Found August 30, 2013 on Pirates Prospects:
Gerrit Cole lost his seventh start of the season last night against the Milwaukee Brewers, and runs his record to 2-7 after he started the year 4-0. Cole threw seven and one-third innings, and allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits and a walk, while striking out four. While Cole took the loss, the outing last night may have been one of the most encouraging from 2011′s No. 1-overall selection among the 14 he has made thus far. Exhibit A comes from the length of the start, while Cole also showed a little more versatility with his repertoire. Gerrit Cole continues his development as a starting major-league pitcher, and last night may have been his biggest step yet. (Photo Credit: David Hague) The Brewers scored a single run in three of the first four innings against Cole. But like Jeff Locke on Tuesday, Cole encountered a couple of bad breaks. In his own words, Cole “screwed up” a pick-off play that saw his attempt go into foul ground in right field and Jean Segura get to third base and later score. “I tried to go in off the plate to Lucroy and we got the ball where he wanted to, about four inches off the plate, and he just sprays it out over second base,” Cole said. Milwaukee nicked Cole early again in the second, when Carlos Gomez singled, stole second, and scored on a double by Khris Davis. In the fourth, Aramis Ramirez hit a solo home run. But through the first four frames, Cole threw 52 pitches with the most coming in a 17-pitch third inning when he kept Milwaukee off the board. Keeping his pitch count down, and attacking the strike zone has been one of Cole’s strengths all season. Thursday, he settled to work through the seventh and head out to the mound when Scooter Gennett and Jean Segura knocked him from the game in the eighth with back-to-back hits. “I feel like the Gennett at-bat at the end, I made a lot of good pitches to him and then the last one finally wasn’t that good,” Cole said. “I showed Gennett too many pitches and the hit-and-run, it’s the second time Segura’s done that to me, pulls his hands in and tries to go the other way, he does a good job with that pitch.” Still, the takeaway from the game was a positive one for Hurdle and his 22-year-old workhorse. “This one there’s definitely something for him to take and keep in his back pocket and hold on to,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “The distance traveled, number one, to get in the eighth inning. He’s pitched the seventh inning before, this is new territory, and he earned it.” What helped Cole reach the eighth for the first time as a major-leaguer was his mix of pitches that saw him throw more off-speed rather than relying on the fastball. “I threw some really good sliders today. I threw some good ones, so that’s getting better. I threw some good curveballs. There’s a couple that got spot over the plate but that’s going to happen,” Cole said. “I think there’s progress there, progress from the changeup, we threw some good changeups right-on-right,good changeups right on left.” In his first start for Pittsburgh, Cole threw 64 fastballs and 17 off-speed pitches. Last night, Cole threw 53 fastballs and 43 off-speed pitches, mixing in his changeup, curveball, and slider. The slider was most prominent in the top of the sixth when Cole struck Ramirez out swinging. In 2013, Cole has thrown fastballs 39 percent of the time in two-strike counts. His 2-2 pitch to Ramirez in the sixth was a heavy-snapping slider that started up-and-in and ended up middle-away off the plate. Ramirez struck out swinging. “He understands that you can’t live in the lap throwing 95, 96, 97, 98,” Hurdle said. “I think he understands that better than he ever has before.” Which is a good thing. No matter how hard a pitcher can throw a fastball, big-league hitters are going to hit it. Instead, Cole is learning how to just use it better. “He’s understanding better the importance of location with his fastball, his four-seamer, his two-seamer,” Hurdle said. That, in tandem with progress in using his other pitches showed a side of Cole that Pittsburghers may not have seen before from anyone besides A.J. Burnett this season. “He’s also understanding the importance of being able to spin the ball, use the changeup effectively for swing-and-miss and also for early strikes,” Hurdle said. “All of that is slowly developing and coming into play without a doubt in my mind.” As Cole continues his career, what is the next step for him after increased confidence and execution with his secondary arsenal? “One of the challenges he’s had this year is coming from Pitch One and being sharp. That’s a challenge for a lot of guys. There’s a lot of guys in their third or fourth year that are still working on that,” Hurdle said. “But I think that’s one thing that we’ve been able to identify, just come out of the chutes a little crisper than he has so far.” Overall consistency as well will make Cole able to work into the eighth inning more often, and possibly beyond. He looks the part, with his 6-4, 240-pound frame. “It’s a handful of pitches that separates a lot of these outings from really good ones to not good ones and those handful of pitches are really what you get paid to make and they’re really tough pitches,” Cole said. “Because you just gotta go out and almost execute pitches and not think about what the count is, because there’s so many things that you can’t control.” THE BIGGEST SERIES EVER (IN THE LAST 20 YEARS) That’s what many will likely hear this three-game set referred to, which was also the case the last time the Cardinals were in town when the Pirates won four-of-five from St. Louis at PNC Park. St. Louis (78-55) leads the Pirates (77-56)  by a game in the NL Central, and is 12-5 in its last 17 games. Meanwhile, the Pirates have played even .500 baseball since the beginning of July. Here’s Clint Hurdle’s thoughts from this afternoon: “We’re in second place, we’re a game behind the team we’re playing so it’s pretty much all laid out for you. Tonight we’re playing, we’ll be in a different situation one way or the other tomorrow. That’s what we’ve done all year, that’s when we’ve been at our best so we do have 29 games to play, but we start with tonight’s game. We play tonight to see what happens next.” Time passes. People change. The leaves turn brown. Clint Hurdle and the Pirates remain focused on today. Lineups Pirates Jose Tabata LF Neil Walker 2B Andrew McCutchen CF Pedro Alvarez 3B Marlon Byrd RF Garrett Jones 1B Russell Martin C Clint Barmes SS Francisco Liriano P Cardinals Matt Carpenter 2B Carlos Beltran RF Matt Holliday LF Allen Craig 1B Yadier Molina C David Freese 3B Shane Robinson CF Pete Kozma SS Shelby Miller P
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
DRAWERINGS

Starling Marte hangs up fan's artwork in dugout

Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is currently on the 15-day DL with a sprained finger. Marte has been one of the key components to the Pirates' success this year, and has become quite a fan favorite in Pittsburgh as a result. Before Thursday night's game with the Brewers, Marte noticed a fan with a hand-drawn "get well Starling" sign along with a...

