The best things we saw this week: Pirates' Andrew McCutchen hits career home run No. 300

The Pittsburgh star became the 160th player in MLB history to reach the milestone

Each week of the baseball season can be counted on to deliver something new and fun. Here are the best things we saw in the third week of the 2024 MLB season.

1. Andrew McCutchen joins the 300 club

McCutchen has been one of the best players of his generation, and with him back with the Pirates, where his 16-year MLB career began, it feels like things are right with the world as his time in the big leagues begins to close.

In the ninth inning Sunday in Philadelphia, where he played three seasons between his two stints in Pittsburgh, McCutchen reached another milestone when he blasted a two-run shot off reliever Ricardo Pinto in a 9-2 Pirates victory.

The home run was the 300th of McCutchen’s career, making him the 160th player in MLB history to reach the mark. It was also MCutchen’s 216th homer as a member of the Pirates, which ranks fourth all time behind Pittsburgh greats Willie Stargell, Ralph Kiner and Roberto Clemente.

“I'm happy that's over with," McCutchen told reporters after the game. "I've been sitting on that one for a while."

It was his first home run of 2024, with No. 299 having come on Aug. 22, 2023.

McCutchen, a five-time All-Star, has had an excellent career, including the 2013 NL MVP Award, four top-five finishes in NL MVP voting, four Silver Slugger Awards and more than 2,000 hits. While it might not be a career that will get him into Cooperstown, it’s definitely one worth admiring.

2. Jared Jones making his presence known in Pittsburgh

This week’s list has a Yinzer theme to it as we head back to the Steel City, where the Pirates' rookie right-hander is starting to turn heads. Jones, who has been one of the best strikeout artists this season, dazzled once again in his start Tuesday, tossing five innings of one-hit ball with seven strikeouts in the Pirates’ 3-1 loss to the Mets.

The 22-year-old right-hander is ranked as the No. 56 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. He’s 1-2 with a 3.13 ERA in four starts this season and sits second in MLB with 32 strikeouts, behind only the DodgersTyler Glasnow. Jones is currently first in MLB in whiff rate (39%) and second in strikeout rate (36.4%).

Jones has been a pleasant surprise through the first month of the season, and with 2023 No. 1 pick Paul Skenes carving up hitters in Triple-A and getting closer to his call-up to the big leagues, the Pirates could soon have at the top of their rotation a dynamic duo who will have big-league hitters in disbelief.

3. Mets stay hot, drop new City Connect Jerseys

Considering they came into the season with intentions of retooling, the Mets haven’t gotten off to a bad start. In fact, they’re 10-8 and are on a four-game winning streak going into a weekend matchup against the Dodgers in L.A. The Mets’ offense has received a huge boost from Pete Alonso, who has homered twice in the past four games, and they’ve also gotten major contributions from Starling Marte and, surprisingly, Harrison Bader.

But in the words of Deion Sanders, “When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you play good.” And this week, the Mets revealed their new City Connect jerseys, which feature tributes to the city of New York and its subway system.

The team will wear the new jerseys for the first time on April 27 against the Cardinals.