Aug 20, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Hot Gerrit Cole Faces Struggling, First-Place Cardinals

Gerrit Cole looks to get the Pirates off to a winning start on their road trip.

Gerrit Cole looks to get the Pirates off to a winning start on their road trip.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Gerrit Cole are hot.  The club has won seven of its last ten games.  The St. Louis Cardinals are not hot, but are tied for the NL Central lead.  The Cards have lost five of their last seven.  Last week, the Cards dropped four consecutive games and then split a series with the Cubs–and still picked up two games in the standings to pull into a tie with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Just five days ago, Cole no-hit the Cards over 5.2 innings, racked up the strikeouts…and likewise, the pitches and was out of the game after six innings.

Cole has shown strong velocity and has given up only four runs on eights in 13 innings since coming off the disabled list.  The Pirates look for their ace to get them off to a winning start to an important September road trip.

The Pirates did nothing at the waiver deadline.  The team has added internal options including Tony Sanchez and reliever Stolmy Pimentel to their roster.  The team also made the paper move of getting Cole back from Bristol.

The Bucs are starting a key road trip in St. Louis and the team seems to be getting healthier.  Yesterday, Neal Huntington said other players will be added to the roster tomorrow when the Triple A Indianapolis Indians season comes to an end.  Look for Gregory Polanco to be added to the roster and also look for a surprise or two.

Everyone remembers how Sanchez provided timely hits during his time with the Pirates earlier in the season.  At Indianapolis, Sanchez was mired in a slump that impacted his offensive numbers (.235/.337/443)

The right handed Pimentel pitched well in his last outing in the minors during his rehab.  Pimentel sprained his right ankle on the 15th of August and during his rehab he allowed a run in just over five innings.  The Pirates had Pimentel starting games in order to get his work in and then heading to the training room.

Cole was sent to Bristol in a strategic move that Huntington said was in order to “survive.”  The right hander has done nothing but pitch like a stud recently and the rematch against the Cardinals this afternoon could provide the Pirates the start to the road trip the team needs.

Of course Sanchez let everyone know in style.

It’s road warrior time for the Bucs.

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates

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