The Pittsburgh Pirates did not have much to go their way in May.
The Pirates entered May holding the top spot in the NL Central standings, as Bryan Reynolds was leading their high-octane offense and several relievers on the team were enjoying potent starts to the season.
The script flipped for the Pirates in May, as they finished with a lowly 8-18 record in the month. Pittsburgh opened up May on a six-game losing streak, but it at the least capped off the month on a promising note with a road series win against the San Francisco Giants.
Pirates designated hitter Andrew McCutchen was one of a few players on the team who upped their play in May. The veteran slugger hit .293 and logged a .390 OBP over 23 such games played.
Even with the Pirates’ lackluster play last month, McCutchen is full of confidence heading into the team’s schedule in June.
“We struggled in May, but it’s a win if you ask me,” McCutchen said after the Pirates’ road win over the Giants on Wednesday. “Would you rather have those struggles in May? Or would you rather have those struggles in September, when you’re trying to push for a playoff spot? It’s something we learn from. You learn, grow through.
“Two months in the books, I feel pretty good about where we are.”
Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller believes that the “sky’s the limit” for his team.
“I think we came out really hot and a lot of things were falling our way, and then I think we ran into some trouble,” Keller said on Wednesday. “We weren’t getting the bounces, we weren’t getting the calls, whatever it may be. I think it snowballed on us a little bit. I think it took us a couple weeks to re-group and take a deep breath and everyone to step back and find what their role is. ‘What do I do best? What do you do best?’
“I think we’re getting through that here. I think we’re playing really good baseball. The sky’s the limit for us.”
The Pirates will open up a three-game home series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.