Ace is spelled C, O, L, E. Gerrit Cole lowered his ERA to a mere 1.90 after 7 impressive innings of work. Allowing just 5 hits, 2 runs, none of which were earned, while walking only 2 and fanning 9. The 6th inning of this ballgame reaffirmed Cole's "ace status" that we as Pirate fans have the pleasure of witnessing every 5th day. As far as pitching goes, it was as good as it gets. After allowing back to back singles to Panik and Pence, Cole walked Posey to load the bases. With runners everywhere and Brandon Belt at the plate, Cole dug in. Striking out Belt after getting behind 2-0 on a fantastic sequence, ending with a tight 88 mph slider that resulted in a check swing. He then got Brandon Crawford to hit into a 4-6-3 DP to end the inning. Trouble evaded and another chapter written on the legend that is becoming Gerrit Cole.
The Giants got off to a good start in this game, Nori Aoki singled to open things up. He then stole second base (Pirate pitchers continue to struggle against running game). A throwing error by Kang on a Pence groundball allowed him to reach safely and a Gerrit Cole 48 foot slider moved the runners up. Brandon Belt then hit a broken bat 2 RBI double to score Pence and Aoki. Both runs were unearned for Cole.
In the top of the 3rd the Pirates cut the lead to one. Cole reached base on a throwing error by SF thirdbaseman Duffy. JHay then walked and was followed by a Polanco single to right. Cutch then drove in Cole with a shot sacrifice to left-center field but was robbed by an amazing catch by Angel Pagan.
The Pirates were at it again in the 5th. Cole reached on a FC sac bunt attempt where Stewart was thrown out trying to get to third. Harrison was then hit by a pitch and Polanco followed him with a walk. Yet again, a SAC fly by Cutch scored Cole as Pence made a diving play to stop what would have been a standup double and could've/should've been 5 RBI for #22. Neil Walker followed that up with a 2-run double into the left center field gap to make it 4-2 Bucs.
Machi came on to pitch for Vogelson in the 7th. The final line on Voge was 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R/2 ER, and 2 BB.
Watson entered in the 8th inning, when the Giants were able to put another run on the board. Aoki singled and then Panik moved him over with a sac fly. Hunter Pence then drove in Aoki with a groundout to short. The Pirates maintained a 4-3 lead after 8 innings. Melancon took the ball in the 9th and did his job. Getting Belt to chop out back to himself, a strikeout of Crawford, and finally inducing a ground ball to first by Pagan. Game, set, match!
It's always important to win 1-run ball games, this time the Pirates pick up just their 7th of the season in that fashion. Hey how about Chris Stewart, 3 doubles in a row, first Pirate to do that since Ronny Cedeno (woah). He had the only multiple hit game tonight. Cutch and Walker both had 2 RBI a piece and Cole came across twice.
BUCCO OF THE GAME: COLE 45, COLE TRAIN, Your Ace...Gerrit Cole
On top of it all, the Brewers beat the Cards 1-0 tonight...your Pirates pick up a game in the division!