PITTSBURGH 7 – ST. LOUIS 1
It’s all tied up between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. Gerrit Cole again pitched like the No. 1 overall pick he is, allowing 2 hits through six innings, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of the NLDS.
In a sense it was a role reversal in Game 2 with the Pirates winning in a rout.
The team was fueled by Cole’s outing as we’re seeing a special pitcher emerge right in front of our eyes and sooner than many evaluators thought.
In six innings, Cole allowed 2 hits, and 1 run, while striking out 5 and walking 1. His command was strong, throwing 56 strikes on 86 pitches.
Cole’s fastball peaked at 100 mph and he continues to show no situation is too big for him. “I just trusted myself and tried to keep it as simple as I could,” Cole said afterwards. Emerging as the Pirates best pitcher over the last five to six weeks, Cole gave the Pirates the type of start they had to have in avoiding going down 0-2.
“You saw a focused man that was ready to go,” manager Clint Hurdle said of Cole.
Cole not only was excellent on the mound, he drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single with 2 outs in the second inning, when the Cardinals intentional walked Jordy Mercer to get to Cole. Cole made Cardinals starter Lance Lynn pay and the Pirates were on the board and never looked back.
The catalyst offensively for the Pirates today was Pedro Alvarez who doubled in the second inning, later scoring on Cole’s single and then delivered a 2-run homer in the third inning to put the Pirates up 3-0. It was Alvarez second home run of the series and when he is on like he is, the Pirates are very dangerous.
Justin Morneau also provided a spark for the Pirates offensively, going 2-5 with a double, 2 runs scored. Getting contributions from Morneau is critical for the Pirates.
Cole and Alvarez jump started the Pirates today and Pittsburgh heads home with momentum in the series with Francisco Liriano taking the mound Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.
Charlie Morton pitches Game 4 (3:07 start) and there shouldn’t be any doubt that Cole gets the ball for Game 5, if the series goes to Game 5.