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Season on the line, Pirates to turn to rookie Gerrit Cole

Oct 7, 2013, 6:35 PM EDT

Gerrit Cole Getty Images

It’s not a surprise now, but it would have been a week ago: the Pirates will go to Gerrit Cole over A.J. Burnett in Wednesday’s decisive Game 5 against the Cardinals.

Burnett has won 26 games with a 3.49 ERA in his two seasons with the Pirates, but that’s all been undone by one hideous inning in the Game 1 loss. After starting off with a pair of scoreless frames, Burnett retired none of the seven hitters he faced in the third and all came around to scored in the 9-1 loss.

Cole, the first overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft, followed that up with six innings of one-run ball in a Game 2 victory.

If Burnett’s Game 1 struggles were the end of it, the Pirates likely would have given him the ball again. However, the career 6.37 postseason ERA weighs heavily here. Mental toughness has always been a question mark with Burnett, and the fact is that the Pirates have more faith in the rookie right now.

Dating back to the regular season, Cole has won five straight starts. When the Pirates score three runs, they’re 19-1 with Cole on the mound.

  1. steelers88 - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Okay now it’s time to panic! Pirates chocked in this game. Now they have to face Wainright season looks to be over.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      “Choked?” Really? They faced a buzz saw in Wacha today. Look at this numbers.
      The Cardinals didn’t choke in games 2 and 3. The Pirates won. Which is exactly what the Cardinals did today. I expect another tight one on Wednesday.

    • gdobs227 - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      They didn’t chock today and they won’t chock on Wednesday. The may lose, but it won’t be a chock job. I wouldn’t call this team chockers.

      • asimonetti88 - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:16 PM

        You don’t think they’re chalk full of chockers?

  2. steelers88 - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Yeah but if your up 2-1 in the series and then lose the series isn’t that the definition of chocking? I also think that the Cardinals will blow out the Pirates on Wednesday. Pirates lost this series today. Thank you anyway for a HELL of a year Pirates! You made me me a baseball fan. I’m so looking forward to next year! This isn’t a one and done team this team will be back next year! This team is a HELL of a team but it’s just not their year hopefully next year is.

    • fearlessleader - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      Is this some kind of jock? (Sorry, sorry, just pocking fun.)

      • cackalackyank - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        I love the way it seems no one gets what you are poking fun at.

    • happytwinsfan - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      you and sadtwinsfan would get along real well.

      remember, baseball is god’s favorite sport. the rook will gut it out and my toes are tingling, meaning that morneau’s going yard in the ninth.

      • anxovies - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:19 PM

        As long as the rook doesn’t chock.

      • chumthumper - Oct 8, 2013 at 8:57 AM

        It’s in the Bible. Genesis 1:1: In the big inning….

    • illegalblues - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      man, i hate to poke fun at people on the internet cause it’s kinda douchey….but you have the exact same cadence and flair for typing that my grandmother does.

      • happytwinsfan - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        that’s because i’m probably old enough to be your grandmother. thank you for the compliment

    • paperlions - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      Loosing and chocking are not the same thing….most often, teams just loose. Wacha had a no hitter through 8 2/3 his last start of the season, he’s been fantastic locating and mixing his FB and CH. The Pirates chocked no more today than the Cardinals did by loosing games 2 and 3.

      Of course, whoever loses game 5 will need some chocks because their post season won’t be going anywhere.

      • lew24 - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:39 PM

        Paperlions comes through again!

      • chrisernst82 - Oct 8, 2013 at 5:02 AM

        I find it hard to defend someone who does not know how to spell lose lol

        But he is right, this has been one hell of a series. No choking even in the slightest, yet at least. As a lifelong Cardinal fan if you would have told me I would even be slightly worried about the Bucs in game 5 of the NLDS, I would have laughed a sarcastic laugh and chalked it up to homer fandom. But this is a well managed talented team that can hold they’re head high regardless of the outcome of game 5. Either team could have won today. After 7 straight balls from Rosey in the ninth I thought we were done. AMC at the plate, every able body in the stands on their tiptoes, not a redshirt in sight. I had a feeling I would be looking toward next year. Hell, even after Carp called off Beltran on the popup my heart still sat in my throat. It must have been written in the stars. But nope, its coming back home to the Lou with Wainwright on the mound. GOD HOW I LOVE BASEBALL!

