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Party Like It’s 2013: McCutchen Breaks Out ‘Zoltan Z’ vs. Mets



Pittsburgh Pirates, Andrew McCutchen

Don’t adjust your television screens, it’s still 2024. But for a brief moment, you may have thought you were watching the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates.

In the top of the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field, Andrew McCutchen reached on an opposite-field base hit.

As he stood on first base, the fan favorite flashed a familiar celebration. In shades of the Pirates’ ‘Buctober’ run in 2013, McCutchen flashed the Pittsburgh-famous ‘Zoltan Z’ celebration.

The Pirates’ used the well-known celebration during the 2013 season, the same year Pittsburgh snapped a 21-year playoff drought and McCutchen was named the National League MVP.

The first ‘Z’ was flashed by Rod Barajas after a walk-off home run against the Washington Nationals in 2012. After that, it became a phenomenon across the city of Pittsburgh.

McCutchen is the only current Pirates’ player who was on that 2013 playoff team. By coincidence — or maybe not — former Pirates’ outfielder Starling Marte was patrolling right field for the Mets in Tuesday’s game. Marte, who was in his second season in Pittsburgh in 2013, was the one who fielded McCutchen’s base hit.

To be clear, sideline reported Hannah Mears said on SportsNet Pittsburgh that McCutchen told her he is not bringing back the celebration on a permanent basis.

But with the Pirates’ hot start to the year, maybe the flashback to 11 years ago will serve as a bit of foreshadowing as the Bucs look to end another playoff drought.

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