Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/2/14
Gerrit Cole gave up fewer than two runs for the first time in his rookie season. (Photo Credit: David Hague) Gerrit Cole stepped into Tuesday’s start as the worst-performing pitcher in the Pirates rotation. Actually, let’s call it “worst-performing” because it’s really only his ERA (3.89, still better than NL-average) and strikeout rate (5.4 K/9) that were lagging behind the rest of the Pirates’ run-prevention machine of a rotation. Well the young phenom smothered his three-game losing streak with great pitching and timely hitting in Washington. Cole led the Pirates to a 5-1 win over the Nationals by throwing seven innings and allowing only one hit on the mound while collecting two hits and an RBI at the plate. The rookie’s only true mistake served up a solo home run to Wilson Ramos, but otherwise he efficiently retired the Nats via four strikeouts and ten groundouts. Cole went heavy on his fastball and cut slider again Tuesday night to possibly his best start, retiring half his batters on three pitches or fewer. Cole walked only one hitter and worked efficiently over the last five innings of his 92 pitches, and he relied on defensive plays that ranged from solid to stellar, highlighted by Starling Marte’s leaping grab at the left-field wall and Jordy Mercer asking, Can I Pick It? (Yes you can.) If you are looking for another reason the 2013 Pirates are a different breed than those of the last two years, the rotation does not have a weak link as it stands. Each starting pitcher has been solid, plus Bryan Morris and new closer Mark Melancon finished off the first win without Jason Grilli in the bullpen. But Also The Offense Pedro Alvarez added two more hits Tuesday night. (Photo Credit: David Hague) The Pirates’ lineup has yet to break out, but Tuesday’s version produced 10 hits and five runs. Aided by a poor defensive play, the Bucs scored three runs in the 2nd inning and coasted the rest. Singles from Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin found holes, then Garrett Jones walked to load the bases. Neil Walker grounded to second in his first at-bat off the DL, but it was slow enough to avoid the double play and plate the first run. It looked like the inning would end on Jordy Mercer grounding into a 5-4-3 double play, but the throw from third bounced off Anthony Rendon’s glove. Another run scored, then Gerrit Cole bounced his RBI single for a three-run lead. Remember that Rendon is only playing second base because Ryan Zimmerman has third base locked down; this was only Rendon’s 49th pro game at the position since his conversion from third. Nationals rookie starter Taylor Jordan looked good (7.2 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 4 K) after losing the benefit of a double play, allowed Pedro Alvarez to crank out an opposite-field shot for his 25th home run in the 8th. Gaby Sanchez then knocked an RBI double off a left-handed reliever to score Russell Martin, who had a game-high three hits. This still does not look like a playoff-level offense, but five runs will help you win more often than not, especially when the pitching and defense continues to be top-flight.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Metta World Peace expresses interest to coach St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' to help Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

Thunder announce Kevin Durant to miss rest of season

Jeremy Maclin says he still believes in Chip Kelly

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

The beginning of the end for Notre Dame

An identity in flux: Harden and the collective consciousness

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.