PITTSBURGH -- I haven't exactly been reserved about my feelings on Gerrit Cole's dynamic first few starts for the Astros.


Pardon the (self-edited) language there -- hey, it was midnight -- but there are many of you who probably agree with me. As of Thursday, Cole has now made five starts with Houston, boasting a 1.29 ERA, an 0.77 WHIP and a ridiculous 38 percent strikeout rate.

For reference, Randy Johnson's career K rate was 28 percent, with a single-season high of 37 percent in 2001. Cole probably isn't going to reach that for a full year, but considering he never got as high as 25 percent for a full year with the Pirates, his whiff-tastic start bears watching.

It also tells me that the Pirates missed out on getting the...

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