Gerrit Cole. Phenom.

Pirates Gerrit Cole: The 2013 Version of Tim Wakefield

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Gerrit Cole will be a bullpen option tonight for the Pirates.

Gerrit Cole will be a bullpen option tonight for the Pirates.

In 1992, rookie Tim Wakefield should have been generating all of the headlines, but Bob Smizik and the newspaper boys were on strike in Pittsburgh.  What a year to strike!  The Pens repeated as Stanley Cup champs with a sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks.  The Steelers new dynasty started under Bill Cowher.  And all of the Tim Wakefield wizardry was magical.

Much like Gerrit Cole has slipped under the headlines this season, Tim Wakefield did the same.  It continues to this day.  Want someone who was tremendous back in 1992 to throw out the first pitch?  It should be Tim Wakefield.  Doug Drabek pitched well, but he was also saddled with three losses.

Wakefield ruled Pittsburgh in 1992.  I was able to see it first hand.  The guy was so damned good so damned quickly;  it seems silly to compare a knuckle-baller to a flame thrower, but when looking at the production I couldn’t help but see some similarities.  Just ignore that monster-like ERA+ that Wakefield put up.

When Zane Smith‘s shoulder started barking, Wakefield got the call and made his debut on July 31.  Unlike Cole, Wakefield came out getting swings and misses as he fired a complete game, loading ten K’s on the Kennametal board.  (At least that’s how I remember it, was Kennametal even around back then?)

As Wakefield danced his knuckle ball through lineup after lineup, the wins kept piling up.  When kids all over town weren’t pretending to be Mario, they were trying their damndest to throw knucklers like Wakefield.

Remember in yesterday’s post how we talked about the Bucs dropping the first two games in the 92 postseason against Atlanta?  Guess who pitched the third game against the Braves?  Yeah. Wakefield.  The knuckler danced all night as Wakefield tossed a complete game five-hitter.  I remember being in the press box at Three Rivers, counting pitches for my internship.  What the hell was the point?  The Braves scored two runs, both solo shots–one by Ron Gant, the other by ahem, Sid Bream.  Wakefield’s wizardy was unreal.

He came back in Game Six, and Wakefield supercharged the Bucs with a complete game victory.  The Pirates whipped Tom Glavine  and the Braves  13-4 that fateful game seven one night later on October 14.

Doug Drabek got the call in Game 7 and he was masterful, but the fans clamored for Wakefield.  Jim Leyland was quoted as saying something about fans calling the rookie phenom Cy Young.  Yeah, Leyland wasn’t real big on rookies either. ..It didn’t matter that Wakefield never threw an inning of relief, everyone wanted to see him in the late innings that fateful night in Atlanta.

Wakefield owned the Braves in 1992.  Who knows if he could have continued his dominance in Game 7 with no rest?  The fact that it was even entertained was tremendous.

We will never know.

The knuckle-baller finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year race behind winner Eric Karros and runner-up Moises Alou.  A couple years later his performance was so bad the lowly Bucs released him.  Wakefield went on to have a pretty nice career for the Boston Red Sox.

GerritColePen

In 2013, the Pirates are generating the headlines, but the big story that most have missed is the Gerrit Cole story.  Cole was named the Rookie of the Month for Major League Baseball after five September starts, each one bigger than the last as he went 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA tying the NL lead for victories.

During the month of September when most expected a Pirates swoon, Cole ensured it didn’t happen.  The right-hander fanned a Major League rookie best 39 batters.

Many feel that Cole should be on the mound tonight against the Reds.  We understand the love affair with Francisco Liriano.  The veterans always get the nod over the rookies.

The same argument came up in 1992 as Wakefield had a strong September/October heading into the playoffs, also going 4-0.

Clint Hurdle will saddle up Frank the Tank and ride into St. Louis.  It’s a good theory, but having Cole waiting in the wings is a real power move.  Let’s trust Hurdle doesn’t have to make the decision to go to Cole.

