After a strong first rehab appearance and a pair of side bullpen sessions, Gerrit Cole and the Pirates had high expectations from his second start with Indianapolis on Tuesday. However, those were dashed fairly quickly.
Cole allowed ten hits and five earned runs in 4.1 innings on Tuesday.
“I think the positives were that I got to the pitch count and got the amount of outs that I needed to get,” Cole said. “Coming off what I went through after the last start, that was the goal.”
Cole said that he was bumped as the listed starter on Saturday after having some issues bouncing back as quickly as he wanted to with the shoulder. He said that this led them to put things on hold and take a little bit extra time.
“We worked on some things and tried to clean some things up,” Cole said. “It was not easy to take them into the game… It was definitely not full [effort] because we feel like that was what got me into trouble last time.”
After the bullpen sessions, Cole said that things felt better and put him in position to make the start.
Despite seeing his fastball between 95 and 97 MPH, Cole allowed three hits and a run in the first inning. He labored to 20 pitches, even though 15 crossed the plate for strikes.
The second inning was his strongest of the night. While he allowed a single, Cole picked up two of his three strikeouts during the frame. He got through the inning on just nine pitches.
While Cole got through the third and the fourth innings unscathed, his velocity on the fastball dropped to 91 to 92, and occasionally touched 93. In the third inning, Cole missed giving up a two run home run by inches, as Mike Hessman’s fly ball fell just to the left of the foul pole.
“I am just realizing that I don’t have a body of work to back up those types of velocities,” Cole said.
The drop in velocity did not catch up to Cole until the fifth, an inning in which he was only able to retire one hitter. After getting the first hitter of the inning to fly out, Cole allowed a double, a walk, another double and a three-run home run to four consecutive hitters. The home run was on an 80-mile per hour hanging curveball. After allowing a triple to the next hitter, Cole was removed from the game.
Cole threw 74 pitches in the outing. Of those pitches, 53 were strikes. Cole said that the next steps in the rehab process depends on how he feels in the upcoming days. He said that he felt “pretty brutal” the following days after the last outing.