Gerrit Cole lost last night. It was the first loss since we were all dreaming about a possibility of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the post season. It was like forever ago. But, nonetheless, he lost the game. Well, that’s at least how the game of baseball explains it.
The Pirates lack of offense against one of the best pitchers of the generation also had quite a bit to do with it.
But the 6’6″ Cole is exciting and he grew up right before our smiling faces down the stretch to the postseason. The fact that he improved so much was so damn much fun. It was just like the fire-baller had done after starting slowly at each level in his rapid development.
Most of the articles today talk about the past. We got sucked into looking at what the Pirates lineup did last night. But you know what? It’s over. Sure, we will go back and do some wrap ups if we feel like it. We will tell you all the crazy numbers that happened during some of the career seasons that numerous Pirates put up. Rest assured, all of the offseason goodness will keep coming right here and over at our RumBunterplus site.
Let’s start looking ahead now that the ‘take it one game at a time,’ mentality is gone until April.
Does anyone think this will be Cole’s best season?
Yeh, me either. Scary, huh?
Does anyone else get excited about Cole being with the Bucs until what seems like forever in the future too?
It’s hard to fathom.
The Pirates have grown their own more so than a pot farmer in the state of Washington. This will never be a team that simply buys it’s way into contention. It will always take a considerable amount of work as long as Bob Nutting continues the same model for growth. Nutting isn’t going to break his bank. The team isn’t underfunded to the amount that Kevin McClatchy was, but it couldn’t certainly use some more revenue dollars.
One concern is to think what would happen to the Pirates if the unthinkable happened and a big time player went down with injury. The Bucs simply don’t have the talented position players yet like the Cardinals did with Adams at first base when Craig went down. It’s a concern because there is still a hole at first base despite throwing a lot of dollars–relative to their market–at the position. But enough about concerns over position players and ownership philosophy.
You know something else about Gerrit Cole that is scary? No, not the innings total from the season. What’s scary is reading this advanced scouting report on the Bucs number one.
The changes Cole made prior to September 9 and after September 9 are interesting. So are some of the comments:
It’s not often that the plan of attack against a pitcher is to go after his plus-plus fastball, but that is the best opportunity to get to him. Hitters from either side of the plate must enter their at-bats looking for a pitch elevated in the strike zone. This is the only chance to do real damage against Cole.
I like this nugget as well:
Because of Cole’s put-away ability with two strikes, it is important to get to him early in the count. This is a dangerous strategy because it can lead to short at-bats, but hitters with two strikes have hit just .183/.239/.225 against Cole
And this one should warm your loins as well:
Cole is an intimidating figure on the mound and his velocity plays up because it comes out of his hand so effortlessly. He handles pressure situations like a veteran and is in control on the mound, even when things go wrong. He does show emotion from time to time, especially when things go wrong or with a big strike out to end an inning, but does not show up teammates.
But this one is the best:
Just like a veteran, even when things go wrong.
Pull out those sunglasses today Pirates fans, they will help shade your puffy eyes. And they also will keep that bright, bright future off your face. It’s only getting better in Pittsburgh, more talent is coming and that’s scary. Real scary.
With an above average off season again in 2013 and 2014, there should be a few more #BLACKOUT nights at PNC Park in your future.