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Pittsburgh Pirates Gerrit Cole masterful in major league debut

  • David Whitlock

In his first major league start of what should be a career to track, Gerrit Cole looked every bit the part of first overall draft pick (2011) for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  And not just against any old team, but against the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, against 2-time Cy Young Award winner and 4-time All Star Tim Lincecum.  And his girlfriend’s brother happens to be the Giants starting shortstop (Brandon Crawford).  Cole is an intimidating force, at 6’4″ and 240 pounds and probably some room to fill into his body as he matures.

Cole tosses in the 1st inning against the Giants Credit: AP/Keith Srakocic

Gerrit Cole tosses in the 1st inning against the Giants
Credit: AP/Keith Srakocic

The 22-year-old RHP from UCLA had a dream start striking out leadoff hitter Gregor Blanco on a 99 MPH fastball, scattered some early hits, then at one point retired 13 San Francisco Giants in a row.  In the bottom of the second, he contributed heavily to his own cause by knocking in 2 runs on a bases loaded single to give his team a 2-0 lead.  He got tagged for 2 runs, both after he left the game in the 7th inning which more than held up as the Bucs won 8-2, giving him his first (of what is sure to be many) victory.  Overall, he allowed 7 hits over 6 1/3 innings, the 2 ER, with 4 strikeouts, no walks, and a HBP.  And don’t forget his .333 batting average.  For the record, Brandon Crawford was 1-3 against Cole, so Amy Crawford has had reasons to cheer for both her boyfriend and brother (although she’s made no bones about being behind the Swashbucklers on this one).

Depending on your fantasy baseball league’s waiver wire posture, now is the time to make that claim if he’s available.  The upside is huge, plus, the Pirates are suddenly a strong NL contender, if not for the NL Central title, for sure for the Wild Card, as the NL East and West teams continue to scuffle.

– David Whitlock (@lhd_on_sports)

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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