AFL Rising Stars Game Recap

The AFL Rising Stars game wasn’t kind to Gerrit Cole.  The Pittsburgh Pirates right hander was hit for two home runs and five runs total, getting just two outs before being lifted due to a single inning pitch limit.

Cole started off by giving up a double to Kevin Mattison.  The ball bounced past the first baseman, and Mattison hustled his way to a double.  Cole’s next pitch was a 99 MPH fastball that Nick Franklin hit to center field for a two run homer.  He followed that with a single on a chopper up the middle.  Junior Lake fielded the ball, but didn’t have a play.  However, he tried to make the play, and made a wild throw to first, allowing the runner to advance to second.

The first out came on a strikeout to the next batter.  Cole got a swinging strike in the dirt on a 92 MPH cut fastball.  He followed that up with a five pitch walk to Michael Choice, and then gave up his second homer of the game on another 99 MPH fastball.  Cole finished his day with a groundout, before being lifted due to a single inning pitch limit of 29 pitches.

Cole gave up five runs, all earned, on a walk and four hits, with one strikeout and two home runs.  He was mostly using his fastball, throwing 15 four seam fastballs, all in the 97-99 MPH range, with seven of those pitches hitting 99 MPH.  He threw two changeups and three sliders, with nine cut fastballs.  His command was off, with 16 strikes and 13 balls, including a few elevated pitches.

Robbie Grossman also had a rough night, going 0-for-3 with a walk.  Grossman struck out looking in his first at-bat, going up against left hander Danny Hultzen.  In his next at-bat he grounded out to first base against former Pirates prospect Nathan Adcock.  Grossman walked on five pitches in his third at-bat, then reached on an error in his fourth at-bat.

  • Although it was a bad outing, what can we take from a guy who is expected to go 7-9 innings and given the task of pitching 1-2 pointless innings.

  • It’s funny that people are frustrated with a kid who has pitched 5 times in an organized game since May. Sure, you’d like to see Cole dominate but he has a lot of work to do for a kid with his stuff and college experience.  We know this. To me just on one viewing and from what I’ve read he likes to throw all his pitches, maybe to his detriment. When you throw 98-100 you don’t really need to be perfect all the time but he throws a lot of other stuff up there. He threw just as many secondary pitches as he did 4 seamers and that is too much when you throw that hard. Plus, as you said the command…if you can throw strike one at 99 down and you have a good slider and changeup you really don’t need to be anywhere near the middle of the plate for the rest of the at bat. Throw it outside or up or down and make them chase.  He is not there yet.

  • We learn more about a prospect AFTER he fails. Better to fail in the minors….

  • frustrating to see Cole struggle out there.   I know its a meaningless All-Star game but it seems par for  the course with this franchise.  Nothing ever seems to go right