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Pittsburgh Pirates starter Gerrit Cole did what he does best Wednesday. He pitched like the ace the ball club relies on him to be.

Over seven innings against the first place Washington Nationals, Cole allowed just one earned run on three hits while walking two and striking out three. The 26-year old was incredibly effective as he threw 70 of his 98 pitches for strikes.

Cole has been nothing short of fantastic in his last four starts. After going 1-3 with a 3.60 ERA in five April starts, Cole is 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in four starts while striking out 23 in 27 innings and holding hitters to a .181 batting average.

Despite holding a 2-4 record, Cole’s 2017 numbers are impressive as he holds a 2.84 ERA in nine starts. Cole ranks eighth in baseball with 57 innings pitched and ninth with a 1.02 WHIP.

With Jameson Taillon recovering from surgery for testicular cancer, the play of Cole is even more crucial. There are some who believe Cole shouldn’t be considered an “ace”, but the way he has been playing lately sure makes him look like one.

After a season in which injuries plagued his performances, it’s nice to see Cole return to form. He’s an important part of the Pirates starting rotation and if he can continue to pitch at an effective level, the Pirates could find themselves winning more ballgames.

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Jose Negron

Jose Negron is a 22 year old journalist from the North Huntingdon area. A recent graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, Jose has written for Rumbunter and Pirates Breakdown for the past year. He is the former Editor in Chief and Sports Editor of Cal U's campus newspaper, the Cal Times. He also covers high school sports for the Mon Valley Independent and serves as a contributor for Pittsburgh Sporting News, covering the Pirates. During the summer of 2015, he also interned with TribLive Radio, writing for their online blog, helping in the production of various radio shows and even appearing on the air.