Andrew McCutchen wants one-game wild card format changed
It shouldn’t come as surprise that Andrew McCutchen isn’t a fan of the current system when it comes to how the one-game showdown that is the MLB Wild Card round.
After all the Pittsburgh Pirates have played host to three consecutive National League Wild Card games at PNC Park. After winning their first foray into the format in 2013, the team has been eliminated courtesy of a shutout in consecutive seasons.
The Pirates slugger bemoaned a one-game playoff and how it leaves so many things up to chance as he and his teammates begin preparations for the 2016 MLB season in earnest in Bradenton, Fla.
“You run into a hot pitcher who has his best stuff, and your season is over in one night,” McCutchen told the Beaver County Times, via NJ.com. “It really stings. You play all season to get to the playoffs and it doesn’t seem quite fair that you have no margin for error.”
McCutchen and the Pirates understand that potential eventuality all too well.
After beating the Cincinnati Reds in 2013, the Pirates were eliminated the next year with extreme and embarrassing prejudice, running into the pitching buzz saw that is Madison Bumgarner, getting shut-out and blown-out by the San Francisco Giants to the tune of 8-0.
In 2015, the Buccos suffered the same fate. Only this time it was the eventual NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta who easily dispatched the squad courtesy of a Chicago Cubs’ 4-0 blanking. And that came after winning an astounding 98 games in the highly competitive and loaded NL Central.
McCutchen said this week he intends to make his opinion known when MLBPA executive director Tony Clark visits the Pirates for his annual meeting with the team.
“I’m not going to necessarily lobby the union for it, but I think it would be much more fair,” he said.
While a longer series would probably level the playing field and eliminate some of the quirkier aspects of a one-game playoff, Major League Baseball already is confronted with scheduling issues with the World Series already being played into November.