The Possible Ripple Effect of Gerrit Cole's Debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates

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The Possible Ripple Effect of Gerrit Cole's Debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Gerrit Cole’s debut last night was a success: plain and simple. The former No. 1 overall pick went six and one-third innings, gave up seven hits and just two earned runs for the first victory of his Major League career.

Not only did Cole bring some life to the mound at PNC Park, but also at the plate, where he hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the second to get the Bucs on the board. 

The rest of Cole’s teammates did their jobs, and the Bucs took the first game of a three-game set against the defending champs, by the score of 8-2. 

Cole’s numbers were solid in the start, but more importantly in this situation, he passed the eye-ball test. The young righty was throwing 97-98 mph early and often in his first start, as his fastball looked explosive as it sailed through the strike zone and into Russell Martin’s glove.

His slurve swept through the zone with a ridiculous amount of lateral movement— enough to make Mark Melancon’s 12-6 curve look easy to hit.   

Plain and simple: he looked like he could grow into the top-of-the-line starter that the Pirates organization has been so excited about.  

While last night certainly belonged to Cole, the rotation, the bullpen, the team, the organization and the National League will all be affected by Cole’s insertion into the starting rotation.  

When a top prospect comes up and looks as good as Cole did, there is going to be a heavy ripple effect. It starts on the mound, where Cole’s right hand will do direct damage, and stretches all the way out to the rest of the National League.

Note: All statistics are from after Tuesday's game. 

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