After watching Cole recently, it’s hard to imagine he won’t get a shot to toe the rubber tonight if things get tight.  Tonight is torture.  One game.  Must win.

The scenario is insanity.   We can’t wait.

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The graph you see below is what Gerrit Cole did in 2013.

Rk Gcar Gtm Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB FB LD PU Unk GSc IR IS SB CS PO AB 2B 3B IBB GDP SF ROE aLI WPA RE24 Entered Exited
1 1 64 Jun 11 PIT SFG W,8-2 GS-7 W(1-0) 99 6.1 7 2 2 0 2 0 1 2.84 27 81 59 18 8 12 12 5 1 0 53 0 0 0 25 1 0 0 0 0 0 .99 0.194 0.61 1t start tie 7t -23 1 out a4
2 2 69 Jun 16 PIT LAD W,6-3 GS-6 W(2-0) 4 5.2 7 3 3 0 1 0 0 3.75 23 80 52 8 4 10 12 5 0 0 44 1 0 0 23 1 0 0 1 0 0 1.11 -0.069 -0.94 1t start tie 6t 1-3 2 out a2
3 3 74 Jun 21 PIT @ LAA W,5-2 GS-7 W(3-0) 4 6.1 4 2 2 1 5 1 0 3.44 24 88 54 12 10 11 7 4 1 0 61 0 0 0 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 .80 0.091 0.70 1b start tie 7b 1– 1 out a2
4 4 79 Jun 28 PIT MIL W,10-3 GS-6 W(4-0) 6 6.0 8 3 3 3 3 0 1 3.70 27 94 56 19 6 11 9 5 0 0 44 0 1 0 23 1 0 0 2 0 0 .71 -0.163 -0.49 1t start tie 6t 3 out a5
July Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB FB LD PU Unk GSc IR IS SB CS PO AB 2B 3B IBB GDP SF ROE aLI WPA RE24 Entered Exited
5 5 84 Jul 4 PIT PHI L,4-6 GS-6 L(4-1) 5 5.1 8 3 3 1 5 0 0 3.94 23 78 53 14 7 7 10 8 2 0 44 0 2 0 21 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.12 0.069 0.68 1t start tie 6t 12- 1 out a1
6 6 89 Jul 9 PIT OAK L,1-2 GS-7 L(4-2) 4 7.0 5 2 2 2 4 1 0 3.68 26 90 55 18 7 11 9 4 2 0 61 0 0 0 24 1 0 0 2 0 0 1.05 0.044 0.92 1t start tie 7t 3 out d1
7 7 93 Jul 14 PIT NYM L,2-4 GS-5 L(4-3) 4 5.0 6 3 3 2 5 0 0 3.89 22 89 58 19 6 8 7 4 1 0 46 0 0 0 20 1 0 0 1 0 0 .96 -0.156 -0.91 1t start tie 5t 3 out d2
8 8 98 Jul 23 PIT @ WSN W,5-1 GS-7 W(5-3) 8 7.0 2 1 1 1 4 1 1 3.51 24 92 54 12 5 10 8 5 0 0 72 1 1 0 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.00 0.314 2.17 1b start tie 7b 3 out a2
9 9 103 Jul 28 PIT @ MIA L,2-3 GS-7 L(5-4) 4 7.0 4 3 3 2 8 1 0 3.56 27 95 66 21 12 9 8 3 0 0 63 0 0 0 24 1 0 0 0 1 0 .97 -0.095 0.17 1b start tie 7b 3 out d1
August Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB FB LD PU Unk GSc IR IS SB CS PO AB 2B 3B IBB GDP SF ROE aLI WPA RE24 Entered Exited
10 10 109 Aug 2 PIT COL L,2-4 GS-6 L(5-5) 4 5.1 3 3 3 2 6 1 0 3.69 21 102 66 18 9 5 8 3 1 0 54 1 0 0 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.13 0.014 0.40 1t start tie 6t 1-3 1 out tie
11 11 114 Aug 8 PIT MIA W,5-4 GS-5 5 5.0 6 4 4 1 4 1 0 3.95 21 73 49 9 5 8 8 4 0 0 42 0 0 0 19 1 0 0 1 0 0 .74 -0.207 -1.91 1t start tie 5t 3 out d4
12 12 121 Aug 16 PIT ARI W,6-2 GS-6 W(6-5) 7 6.0 5 2 2 2 5 0 0 3.88 24 98 63 19 7 10 7 2 1 0 57 0 0 0 22 1 0 0 1 0 0 1.17 0.060 0.51 1t start tie 6t 3 out a2
13 13 126 Aug 21 PIT @ SDP L,1-2 GS-6 L(6-6) 4 6.0 10 2 2 0 5 0 0 3.81 26 94 65 12 14 11 10 6 0 0 49 1 1 0 25 1 0 0 1 1 0 .86 -0.028 0.43 1b start tie 6b 3 out d2
14 14 133 Aug 29 PIT MIL L,0-4 GS-8 L(6-7) 7 7.1 10 4 3 1 4 1 0 3.80 29 97 62 11 6 13 11 8 1 0 47 1 0 0 28 1 0 0 4 0 0 .67 -0.141 -0.98 1t start tie 8t -23 1 out d3
September Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB FB LD PU Unk GSc IR IS SB CS PO AB 2B 3B IBB GDP SF ROE aLI WPA RE24 Entered Exited
15 15 138 Sep 3 PIT @ MIL W,4-3 GS-6 4 6.0 5 2 2 1 5 0 0 3.74 23 92 59 15 9 8 9 8 0 0 58 0 0 0 22 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.02 0.117 0.77 1b start a 1 6b 3 out tie
16 16 143 Sep 9 PIT @ TEX W,1-0 GS-7 W(7-7) 5 7.0 3 0 0 2 9 0 0 3.48 25 92 64 23 14 8 6 3 0 0 78 3 0 0 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.06 0.464 3.52 1b start tie 7b 3 out a1
17 17 148 Sep 14 PIT CHC W,2-1 GS-7 W(8-7) 4 7.0 5 1 1 3 7 0 0 3.33 28 101 61 14 13 7 11 5 1 0 67 0 0 0 24 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.29 0.229 1.92 1t start tie 7t 3 out tie
18 18 153 Sep 19 PIT SDP W,10-1 GS-6 W(9-7) 4 6.0 4 1 1 3 12 0 0 3.23 25 97 64 16 11 6 4 2 1 0 69 1 0 0 22 1 0 0 0 0 0 .90 0.115 1.51 1t start tie 6t 3 out a5
19 19 158 Sep 24 PIT @ CHC W,8-2 GS-6 W(10-7) 4 6.0 7 2 2 1 6 0 0 3.22 24 94 65 20 11 9 8 5 2 0 55 0 0 0 22 0 0 0 2 0 1 1.17 0.133 0.77 1b start tie 6b 3 out a4
PIT 117.1 109 43 42 28 100 7 3 3.22 469 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/30/2013.

