Martin is batting .380 with men in scoring position, and in fewer at-bats (92) has nearly double the RBIs (56).
Hey, if MVP is out of the question, maybe Martin can bag Comeback (Clutch) Player of the Year.