May 22, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches against New York Mets third baseman Eric Campbell (L) during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Gerrit Cole turned in what many believe to be the best start of his career against the Mets on May 22. With a line like this: 8.1 IP/6H/10K/1BB/1R (unearned), it would be hard to argue that.
Here’s how he did it.
I’ve written previously about Cole’s slider taking a leap this year into a truly elite pitch. If my previous thoughts on the topic was a small din, Friday’s start against the Mets turned it into a deafening roar. Using data from FanGraphs, I found that Cole’s slider was an absolutely filth show, one which the Mets had absolutely no answer for. Yet, it wasn’t all about the slider, as we’ll soon learn.
Regardless of how it happened, Cole’s magnificent turn simply reinforced the fact that the Pirates rotation will be anchored by an absolute superstar in the making for the foreseeable future. Here now is a look at Cole’s mastery.
Let’s start with that slider.
Next: Sliding into the strike zone