Gerrit Cole Looks to Finish 2017 with a Strong Start

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Gerrit Cole
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Gerrit Cole /
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Gerrit Cole will finish his 2017 campaign on Friday night

There are just three games remaining in the 2017 season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Due to this, Gerrit Cole will make his final start of the 2017 season on Friday night. Cole’s start will come at Nationals Park against the Washington Nationals.

The 2017 season has been an inconsistent one for Gerrit Cole. On top of pitching inconsistently, he has had a serious home run issue. After allowing 36 home runs in 579 1/3 innings pitched (0.56 HR/9) in the first four seasons of his Major League career, he has allowed 31 home runs in 197 2/3 innings pitched (1.41 HR/9) this season.

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ franchise record for home runs allowed by a single pitcher in a season is 32. Hopefully, Gerrit Cole will avoid breaking this record against the Nationals tonight.

On top of his home run issue, Gerrit Cole owns a career-worst 4.23 ERA and 4.16 FIP this season. A lot of this, however, can be attributed to his home run issue. That is why his 3.86 xFIP indicates that better things are on the horizon for Cole in 2018.

This season Cole is averaging just 2.46 BB/9. This is the third-lowest walk rate of his career and a big improvement over his 2.79 BB/9 from 2016. Furthermore, his 8.61 K/9 is the second-highest strikeout rate of his career.

Adding to the positives this season for Gerrit Cole is his workload. Tonight will be his 33rd start of the season. This will be a new career-high for Cole. Additionally, barring complete disaster tonight, he will top the 200 inning mark for the second time in his career.

Next: Recapping the 2017 Altoona Curve

Friday night will be Gerrit Cole’s final start of the 2017 season. He will be looking to finish the season strong, while also pitching the Pirates to a victory to even their four-game series against the Nationals at a win each.

The lineup behind Cole tonight will be as follows:

  1. Adam Frazier – 2B
  2. Starling Marte – LF
  3. Andrew McCutchen – CF
  4. Josh Bell – 1B
  5. David Freese – 3B
  6. Gregory Polanco – RF
  7. Elias Diaz – C
  8. Sean Rodriguez – SS

First pitch from Nationals Park is scheduled for 7:05.

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