Pirates 6 – Nationals 1

Gerrit Cole (W, 2-4)| 7 IP, 3 H, ER, 3K, 2 BB
Josh Bell | 1-3, HR, 3 RBI
Andrew McCutchen | 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 SB

Around the Bases

1. Gerrit Cole is pitching like an All-Star and Neal Huntington’s phone is only going to continue to ring off the hook up until the deadline about Cole.

Cole limited the high powered Washington Nationals to three hits over seven innings in a Pirates 6-1 win on Wednesday night.

“He had everything working tonight and it was the fifth or sixth inning before we kind of went what happened,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said of Cole’s performance.

Cole’s ERA is now 2.84 on the season.

Could Baker be managing Cole in the not to distant future?

The Cole rumors are going to be rampant leading into August 1 and for the obvious reasons.

The Pirates are in last place and Neal Huntington is always looking 2-3 years ahead.

That’s what makes Andrew McCutchen’s steep decline so disappointing for the Pirates organization.

They always envisioned things playing out where they would net a massive return for McCutchen in a trade when the time came to move McCutchen before free agency and continue restocking the system and play in with their constant long-term picture model.

That’s why multiple teams are going to try to bait the Pirates into moving Cole at the deadline and hope the Pirates front office is fearful that they can’t miss an opportunity to move Cole when his value is the highest.

2. Josh Bell with a three-run homer in the eighth to lead the Pirates past the Nationals, now has 8 home runs on the season and the early power numbers this soon has surprised some evaluators.

The Pirates have ran into a problem where they haven’t developed enough Major League talent out of their draft classes to fill depth spots and some of their top tier prospects are not as good as they and much of baseball thought they would be.

Josh Bell, though, has all the makings of meeting expectations.

3. One thing Andrew McCutchen has going for him is he continues to say the right things. That started in the off-season and had continued through the season. At least publicly, he’s put the onus on himself for his struggles and did so again Wednesday after being double switched in Tuesday’s game.

4. Jameson Taillon’s pathology report came back positive for testicular cancer, the Pirates announced on Wednesday. The 25 year old will be re-evaluated by doctors next week, head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said.

Taillon has been cleared for light baseball activities and has been participating in activities over the last couple days at PNC Park.

“He got to see his teammates the past two days, and you could just see the joy in these guys’ eyes,” Tomczyk said via Pirates.com. “Reciprocally, Jamo saw these guys and it energizes everybody. I’m getting goosebumps just talking about it.”

It’s expected a treatment plan will be determined next week for Taillon and Taillon could receive clearance to travel with the team full-time.