The chart below is what Tim Wakefield did in 1992.

Rk Gcar Gtm Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB FB LD PU Unk GSc IR IS SB CS PO AB 2B 3B IBB GDP SF ROE aLI WPA RE24 Entered Exited
1 1 103 Jul 31 PIT STL W,3-2 CG W(1-0) 99 9.0 6 2 0 5 10 0 0 0.00 38 146 80 20 18 6 17 7 2 0 76 0 1 0 32 2 0 0 0 1 1 1.62 0.464 1.88 1t start tie 9t 3 out a1
August Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB FB LD PU Unk GSc IR IS SB CS PO AB 2B 3B IBB GDP SF ROE aLI WPA RE24 Entered Exited
2 2 107 Aug 5 PIT NYM W,6-2 GS-8 W(2-0) 4 8.0 7 2 2 4 7 0 0 1.06 35 144 78 26 10 7 17 6 3 0 63 1 0 0 30 0 0 0 1 1 0 .86 0.183 1.45 1t start tie 8t 3 out a4
3 3 112 Aug 10 PIT @ NYM W,4-2 GS-8 4 8.0 3 1 1 5 5 0 0 1.08 30 123 70 21 14 9 11 4 4 0 72 0 2 0 23 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.24 0.273 2.41 1b start tie 8b 3 out tie
4 4 117 Aug 16 PIT ATL W,4-2 CG W(3-0) 5 9.0 7 2 2 2 3 0 0 1.32 35 114 80 21 7 13 17 3 3 0 66 1 1 0 32 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.29 0.560 1.88 1t start tie 9t 3 out a2
5 5 122 Aug 21 PIT @ SFG L,5-6 GS-6 L(3-1) 4 6.0 8 6 6 4 4 1 0 2.48 28 88 54 14 8 12 8 2 1 0 32 0 1 0 22 1 0 0 1 0 0 1.41 -0.540 -3.54 1b start tie 6b 3 out d3
6 6 127 Aug 26 PIT @ LAD W,2-0 SHO W(4-1) 4 9.0 6 0 0 2 3 0 0 2.02 32 107 66 16 11 13 14 6 2 0 76 1 1 2 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.25 0.558 3.84 1b start tie 9b 3 out a2
September/October Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str StL StS GB FB LD PU Unk GSc IR IS SB CS PO AB 2B 3B IBB GDP SF ROE aLI WPA RE24 Entered Exited
7 7 132 Sep 2 PIT SFG W,3-2 GS-9 W(5-1) 6 8.2 9 2 2 3 3 1 1 2.03 38 129 91 18 20 18 13 2 2 0 58 0 0 0 34 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.40 0.234 1.55 1t start tie 9t –3 2 out a1
8 8 137 Sep 7 PIT CHC L,5-6 GS-3 4 2.1 7 3 3 0 0 0 0 2.40 13 44 32 6 6 3 10 5 0 0 31 0 1 0 13 2 1 0 0 0 0 .92 -0.286 -2.83 1t start tie 3t 1-3 1 out d2
9 9 142 Sep 13 PIT @ PHI L,3-6 GS-7 5 7.0 7 3 3 2 4 0 0 2.55 28 83 60 16 8 11 11 7 2 0 53 1 0 1 25 1 1 0 0 1 0 .63 -0.100 0.02 1b start tie 7b 3 out d1
10 10 147 Sep 18 PIT PHI W,5-2 CG(6) W(6-1) 4 6.0 6 2 1 5 3 0 0 2.47 29 112 66 23 12 7 14 3 4 0 52 0 0 0 24 1 0 1 0 0 0 1.45 0.009 0.58 1t start tie 6t 3 out a3
11 11 152 Sep 23 PIT @ MON L,1-5 GS-7 4 7.0 5 0 0 1 4 0 0 2.25 25 83 53 15 8 11 10 5 2 0 70 0 1 0 23 1 0 0 1 0 0 1.34 0.415 3.02 1b start tie 7b 3 out tie
12 12 157 Sep 28 PIT @ CHC W,10-3 GS-7 W(7-1) 4 7.0 4 3 2 1 2 1 0 2.28 25 71 47 13 4 8 14 4 2 0 60 0 0 0 23 0 0 0 1 1 0 .57 -0.028 0.11 1b start tie 7b 3 out a7
13 13 162 Oct 4 PIT @ NYM W,2-0 GS-5 W(8-1) 5 5.0 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 2.15 17 59 37 8 5 6 7 2 2 0 67 0 1 0 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 .88 0.262 2.13 1b start tie 5b 3 out tie
PIT 92.0 76 26 22 35 51 3 1 2.15 373 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/30/2013.

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates