Analysis

Breaking Down Gerrit Cole’s Early Home Run Issues

Breaking Down Gerrit Cole’s Early Home Run Issues

PITTSBURGH — When Gerrit Cole gave up five runs in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox in his first outing of the season, the focus quickly fell to the shift that the Pirates used against light-hitting Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon.

The focus was on the shift, and Cole’s reaction to the outcome after Leon bunted for a base hit. Cole then allowed four more runs on a single and a three-run home run.

Cole was upset and visibly so. That doesn’t mean it affected his next pitching sequence. But five days later, it was certainly still on Cole’s mind. Before his next start against the Atlanta Braves, Cole, catcher Chris Stewart and infield coach Joey Cora were still talking about that play and whether or not any of the Braves hitters were a threat to do the same thing Leon had done. Man...

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