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The streak is over for Pittsburgh Pirates starter Gerrit Cole.
Well, it wasn’t much of a streak, but three games without giving up a long ball was progress for the 27-year old who hadn’t gone three straight games without giving up a home run all season long. Eric Thames 29th home run of the season in the second inning of Tuesday night’s loss to the Milwaukee Brewers made that short show of progress a thing of the past.
And Cole’s inability to keep the ball in the ballpark this season has been concerning to say the least.
Along with teammate Ivan Nova, Cole ranks in the top six in the National League in home runs allowed this season and he has allowed nearly as many home runs this season as he has the past three combined. From 2014-2016, Cole surrendered 29 home runs while he has given up 27 this season.
Cole has shown glimpses of regaining his 2015 form, but has struggled for a majority of the season including Tuesday when he allowed five earned runs including four in a rough third inning. Last season was disappointing due to various injuries issues Cole endured, but this season far surpasses last year when it comes to disappointment in my opinion.
It is encouraging that Cole continues to strike batters out on a consistent basis and that he has shown good control for a majority of the season, consistently throwing strikes, but it seems as if hitters continue to figure him out.
Mercer continues to roll
I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say Jordy Mercer is a very underrated shortstop. The guy simply goes out and gets the job done while flying under the radar.
Though he only went 1 for 4 Tuesday night, Mercer drove in his 54th run of the season. To many, this may not seem like much of an accomplishment, but for Mercer it makes him just five RBIs shy of his career high of 59 set last season. This season has already been a career year for Mercer as he has set career highs in home runs (14) and is on the verge of setting new career highs in walks, doubles and hits.
Though he is only hitting .194 in September, he continues to get the job done and get better each year.
Baseball Talk on the Web
- The 2018 MLB season will have the earliest start date in history, beginning in late March.
- MLB will consider player opinions before making a decision on whether to implement a pitch clock.
- The Oakland Athletics will offer free admission to one game in 2018.
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