Pittsburgh Pirates 2, Colorado Rockies 1: Stars And Stiffs

May 20, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers a pitch against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 20, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers a pitch against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates improved to 4-0 against the Colorado Rockies on the season with a 2-1 victory of Friday night.

With the win, the Pittsburgh Pirates improved to 4-1 through the first five games of this ten game homestand. Friday night’s game was a strange one, anytime the top two offensive clubs in the National League combine for just three runs you can chalk the game up as strange.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Colorado Rockies combined for 20 hits, just five strike outs, the Rockies committed an error, and they still only managed to score three combined runs. As I said, it was a strange game but the important thing is the Pirates won. Now, here are the Pirates three stars and stiffs from Friday night’s victory.


Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole had far from his best stuff on Friday night, evident by the game being his first career start with zero strike outs, but he still pitched seven innings allowing just one run. In his seven innings pitched Cole allowed ten hits, he walked just one batter, the one run he allowed was on a Nolan Arenado solo home run in the sixth inning, and he also got the help of two line-out double plays. 

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After Friday night’s start, Gerrit Cole’s ERA has dropped to just 2.79. A sign of a good pitcher is someone who, despite not having their best stuff, still pitches a strong game. That is exactly what Gerrit Cole, or as I like to call him #Ace45, did on Friday night.

Third baseman David Freese – David Freese went 1-for-3 at the plate on Friday night, and his one hit was the biggest of the game. Freese came to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Starling Marte on second base, and he blooped a single into center field to score Marte. This hit by Freese gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish.

Unsurprisingly, David Freese also played a strong defensive game on Friday night. In the first inning with one out, runners on the corners, and Carlos Gonzalez at the plate Freese caught a line drive hit by Gonzalez and he then threw it to first base to double off Nolan Arenado to end the inning.

Also, in the seventh inning David Freese made a big defensive play. With the Pirates leading 2-1 and Dustin Garneau on second base for the Rockies, pinch hitter Ryan Raburn hit a ground ball that looked like it was going to get through the infield to tie the game. However, Freese went far to his left to make a diving stop to retire Raburn for the second out of the inning.

Left fielder Starling Marte – On Friday night Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte put on a show. At the plate, Marte went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. The run Marte scored proved to be the game winning run.

Marte singled with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, he advanced to second base on an error by Rockiess pitcher Eddie Butler, and he then scored what proved to be the game winning run on a two out single by David Freese.

Starling Marte also played fantastic defense on Friday night and he showed why he is the best defensive left fielder in Major League Baseball. In the top of the seventh with two outs and a runner on second, Charlie Blackmon singled into left field. It looked like this would easily tie the game for Colorado, but Starling Marte had other ideas. Marte easily threw out Rockies’ catcher Dustin Garneau at the plate to end the inning. Starling Marte also made an above average running catch to retire Blackmon to end the game with two men on in the ninth inning.


Second baseman Josh Harrison – The Bucco second baseman went o-for-3 at the plate on Friday night. Furthermore, he only saw five pitches in his three at bats. So, it’s not like Harrison had the strongest at bats in the world during this game. Despite going 0-for-3 on Friday night, Harrison is still hitting .302 on the season with a .738 OPS.

Catcher Francisco Cervelli – Anytime a hitter goes 0-for-4 with two strike outs like Francisco Cervelli did on Friday night, it is not a good night. Adding to Cervelli’s struggles is that he also left four runners on base on Friday night. However, Cervelli did throw out Charlie Blackmon on a steal attempt of second base in the third inning.

Only two stiffs for the Pirates tonight, yay!

That will do it for this game. The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 23-18 overall on the year, and currently hold a National League Wild Card spot. On Saturday, the Pirates will send Jon Niese to the mound opposite Tyler Chatwood looking for a series victory.