Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/4/13
The way Pirates manager Clint Hurdle sees it rookie right-hander Gerrit Cole is an old-school guy. That's why Hurdle was not worried about putting the 23-year-old newbie on the mound Friday a day after the St. Louis Cardinals won the first game of the best-of-five National League Division Series. “The fact we're one (game) down — Cole is kind of old-school this way — but that means we need to win and he's going to do everything in his power to get us evened up” Hurdle said before Game 2 on Friday afternoon at Busch Stadium. “He has always expected a lot of himself. I am confident in his abilities in his makeup and in the competitive edge he carries.” Cole delivered. He gave up two hits over six innings and also delivered an RBI single as the Pirates routed the Cardinals 7-1. By splitting the first two games at Busch Stadium the Pirates stole home-field advantage in the series. Game 3 is set for 4:37 p.m. Sunday at PNC Park. Game 4 will be played Monday in Pittsburgh but the starting time has not yet been decided. The atmosphere at PNC Park was electric Tuesday when the Pirates trounced the Cincinnati Reds in the wild-card game. Second baseman Neil Walker expects the same kind of environment Sunday. “I really hope so” Walker said. “It was awfully impressive. I think it's going to carry over. The Cardinals have played a lot of postseason ball so you're banking on their nerves being fairly cool. But I know our fans are going to do everything they can to rattle them a little bit.” Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn did not make it out of the fourth inning in either of his first two postseason starts. On Friday he lasted through the fourth … but was gone before there were two outs in the fifth. With one out in the second Pedro Alvarez hit a fly ball to deep center field. Jon Jay took an awkward route and the ball flew over his head and bounced into the seats for a book-rule double. Russell Martin struck out on a checked swing. Lynn opted to intentionally walk Jordy Mercer — who was plugged into the lineup for his bat after the Pirates scored one run in Game 1 — and pitch to Cole. Lynn tried to run a 94 mph fastball for strike two but Cole grounded it up the middle for a single. Alvarez beat the throw to the plate with a nice slide.
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