The Pittsburgh Pirates must be smiling today as Gerrit Cole had another strong start in the Arizona Fall League. Cole allowed no hits and struckout four Scottsdale Scorpions.
Cole threw 54 pitches with 36 going for strikes. He walked one and was tagged with an unearned run from Jarek Cunningham’s third error of the season in the fourth inning.
Cole got two groundouts and three flyouts against the Scorpions. He lowered his ERA to 3.00 with the impressive outing during which he had 1-2-3 innings in the first and second innings.
The right hander got off to a quick start as he retired Tyson Gillies on a flyout to Robbie Grossman, Juan Carlos Linares on a ground out, and hot hitting shortstop
Brandon Crawford lined out to center to end the first after just ten pitches.
In the second catcher Hank Conger and Derek Norris struck out swinging before Cole got Harper to line out to third base.
The third inning was strong as well with Cole getting Darin Ruf to whiff, Zach Walters to fly out to center. Cole then walked Ryan Dent and whiffed Tyson Gillies to end the threat.
In the fourth, Cole got Linares to line out, before Crawford reached on the error charged to Cunningham. Conger flew out to left and Cole was lifted. A Bryce Harper homer off Cole’s replacement Marcus Hatley allowed Crawford to score and Cole being charged with the unearned run.
Cunningham made up for the defensive lapse with a single and double at the plate.
Unreal. Just unreal. The AFL is halfway complete and some great story lines are coming out of Arizona for the Bucs. But none more important than the success Cole is having thus far.