Pirates name Gerrit Cole Game 5 starting pitcher

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

The Pirates are turning to rookie Gerrit Cole in Game 5 of the NLDS.
The Pirates are turning to rookie Gerrit Cole in Game 5 of the NLDS. (USATSI)

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The Pirates have made a decision on a Game 5 starting pitcher, and it's not veteran A.J. Burnett -- who started Game 1. Instead, it's rookie right-hander Gerrit Cole.

"We have one game to win," manager Clint Hurdle said after the game in a press conference. "As I've done and I've challenged the guys to do, we need to do the best we can to win that next game. I believe that matchup is the best we can do to beat the Cardinals in Game 5."

Cole, 23, was 10-7 with a 3.22 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 117 1/3 innings this season. In Game 2 of the NLDS against the Cardinals, he dominated for six innings, allowing only one run on two hits while striking out five.

Burnett, on the flip side, was brutal in Game 1. He gave up seven runs on six hits and four walks -- while not striking anyone out -- in two-plus innings. He gave the Pirates no shot.

So that means Cole is tasked with the tall order of matching pitches with Cy Young contender Adam Wainwright -- who went 19-9 with a 2.94 ERA in the regular season and dominated the Pirates in Game 1 of the series. Should be fun.

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