First Pitch: Morneau For Two Players Who Barely Made It Out Of A-Ball

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Justin Morneau today for Alex Presley and a PTBNL, who is reportedly Duke Welker. For our analysis on the first part of the deal, check out the trade article. I was thinking about the two players involved in the deal, and thinking about how they got to where they were. First, this is another deal where the Pirates are getting short-term help, but not...

Pirates Playoff Odds After Trading for Marlon Byrd, John Buck

Acquiring Marlon Byrd did not swing the playoff odds too much, but Wednesday night’s win certainly did. (Photo Credit: David Hague) It would take a Hindenburg-esque crash for the Pirates to miss the MLB postseason (98-percent chance Bucs make it), but it is unlikely they will take the NL Central over the St. Louis Cardinals (32 percent). The Bucs can shoulder some blame. The Pirates...

Pirates Notebook: For Garrett Jones, C’est La Vie

Garrett Jones wasn’t happy this week. While hitting .119 for the month of August entering last night’s game (courtesy of some atrocious luck on balls in play–.119 BABIP), manager Clint Hurdle gave his first baseman “a couple days down”. Jones did not start in the Milwaukee series, and received just one at-bat in a pinch-hit appearance Tuesday. “At first, it’s frustrating...

Charlie Morton headlines list of available two-start Pitchers for Week 22

Here we go, the last week until fantasy baseball playoffs get underway and Locker Room Fantasy Sports is looking to help fantasy owners solidify a spot in the postseason.  I really like Charlie Morton’s chances against the Brewers this week, but he could get dealt a tough hand against the Cards later in the week. St. Louis hasn’t named their starter for that game, but at least...

Recap: Jones, Liriano, Pirates beat Cards for Central tie

PITTSBURGH -- Slumping Garrett Jones hit his 100th career homer and drove in four runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis 5-0 Friday night and moved into a tie with the Cardinals for the NL Central lead. Jones had three hits and Russell Martin added his 12th homer of the season. Jose Tabata and Neil Walker got two hits as the Pirates moved within four victories of their...

Gregory Polanco Promoted to Indianapolis

Gregory Polanco has been promoted to Indianapolis. The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted top hitting prospect Gregory Polanco to Indianapolis, Cory Giger reports. #AltoonaCurve OF Gregory Polanco, one of the #Pirates prized prospects, has been promoted to AAA Indy. — Cory Giger (@CoryGiger) September 1, 2013 More to come.

Prospect Watch: Kingham and Glasnow Finish Their Regular Seasons Strong

TOP OF THE SYSTEM A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates...

Preview: Cards to test Pirates in critical weekend series

The Pittsburgh Pirates grabbed the NL Central lead from St. Louis when the Cardinals visited PNC Park one month ago, taking four of five to set the wheels in motion for a run at their first division title since 1992.The next 10 days should determine just how realistic that possibility may be.Now a game behind the Cardinals, the Pirates hope Francisco Liriano can pull them into a...

Minor League Schedule: Kingham and Glasnow Make Last Regular Season Starts

West Virginia made the playoffs last night, giving the Pirates organization their fourth playoff team. Jamestown still has a chance to make it a fifth team. The GCL Pirates will play a one game playoff today to try to get to the GCL finals. Check out the Recent Transactions section to the bottom of this page for all Pirates minor league transactions. A full recap of yesterday’s...

Byrd happy to be with Pirates

New Pirates OF Marlon Byrd celebrated his arrival to the NL Central pennant race with a three-run home run, two standing ovations and a curtain call in Pittsburgh's 7-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on August 28. He has three hits in 12 at bats. Thrust abruptly into the middle of a pennant race, Byrd told PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko that he hopes to ignite the...

Game 133: Brewers 4 Pirates 0

The linescore makes this obvious, but this game was really decided in the first couple of innings. Neither starter came out with his best stuff, but the Brewers were able to capitalize on the rustiness that Gerrit Cole had after a longer-than-normal laoyff, while the Pirates left runners littered all over the bases against Yovani Gallardo despite hitting the ball awfully hard against...

DSL Pirates 2013 Season Recap: Pitchers

The Pirates had two teams in the Dominican Summer League that played well and their starting pitching carried them all season. They had a group of eight pitchers between their two rotations, that all had excellent seasons. Possibly the most impressive part is that two of their top starters went down early in the season, so with those two players includes in the conversation, they...

Pirates Add More Offense, Acquire Justin Morneau From Twins

The Pittsburgh Pirates looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 1992 added another bat to their line-up acquiring Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau in a waiver trade according to multiple sources. Earlier this week, the Pirates acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck from the Mets. Morneau has posted 221 home runs and 860 RBI over 11 years...

Pirates Take First Place in NL Central, Beat St. Louis 7-1

Lance Lynn was not a happy man Saturday night at PNC Park. The Pirates hung two runs on St. Louis’ starter in the second inning and scored another five in the third to take a 7-1 lead. The big blow came in the third, when Russell Martin squared up a 94 mile-per-hour fastball left elevated over the middle of the plate for a three-run home run to right-center field. Martin’s 13th...
MLB 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!

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.