With 1,000 career RBI, the Milwaukee Brewers' Andrew McCutchen joins an exclusive list

The Brewers' Andrew McCutchen collects his 1,000th career RBI in the fifth inning against the Reds on Friday night.
The Brewers' Andrew McCutchen collects his 1,000th career RBI in the fifth inning against the Reds on Friday night.

CINCINNATI – After 14 years in the major leagues, Andrew McCutchen has achieved plenty.

And the latest box he can check on his list of personal milestones is a big one.

Having driven in three runs to help beat the Cincinnati Reds, 5-3, at Great American Ball Park on Friday night, the Milwaukee Brewers designated hitter-outfielder became just the 11th active major-leaguer to surpass 1,000 for his career.

“Doing it for a while, I guess,” McCutchen said when asked what the achievement meant to him. “Anybody who has that attached to them, they’ve been doing it for a while and for the most part, have been doing all right.

“It’s something I don’t take lightly. I’m happy to be in the position to do it.”

The big moment came in the fifth inning and gave the Brewers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. He added a two-RBI double on an 0-2 count in his next at-bat in the seventh, leaving him with 1,002 and counting with 11 games left in the regular season.

“He’s gotten plenty of RBIs off of me,” joked Friday’s starter, Eric Lauer, whom McCutchen hit for a .500 average (7 for 14) — including a pair of home runs — and three RBI before Milwaukee signed the veteran this spring to help bolster its lineup against left-handed pitching.

“I mean, any milestone to that degree, pushing that far into a career, it’s impressive,” Lauer continued. “It’s fun to watch, it’s fun to be a part of and it’s fun to know the guy on the other side of the lines, too.

“The guy’s a great hitter, he’s always been a great hitter and like I’ve been saying since we got him, I’m just glad he’s on our team.”

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McCutchen would be the first to admit his season hasn’t quite gone as well as either he or the Brewers had hoped with a .240 average, 17 homers, 69 RBI and .706 OPS.

But he’s generally been available, having played in 127 games (fourth-most on the team) as well as versatile enough to have logged starts at DH as well as all three outfield spots.

His veteran leadership in the clubhouse has also been extremely valuable.

“Cutch is kind of the definition of a presence to me,” manager Craig Counsell said. “And you’re a presence because of the way you handle yourself on a daily basis and the decisions you make at work every day, how you conduct your day, how you handle the good stuff, how you handle the bad stuff.

“And probably how you handle the bad stuff makes people want to talk to you and ask you questions and learn from you.”

There hasn’t been a lot of bad in McCutchen’s 1,888 major-league games heading into Saturday.

He’s a career .277 hitter with an OPS of .839 who has 1,944 hits, 277 homers and 976 walks along with a National League MVP trophy (2013), five all-star appearances and a Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

“In order to be able to do that, you have to be on the field,” said McCutchen, who has played in a minimum of 108 games every season since breaking in with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009, except for 2019 after a knee injury and the pandemic season of 2020.

“More often than not, I’ve been on the field enough,” he continued. “One major injury that knocked me out (torn ACL in 2019), but I take pride in being able to be on the field. My body’s been holding up well. I’ve been feeling good.

“It’s a testament to the way that I train and then the trainers, the strength trainers and PT people, and all the people who help get me out there. I don’t take their job lightly at all. They’re the ones who help get us out there on the field and producing and keeping us healthy. It’s a mixture of it all.

“It’s not just me. It takes a team. It takes an army to be able to stay on the field and stay healthy.”

McCutchen is now one RBI from tying Justin Upton for 10th on the active list; Upton hasn’t played since becoming a free agent July 22.

Albert Pujols leads the list with 2,208 with Miguel Cabrera second at 1,843.

They were followed by Robinson Cano (1,306), Nelson Cruz (1,302), Evan Longoria (1,123) Joey Votto (1,106), Paul Goldschmidt (1,039), Freddie Freeman (1,035) and Yadier Molina (1,020).

McCutchen is also one of only two active players — the Angels' Mike Trout is the other — with 200 homers and 200 stolen bases

“It’s longevity a little bit, too. Being good for a long time,” Counsell said of the achievement. “Think about 100 RBIs for 10 seasons and it’s kind of, ‘Oh my gosh.’ That’s ‘Wow.’ That’s playing a lot of games, being available, being healthy.

“Being in that lineup as much as you possibly can and then doing a lot of damage.”

McCutchen has twice driven in 96 runs (2012 and 2015) but never reached triple digits.

“I’ve never had a 100-RBI season,” he said. “So, to be able to put together the seasons that I have, it’s nice being able to get it.”

Despite the impressive numbers, the soon-to-be-36-year-old believes there’s more to come.

“I’m pretty close to 2,000 hits,” he said. “Hitting milestones is great. Cross another one off the list tonight, but it’s not like a farewell thing for me. I want to keep playing, so hopefully the more I play, the more milestones I’ll hit.

“It’s all-around good.”

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee Brewers' Andrew McCutchen gets 1,000th career RBI