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Let's ignore the fact that the Pirates lost 5-3 and focus on Stolmy Pimentel

Justin K. Aller

Gerrit Cole didn't look sharp, the Pirates offense didn't convert a couple of very good chances, and the Pirates lost 5-3, but let's not focus on that. Let's talk about Stolmy Pimentel.

Okay, okay, the bad stuff first. Cole struggled, particularly with his offspeed stuff, in his return from the disabled list. He walked three batters, threw way too many pitches, and had to leave after allowing five runs in four innings. Meanwhile, Jon Niese walked in two runs in the fourth, but Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco both struck out with the bases loaded, and the Pirates had to settle for just two runs. Pedro Alvarez then left two batters on when he ended the fifth with a groundout. Oh, and the Mets stole five bases off Chris Stewart.

But we're ignoring all that. Stolmy Pimentel, people. After being virtually invisible for much of the season, he was dominant tonight, throwing 97 MPH with a slider that came in as hard as 90 MPH, and he struck out seven batters in four scoreless innings. It was all fastballs and sliders, so he still looks like a reliever me, but he looked far more like a legitimate late-inning option than I've seen from him before.

Then Ernesto Frieri pitched a 1-2-3 inning in his Pirates debut. True, he needed a great play from Jordy Mercer and a nearly-missed catch at the track by Polanco to make that happen. But he was as advertised, consistently throwing in the mid-90s. Maybe Pimentel and Frieri can help change a Pirates bullpen that's been shaky so far this season. That sounds overly optimistic, and it probably is, but man ... if you saw Pimentel tonight, you probably understand.