        How a game could end like that and someone says they choked is a ignorant half-fan. The kind we see we the playoffs roll around every year. While I’m not going to wish them good luck (that’s the last thing they need), I have a lot of respect for them Pirates.

        But expecting the youngster Cole to give you 2 gems in one series with a whole city on his back is more than any fan can ask. If he does you all better chip in for his next contract or at least buy some tickets before July next year. Fan support goes a long way to having repeat success fiscally and emotionally. But if he doesn’t expect the bandwagon to clear off quickly.

        Im pretty sure im a bandwagon Cardinal fan going into my 32nd year of riding high on this everlasting bandwagon. I expect the wagon to be full for the next 32 as well. GO Cardinals!

      • paperlions - Oct 8, 2013 at 7:11 AM

        Dude….I am not sure how it wasn’t obvious. Lose was misspelled on purpose (except for the last time) as was choking, making fun of the people that kept saying “chocking”, which is actually a thing….you know the guys that put the little yellow blocks around the plane’s wheels when it stops at the terminal? Those blocks are chocks and those guys are chocking the plane.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      You don’t get it do you? When you say a team “choked” you are essentially slapping the team that BEAT THEM in the face. Quite frankly, it’s disrespectful. That is precisely why you found no Cardinals fans calling the Cardinals “chokers” after you guys won games one and two. It’s simple…the Pirates WON. Now it’s on to game 5. Please know the team that losses will have lost because they got beat.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        Make that “won games two and three.”

        Sorry….EDIT FUNCTION.

  3. steelers88 - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I’m sorry I get that your a Twins and Morneau is probably your favorite player but his washed up.

    • happytwinsfan - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      i know bustin justin’s best days are behind, and i actually think the pirates a few years from now will regret giving up alex pressly for him, but you gotta have faith. did you know that in his very last game as a twin, morneau passed tony oliva on the twins all time career home run list.

      but okay, maybe my toes tell me that McCutchen goes yard in the ninth

  4. steelers88 - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Alex is a 4th outfielder at best.

  5. dolphins4 - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Lets go Pirates win this series!

  6. taz101 - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Lord I can’t wait until Pirates “fans” like steelers88 jump back off the bandwagon.

    Congrats to the Cards & their fans on a huge win today. There was no “chocking” by the Pirates today. Wacha was a machine. I look forward to watching this kid hopefully dominate for the next 10+ years… just not against the Buccos.

    • chrisernst82 - Oct 8, 2013 at 5:20 AM

      Future is as bright as ever in St Louis. Miller, Wacha, Martinez, Lynn, Rosenthal, Seigrest, Maness and Jenkins. Those are just our hurlers of the future.

      Im just as excited to see what Adams, Tavaras, Wong, and a little older Carpenter.

      The future is bright as can be.

      And we still have the best catcher ever in Molina (they even made up an award for the guy), an ace with a few years left in Wainwright. Aging yet consistant star in Holliday. Motte coming back next year.

      And if that wasn’t enough Matheny is just getting started. Hopefully Oquendo for at least a few more years before he begins his HC career.

      Could we even ask for more? Yup we need a SS. But that’s all I can think of lol. But hell I think Ozzies coming back.

    • drone501 - Oct 8, 2013 at 7:33 AM

      been a pirate fan since 1958. don’t consider myself a bandwagon jumper. hell, i can’t jump anymore anyway.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        Hahaha! Thumbs up for this drone…”hell, i can’t jump anymore anyway.”
        Well done.

  7. drone501 - Oct 8, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    pirates are the team of the future.

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