Gerrit Cole did what the big right hander does best, struck out a batter when he needed it. The big right hander was in command throughout the game other than a solid knock off the bat of Brad Hawpe. Cole threw seven first pitch strikes over his two innings of work. He allowed one hit and struckout one.
Here is the strikeout victim—one Jose Tabata.
The Pirates right fielder got caught looking on a called third strike from Cole in this video. But Tabata battled at the plate after Cole exited the Black and Gold scrimmage Friday at McKechnie Field.
The groundball was Cole’s friend during his two innings of work. Gaby Sanchez gets pull happy and is easily thrown out at first base.
Jameson Taillon got a couple quick strikes on Alex Presley. The Buccos outfielder is battling for a spot on the 25-man roster and just missed a double down the line in this at-bat before being retired.
Taillon struckout Clint Robinson in this video. Robinson went down three times on strikes in the exhibition.
When the smoke cleared Gerrit Cole versus Jameson Taillon was everything we thought it would be. Well, we actually thought a few balls would have left the yard thanks to the stiff breeze in McKechnie (which made filming video a bit difficult.)
But both Cole and Taillon kept the ball down and in turn, nothing came remotely close to leaving the fancy new McKKechnie Field.
As you know, each of the Bucs top pitching prospects fired two shutout innings. Neither Cole nor Taillon issued a free pass.
But oh, Vic Black did. It was painful. The right hander can throw strikes, but chose not too on this day. After the game some of the brass felt he might have had some nerves. God, we hope that’s all it is. Black needs to simply throw strikes. The reliever who relies on Yoga for his flexibility, made we want to curl up in a downward dog just watching his struggles.
Here is one of the free passes, and someone should remind catcher Ali Solis about that live ball going to the backstop.
One of the postgame quotes from Clint Hurdle made me believe we haven’t seen the last of Cole or Taillon this camp:
“I liked the pace on the mound, especially those first two pitchers, both (Cole and Taillon) pitched very well today. They’re good, young pitchers, you expect to see good things from them, and we’ll look for more good things next time they get the ball.” Clint Hurdle
We can’t wait.