First Pitch

First Pitch: Gerrit Cole Starting to Look Like an Ace When it Counts

First Pitch: Gerrit Cole Starting to Look Like an Ace When it Counts

Gerrit Cole has been pitching like an ace the last few starts. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Gerrit Cole has always projected as the future ace of the Pittsburgh Pirates. That future could be sooner than expected.

Tonight Cole had another dominant start, which was his third straight outing where he posted a high strikeout total. This time Cole struck out 12 in 6 innings, which is a remarkable total. That gives him 28 strikeouts in 20 innings over his last three starts. He had 29 strikeouts in 35.2 innings in his six starts before that.

It's important to keep perspective about the opponents Cole was facing. The Padres have the seventh highest strikeout rate in the majors at 21.1%. By comparison, the Pirates offense strikes out 21.9%, and we've seen how bad the Pirates have been with strikeouts this year. Cole also dominated the Cubs in his previous start, a team that doesn't have the best offense.

But you can't overlook the fact that he beat the Texas Rangers in the first star...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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