Nobody (Everybody) Likes You When You’re 23

Gerrit Cole’s story sounds similar to Oakland general manager Billy Beane’s tale that became a movie.

Star pitcher in college? Check. First pick in the Draft? Check. The guy the Pirates organization wants to start the deciding game of the National League Division Series on Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals? Check.

Beane was never this good on the field.

Cole shined in a Game Two performance that saw him go 6 innings, strike out the same number, give up only a run, knock in a Pirates run at the plate and pick up a postseason win in his first start.

No biggie, right?

Cole couldn’t lose a game in June or September (4-0 in both months) and couldn’t settle down in between (2-7 in July and August).

He gets a second start in St. Louis on Wednesday in an elimination game for someone. Does this sound like a 23-year-old kid that’s a shrinking violet?

“You just have to take a deep breath,” Cole said after his Game Two win “Rip off the rear-view mirror on the car.”

Cole’s fastball rivals that of any closer in baseball. He’s good enough to counter one of the best in the game in the ultimate spot for a team that hasn’t sniffed postseason play in decades.

Gerrit Cole was a 2-year-old the last time the Pirates made the NLCS. You wonder if he knows how big this is for all of western Pennsylvania.

 

Comments? Send me a tweet @WBALDash

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