View Full Version : Pirates notebook: Rookie Cole unfazed by weight of 82nd win

09-11-2013, 12:50 PM
ARLINGTON, Texas — Gerrit Cole admits he can't fully grasp what the Pirates' 82nd victory — a 1-0 nailbiter Monday against the Rangers — means to Pittsburgh.

“I don't think anybody can really understand it unless they've lived in Pittsburgh and been in (the fans') shoes for 20 years,” Cole said.

Cole was brilliant for seven innings, blanking the Rangers on three hits. He did not think about the game's enormous possibility — the chance to snap 20 straight seasons of losing records — while he was on the mound.

“I wish I had a better answer for you, but no,” Cole said with a smile. “I was just locked in with (catcher) Russ (Martin) and we were going pitch by pitch all night. That was what allowed me to keep the guys in the ballgame.”

It was perhaps the finest performance of the season by the rookie right-hander. Cole threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of 25 batters.

He amassed a career-high nine strikeouts, most of them on untouchable curveballs in the dirt.

“You talk about locating the breaking stuff and getting nasty with the fastball,” Cole said. “Simplify things.”

The tipping point came in the sixth inning, when the Rangers had runners on second and third with two outs. Cole fired a 99 mph fastball to Adrian Beltre, who hit a routine grounder to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.

Cole is just the eighth visiting pitcher to win at Rangers Ballpark by tossing at least seven scoreless innings with nine or more strikeouts.
“The kid was fantastic,” manager Clint Hurdle said.

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