Gerrit Cole is a legit ace for the Pittsburgh Pirates

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Cole is usually masterful on the mound.

Flamethrower Gerrit Cole led the Pirates to a 12-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

The 6-foot-4, 220 pound Cole (10-7, 3.22 ERA), who started for the first time since losing the deciding Game 5 of the NL division series to St. Louis last October, yielded two runs over seven frames and raved about catcher Russell Martin.

“I think it was just a really well-played ballgame on our part,” said Cole, 23. “I can’t say enough about what Russ did behind the plate. Not sure there are any other catchers in the entire world that could handle what I threw at him tonight.”

Cole recorded 100 strikeouts in 117.1 innings as a rookie and was arguably Pittsburgh’s best pitcher over the final six week in 2013.

Chosen first overall out of UCLA in 2011, Cole consistently reaches 96 mph and exhibits complete command on the hill.

Using a fastball, slider and changeup, the former Bruin has incredible stuff and is nearly untouchable when operating properly.

Snubbing the New York Yankees in 2008 to instead continue taking classes in Westwood, Cole gives the Pirates one of the more formidable rotations in baseball.

Teaming with standout hurlers Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton, power arms dominate in the playoffs and Cole launches absolutely blistering heat.

A truly menacing Pirate, Cole is a burgeoning ace in the “Steel City.”

There are simply not many pitchers “in the entire world” as talented as Gerrit Cole.

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