Gerrit Cole started for the Pittsburgh Pirates last night at PNC Park. It went swimmingly, as the Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 8-2 in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. Cole, as you may know, was the first overall pick in the 2011 draft out of UCLA. The Pirates took their time and set the stage for their phenom’s debut.
Cole pitched very well in his first big league start. He showed the big fastball that let him go 1.1 plus the solid slider/curve to keep hitters off balance. His final line was 6.1 innings pitched, seven hits, two earned runs, two runs,two strikeouts and no walks. Not a bad way to kick off a big league career.
It’s Gerrit Cole day in Pittsburgh. For those Bucs fans and prospect porn addicts who had hoped this would be some sort of grandiose affair, sorry to disappoint you. The 2011 first overall pick’s Major League debut has a rather ordinary feeling about it as the hour draws nearer.
Cole’s arrival in Pittsburgh is a timely one, though. With Wandy Rodriguez‘s health status currently up in the air, and Cole having already been held down long enough to ensure he’s under team control for an extra year, it’s an opportune moment to run out the franchise’s top prospect. As far as Super Two status is concerned, the 22-year old would accrue a tick over two years of service at the completion of the 2015 season if he were to remain with the club moving forward. At this point, though, it won’t matter much if he can step in and help the 37-26 Pirates.
I don’t think we’ll ever learn. Home runs crushed down the line always look like they flew farther than they really did, because they clear the shortest fence in the yard by so long. Clutch home runs especially look like they flew farther than they really did, because that’s what clutch does to our brains.. That’s probably why the ball Garrett Jones cracked into the Allegheny River on Sunday looked like it flew about 575 feet.
Jones’s bomb gave Pittsburgh a tie against division rival Cincinnati in the bottom of the eighth inning. He just barely hooked it around the foul pole — in fact, by the time it landed it may have been on the foul side of the pipe.
There is art and beauty in everything in our world, so long as you bother to look. Sure, this Pittsburgh Pirates tribute/ripoff of the Saturday Night Live opening credits is ripe for the mocking. It wouldn’t take much work to snark on it for a few minutes and then call it a day.
Instead, let’s admire this 2:00 minute video which plays on the PNC Park videoboard to introduce the Pirates lineup for its production values and and loving devotion to the source material. The only thing it’s missing is the Keenan Thompson “bicyclists high five” that I enjoy whenever I catch SNL.
If you still think this video is cheesy, at least admire Pedro Alvarez‘s sweet Thundercats tshirt. He’s just the best.
Hit the jump for another great Pirates scoreboard video, probably the best scoreboard video in the history of the world.
It’s a weird thing, trying to decipher the coded language of baseball player development. Is there a magic elixer which unlocks the full force of a player’s potential? What combination of emotional nurture and technical knowledge best equips a player for a future success? Much is made of surrounding players with positive influences, veteran players with a well-worn playbook spelling out exactly how they made it work in the big leagues.
Yesterday afternoon, watching the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies do battle, the Getting Blanked team could not help but marvel at the magnificence that is A.J. Burnett. Burnett appears, to the outside observer, to be a leader among the young Pirates. Not just the pitchers but all players. Shots in the dugout of Burnett holding court or, as the above GIF shows, reacting to one of his players (Clint Barmes) being hit in the back with a pitch.
We laughed about the Pirates presumed desire to keep top pitching prospects Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole far, far away from A.J. Burnett, a player with a flaky reputation who is known among some fans as the type of player who squandered his talent. Goofy Burnett, don’t let him near the future of the franchise, we chuckled.
Until we remembered two things: A.J. Burnett is the leader of the Pirates and both those players, Taillon and Cole, would KILL for careers even half as good as Allan James Burnett.
We don’t really talk about the Pittsburgh Pirates in today’s edition of the Getting Blanked podcast. But Scott Lewis likes the Pirates and Scott Lewis is on today’s show so we have fun at the Pirates expense for a while off the top. Then, down to business! Talking about Yovani Gallardo’s DUI, Cliff Lee and Bronson Arroyo going toe-to-toe and other stuff.
Then, for reason’s that aren’t clear to even me, we decided Matt Kemp isn’t that good anymore. No chance that comes back to haunt us. No way, no how.