Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 6/22/13
The Pirates put together a very impressive performance to take the series opener in Anaheim, as they displayed some big-time power on the mound and at the plate. Gerrit Cole was awesome in this game. It was his first road start, but it essentially took place in his home town and he had plenty of friends and family in attendance. He showed the poise and ability to pound the strike zone / get quick outs that we saw in his first two starts, but in this one we also saw the swing and miss stuff show up – in a big way. He was mixing in a deadly slider, a changeup, and a two-seam fastball with great movement – all above 90 MPH to go along with his regular fastball that topped 100 multiple times. He used that absurd arsenal to strike out Albert Pujols twice and Mike Trout once, plus two more for a season high five K’s. Gerrit was dominant through six but ran in to trouble in the seventh. Pujols got him for a solo homer (the first homer allowed for Cole) and he followed that with his first career walk. He was then nailed in the thigh by a liner and gave up a sharp single, ending his evening. Still, the Bucs had a lead at that point and the outing left everyone extremely impressed. This was the first time you could really see why Cole was a #1 overall pick, and it’s hard not to be excited about him going forward. Cole improved to 3-0 thanks to more good run support to go along with another solid start. Pedro Alvarez has homered in all three of his starts, and El Toro picked up right where he left off on Thursday with a bomb in his first AB. He’s got 17 now, tied for third in the NL. Unlike Thursday, though, Pedro wasn’t the only big contributor on offense. Jordy Mercer had a huge day, and put the Bucs comfortably ahead with a 2-run second inning bomb to make it 3-0. Jordy added two more hits to boost his average to .290…look, actual production at shortstop! Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutchen both doubled twice to round out a solid day at the plate for the Pirates. Vin Mazzaro cleaned up Cole’s small mess in the seventh and worked a clean eight, giving Mark Melancon a second straight day off. Jason Grilli rebounded from his first blow save with a 1-2-3 ninth (and two K’s). The win moved the Bucs past the Reds, and they are now sporting the second best record in baseball. They have a six game edge on the last playoff spot and are 14 games above .500, tying the season high mark. You have to feel pretty good about where they are at the moment! Pirates 5, Angels 2 / Box / 2013 Record: 44-30 / Next: Saturday, at Angels, 10:05 Source: FanGraphs
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