Gerrit Cole or Else
By Tom Smith
Gerrit Cole will make his first start since early July tonight at PNC Park.
Gerrit Cole has been activated from the disabled list by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Just in time, because the Pirates need pitching desperately after allowing 86 runs in August. The Bucs pitchers could surpass the 137 runs the pitching staff gave up in May. Cole will make his 15th start of the season against this Braves lineup.
If Gerrit Cole allows a pile of runs in the first inning, the Pirates are doomed tonight. Cole will be relied upon to be the stopper he was envisioned to be when the Pirates made him their first pick. The Bucs BAMF has been on the disabled list since July 9th. In his last rehab start for the Triple A Indianapolis Indians he fired 92 pitches in going seven scoreless innings. Cole hasn’t pitched since giving up one hit in five scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies.
While Cole hasn’t been his dominant self of late last season, the righty has a 3-1 record with a 3.56 ERA at PNC Park.
Jun 28, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) looks on in the dugout against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Pirates are looking to bounce back after losing seven straight games. The team has dropped nine of their last eleven and they will not have Russell Martin or Neil Walker in the lineup tonight. Despite the losing streak, the team has gone 54-44 in their last 98 games, but are well off the pace of their 2013 season when they were just 75-52.
HOT: Travis Snider has a ten game hitting streak. Lunchbox has went 16-for-38 with five doubles and three bombs during the streak. When you look at a really small recent sample, Snider is fourth best in the league in hitting since August 7.
Starling Marte has six doubles, a triple and three bombs in the past 15 games. #MartePartay is 21-for-his-last-55.
Josh Harrison is also tied for the league lead in extra base hits since the All Star Break.
The Bucs offense has scored the third most runs in the National League this month, but because the pitching and defense has been so poor, the team has only seven victories to show for it. Tonight the stars are back on the field and the team needs to start winning ballgames.