Pittsburgh Pirates: Top 5 Pitching Performances of 2015

2 of 6

May 22, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher

Gerrit Cole

(45) pitches against the New York Mets during the fifth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

#5) May 22 – Gerrit Cole vs New York Mets

Game Score: 78

In just their 42nd game of the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates got their first chance to face rookie phenom Noah Syndergaard and who better to match up with him than Gerrit Cole. Cole responded by shutting the Mets down for his 6th win of the year and turning in his best start of the season, according to game score.

Admittedly, the Mets team Cole faced on May 22 was much different than the team that played in the World Series – they had Eric Campbell, Juan Lagares and Kevin Plawecki in the starting lineup at this point – but he dominated them nonetheless and earned a win in the opening game of the weekend series.

More from Rum Bunter

The Pirates got on the board in the bottom of the 2nd inning with a two out rally off Syndergaard. Pedro Alvarez hit a ground rule double, Gregory Polanco reached on an error, then stole 2nd base and took 3rd on a passed ball. Chris Stewart then knocked a double of his own to push across the second unearned run of the inning.

The Pirates would score two more runs in the 6th inning but those 2 runs would be all the support Gerrit Cole needed on this night. He would pitch 8.1 innings, allowing just one (unearned) run and a walk while striking out 10.

The only trouble he encountered came in the 3rd inning when Juan Lagares reached on an error and eventually scored on a wild pitch to Curtis Granderson. With the tying run now on third and one out, Cole came up with a huge strikeout of Granderson and sat down Eric Campbell on two pitches to retire the side.

The Pirates would score two more runs in the 6th and needing a strong 7th inning from Cole to secure the momentum, he delivered by striking out the 3-4-5 batters on 14 pitches total. Killing the momentum was the theme of Cole’s night; on four separate occasions, he allowed a baserunner only to induce a double play from the very next batter.

Cole nearly went the distance, striking out the leadoff batter in the 9th inning, but was removed after allowing two straight baserunners and Mark Melancon converted the two-out save, his 10th of the season.