Cole gets peeved, then gets curious hook

This is my third year of covering the Pirates and, to the best of my recollection, today was the first benches-clearing melee they have been involved in all that time.

No one is in favor of basebrawling. But everyone is in favor of a team showing some spunk. Clint Hurdle always preaches making the opposition “uncomfortable.” Brushing people off the plate is one way to do that. Speaking up against a perceived wrong is another way.

Except for last season’s detour, obviously no team has been as comfortable against the Bucs as the Brewers. They’ve shown up the Pirates for most of a decade on the field, in the box score. That’s the game, we get that. Showing them up in the batter’s box, though, is a different matter.

Gerrit Cole certainly thought so. Not like he called out an innocent angel. Check with Brian McCann.

Anyway, the best part of the incident, from the Pirates’ angle, was that it totally overshadowed what could have been the major post-game topic otherwise.

No one (I didn’t cover the game, taking a rare day off) apparently asked Hurdle about the removal of Gerrit Cole. 

I’m not finding blanket fault with the move. There may have been very sound reasoning behind it. But the point is, the post-game question apparently never came up.

Although Cole left a fastball out over the plate for Mark Reynolds’ tying homer, he otherwise had a smooth eighth inning. He retired the side on only seven pitches. He averaged 95-plus on his fastballs in that inning. He finished it with a total of 91 pitches – by far his fewest in any start this season, and in fact his fewest since Aug. 8, when the Marlins chased him after five.

Yet, Hurdle called on Jason Grilli to protect a 2-1 lead against the  same lineup sequence that had ambushed him 18 hours earlier.

So help me, when Grilli began by retiring Juan Segura, my immediate thought was, “Well, at least we’ll have a tie.”

Sometimes, I hate my instincts.

8 Comments

The fact is he left Cole in too long. Hurdle should have pinch hit for him in the seventh. We had runners on first and second with one out, 1-0 lead, a young pitcher who has never gone more than seven, a near certainty that the pitcher would never be allowed to go nine, and Hurdle lets Cole hit and has him bunting, though he had two hits already in his first two at bats. That’s trading two on and one out for a possible second and third with two out all while having Pedro remain on the bench with a RH pitching. Needless to say Cole pops up the bunt attempt and then gives up the homer. Terrible use of Hurdle’s limited assets.

Tom
Not sure what paper you are reading, but Hurdle was asked and said basically Cole is a young pitcher and he wanted him to feel good about pitching 8 innings.
Stupid answer but question asked.

Tom
Speaking of asking questions, were you at Hurdle post game last night?
Why didn’t you or other writers ask Hurdle why he pitched to 8 hole hitter in7th with pitcher due up. Could have walked him and maybe forced Price to pinch hit for Cueto.
Worse case Cueto bats and you get out of inning with only 1 run scoring.
Thoughts?

Guys, the subject did come up. And, for what it’s worth, Price essentially said having someone warming up in the ‘pen was a ruse. Cueto wasn’t leaving. And he did drive in a run with a single later. Doesn’t mean he would’ve off Volquez. Lots of conjecture,

Never heard Hurdle side.

Jeff,
I agree with you for what it’s worth, but the worst case scenario is impossible to predict. Maybe they pinch hit Mesoraco who is hitting .541 and he homers.

My comment is on Charlie Morton,,,Charlie is not a starting pitcher, he is a 4 inning pitcher; the game right now in progress with Baltimore. He started the bottom of the 5th inning at 46 pitches and a 1-0 lead at the end of that inning he threw 32 pitches and is losing 3-1. He throws too many fastballs all over the plate, curve ball is at best avg. Am I missing something with him, if so please comment. Thank you

For whatever reason, that rain delay pulled the plug on him. A completely different Morton showed up after the delay. Simply didn’t have the command he showed before.

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