- Gerrit Cole threw another gem this afternoon. His 69 game score was the fourth gem of his career and third in a row. (Bill James a calls a gem a start with a game score over 65.)
- Cole's 12 strikeouts today were more than his first four starts combined. In his last three starts he has struck out 28 batters.
- Cole is still yet to allow more than four runs in any of his starts.
Hurdle on Cole's outing:
Third powerful outing from Gerrit ... He pushed the bar up his last outing with the strikeouts, [and] pushed it again today. Fastball was very good to both sides of the plate. Maintained top-shelf velocity. The changeup played excellent. Changeup to strike one of the guys out. He continues to pitch. To add and subtract. The curveball came back into play. When the curveball plays like that the fastball just gets bigger and quicker. So, his first pitch strikes remain good. He shows the efficiency: nine times he retired hitters on three pitches or less. Then you add the punch outs to it. Very impressive outing.
Cole's postgame remarks:
The off-speed stuff has been really helping the fastball and vice-versa. I've been locating the fastball a lot better as of late and that's been getting some guys anxious a little bit. And then recognizing the situations where you have to pull the string, I honestly don't recognize it all the time, thank God we have probably the best catching staff in the league, they're all interchangeable. It just comes down to trusting those guys and executing the pitch.
"We can't all be Charlie Morton"
After the game Cole was asked about showing his emotions while pitching:
It's something I've been criticized for a lot and I just try to keep it in check as much as I can. Sometimes I just get a little fired up. I don't know any other way to go. We can't all be Charlie Morton out there. As much as I'd like to be, I just try to pick my spots and just try to stay disciplined with it.
Jose Tabata is quietly putting together a nice year at the plate. Today he went 2-for-3, with two runs scored, three RBI, one walk and a double. For the season Tabata is hitting .277/.339/.415, .754 OPS., with a 113 wRC+.
Hurdle on Tabata: "(He did) a really professional job. Big hit! Driving the ball over the right-fielders head with two outs to give us some room early. He continues to find ways to score runs."
Tony Sanchez's spectacular catch
If you didn't see the catch Tony Sanchez made today, you should.
Hurdle on Sanchez's play: "You might not see a catcher make a better play in a dugout than the one you saw today. Not ever see a better play than the one Sanchez made today."
Sanchez on his play:
It's not like I'm a 100 pound woman, I'm a 230 pound catcher with gear and metal cleats and masks flying everywhere. Who is going to get in the way of that? I wouldn't try to catch anybody.
I've played against Hundley twice now and we talk a lot. I try to talk to all of the catchers. I hit the ground and said, "Oh, damn, that really hurt," and I'm like spinning and somebody picks me up and he looked me in the eyes and said "Are you ok?" and I couldn't say anything, I didn't know what was going on. That's the closest I've become to being dazed, ever. I was looking at Hundley thinking "Who is this guy?" when I knew exactly who he was ... but no, I felt fine after, thank God.
All the pitches
Justin Morneau put together a 13-pitch at bat in the fifth inning. It was the team's 33rd 10+ pitch plate appearance of the season. The Pirates are now tied with three teams for the second most 10+ pitch plate appearances in the MLB. However, the Bucs have not been very successful when going deep into an at bat, posting only .474 OPS (compared to a league average .820 OPS).
The Pirates' three offensive additions have added a cumulative 0.3 WAR.
Jason Grilli pitched a clean eighth inning, his first clean inning since July 13. Hurdle choose to go with Grilli when they up by eight runs instead of Kyle Farnsworth, yet another indication that the Pirates plan on using Farnsworth in higher leverage situations the rest of the way. (I wrote about Farnsworth and his emerging role in the bullpen here.)