Found October 07, 2013 on Pirates Prospects:
Gerrit Cole will start Game 5 on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: David Hague) The big question about a potential game five was whether the Pittsburgh Pirates would start Gerrit Cole instead of A.J. Burnett. Burnett struggled on the road in St. Louis in Game 1, while Cole dominated the Cardinals in Game 2. Both will be available on normal rest for Game 5 on Wednesday, and after Michael Wacha mowed down the Pirates today, there will be a Game 5. Clint Hurdle announced after the game today that Gerrit Cole would get the Game 5 start over Burnett “We have one game to win,” Hurdle said.  ”As I’ve done and I’ve challenged the guys to do, we need to do the best we can to win that next game.  I believe that match-up is the best we can do to beat the Cardinals in Game 5.” Hurdle is right to go with Cole over Burnett. I pointed out several reasons why Cole is the better starter last Friday. It all boils down to the fact that Cole has been dominating for the last month, while Burnett has struggled on the road, and especially on the road against the Cardinals. When you add in that Burnett was hammered at Busch, and Cole dominated, it makes the decision easy. Hurdle said that the Pirates haven’t talked to either player about the move leading up to the game. They both threw their side sessions in preparation for the start. “It’s a very hard decision.  It’s a difficult decision because [Burnett] has meant so much, we’ve asked so much of him while he’s been here,” Hurdle said. “It has been a very challenging park for him.  If this was any other venue, he would have gotten the ball.  But for me in this venue this game, Cole is going to be our guy.” Cole will have a difficult matchup, going up against Adam Wainwright. If the Pirates can pull away a win, that puts them in good position in the NLCS. Burnett is a much better option against either the Braves or Dodgers. The Pirates could go with Liriano and Burnett in games one and two, then Gerrit Cole in game three. That would give the Pirates up to six starts total from those three pitchers in a best of seven series. But first they need to win game five against the Cardinals, and Gerrit Cole gives them the best opportunity to do that.

Pittsburgh Pirates going with rookie phenom Gerrit Cole in Game 5

Gerrit Cole was dealing in Game 2, will Game 5 be the same? (Credit: AP/Charlie Riedel) In their biggest game in 20 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates will turn to a 23-year-old rookie, Gerrit Cole, to pitch Wednesday’s NLDS Game 5 in St. Louis against the Cardinals.  The Pirates are looking for their first postseason series win since 1979.  Facing St. Louis Cardinals ace and 19-game...

Black is a fitting color to wear to PNC today. Because you're going to a funeral.

What a ride thus far.  Charlie Morton is on the hill today with the Pirates one win away from the NLCS. Read that one again. The Pens have been answering the Pirates' support in kind during this run, and some of them were at the game yesterday: Credit pic to tumblr and @SLeinemann for the heads-up. Here's a pic of 66. Looks to be from the 6.6K run.  

AFL Recap: Jameson Taillon Looks Good in Season Opener

The Arizona Fall League season began Tuesday night with Jameson Taillon getting the Opening Day nod for the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Pittsburgh Pirates have sent seven players to the league and the three top prospects among that group were in the starting lineup. Another two Pirates players would get into the game before the night was done. Jameson Taillon got the AFL Opening Day...

The Pirates Have a Playoff Pitching Staff of Reclamation Projects

The Pittsburgh Pirates wouldn’t be here today without their pitching. The team has been successful this year due to pitching and defense making up for an offense that can be weak and streaky at times. The amazing thing about that pitching staff is how cheap they have come. Most of the starting pitchers have been reclamation projects who were coming off down years, and bounced back...

MLB Game Picks - Wednesday: October 9, 2013

After yesterday's games, the Red Sox are in and the Tigers get to fight another day. The Tigers forced a Game 5 with a thrilling (and disputed) win over the Athletics. Yesterday, I speculated on whether Max Scherzer would start instead of Doug Fister. He did not. But Fister was decent and Scherzer did pitch after all and got the win in relief. After all, he got the run support...

NLDS Game 4 Preview: Pirates vs. Cardinals

Cardinals at Pirates — Pirates lead series 2-1 3:00 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh Gameday TV: TBS At the ridiculously dumb start time of 3 PM, the Pirates will take the field in hopes of advancing to the NLCS. They could win a playoff series today. It’s been a long time since that happened. If they lose, they’ll get another shot, but it will be on the road against one of...

Pedro Alvarez delivers Pirates to Game 3 victory, 5-3

What started as a battle between dominant starting pitchers hinged on a late-inning at-bat between Pedro Alvarez and Kevin Siegrist. Alvarez delivered and the Pirates' 5-3 win against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park Sunday gave them a 2-1 lead in the National League Division Series. The Cardinals face elimination in Game 4 which takes place Monday at PNC Park. They will...

Watson and bullpen seal Pirates win

Pirates reliever Tony Watson pitched a scoreless seventh inning and the Pirates defeated the Cardinals 5-3 to take a 2-1 lead in the NLDS.'s George Von Benko spoke with Watson following the victory.

Mercer: Bucs ready for game five

The Pirates and Cardinals will play a decisive game 5 in their NLDS on Wednesday night. Pirates SS Jordy Mercer told's George Von Benko that he is confident the Bucs will prevail.

NLDS Game 3: Pirates 5 Cardinals 3

I don't know how to say anything coherent about this game. Let's open up with that and go from there. Through three games, the only thing that this Pirates playoff run was been missing was a nail-biting, heart-pounding Playoff Game (tm). Given Francisco Liriano's success against the Cardinals this year and Joe Kelly's success against the Pirates, I had a hunch...

Pirates take 2-1 lead in NLDS

Pedro Alvarez and the Pirates kept that Jolly Roger flapping high above Pittsburgh.

NLDS Game 3: Alvarez delivers in 8th, Pirates beat Cardinals 5-3

Carlos Beltran tied the game in the eighth inning with his second home run of the series, but the Pirates responded with two runs in the bottom half to regain the lead for good and take a 2-1 lead over the Cardinals in the National League Division Series. The atmosphere at PNC Park was predictably electric during pregame ceremonies, and things only got louder in the bottom of...

Pirates/Cardinals Game Four Lineups – The Lefty Challenge For Morton

Here are the lineups for the Pirates and Cardinals this afternoon at PNC Park. Thoughts are below: Pirates 1. Starling Marte, LF 2. Neil Walker, 2B 3. Andrew McCutchen, CF 4. Justin Morneau, 1B 5. Marlon Byrd, RF 6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B 7. Russell Martin, C 8. Clint Barmes, SS 9. Charlie Morton, SP Cardinals 1. Matt Carpenter, 2B 2. Carlos Beltran, RF 3. Matt Holliday, LF 4. Matt Adams...

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals – NLDS Game 3

I have this weird vision that when Kevin McClatchy throws out the first pitch today a lot of people are going to boo him.  Far be it from me to tell you how to cheer at a game but I’ll say this,  without Kevin McClatchy you’re likely not at a Pirates game today.  PNC Park?…

A Minor Review of 2013: Pirates

There is always a bit of a lull between the end of the minor league playoffs in September and the start of the annual top prospects lists in early November. Because of that gap, I’m breathing new life into an old feature that I wrote for the site in FanGraphs’ infancy back in 2008 and 2009. The series ‘A Minor Review of 2013′ will look back on some of the major happenings...
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