I remember walking into PNC Park in Pittsburgh on June 11, 2013. This was one Pittsburgh Pirates‘ game that I was more pumped up than ever to see. This was going to be the game that new rookie call-up and former first overall pick, Gerrit Cole, would make his first start in the MLB. If his first game as a Pirate was a sign of things to come, pitching an excellent game against the World Champion San Francisco Giants and even getting a two-out, two-RBI single. Then the city of Pittsburgh would be in for a treat.
Fast forward to today’s game against the Cardinals and look at how the starts were similar. Cole pitched a great game against an excellent team and batted better than most veteran pitchers. This is the reason the Pirates drafted him first overall in 2011.
There were rumors during the summer that Pirates’ general manager, Neal Huntington, was thinking about him going back to the minor leagues and possibly being shut down before the playoffs.
If I can say one thing to Pirates’ management on behalf of all Pirates’ fans around the world: Thank you!
The decision to not shut down Cole or sit him for the playoffs looks like a wise decision. Down the home stretch of the season and Friday’s NLDS game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Cole is looking more and more like the number one draft pick and hopeful ace the Pirates were looking for when choosing him.
Cole is not just a great pitcher, but an excellent hitter. This is one thing that also makes Cole stand out from the rest of the pack. The Cardinals just cannot pitch around the eighth hitter in the Pirates’ lineup, because Cole will make them pay.
Gerrit Cole pitched the game that the Pirates needed him to pitch on Friday, which was dominating and statement-making. If you are a Pirates’ fan, you love the fact that he is developing into a dominating pitcher. If you are a Cardinals’ fan, you are hoping that you do not have to see him again in these playoffs. Neal Huntington, from all of Bucco Nation, thanks for not shutting Cole down.