Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting pitcher called out the Chicago Cubs after Sunday’s game at Wrigley Field. Cole said that the Cubs are “not the best team in the baseball”, despite the fact that the Cubs have the best record in the MLB by a comfortable margin.
Sometimes, being outspoken can be a good thing. More often than not, though, it simply causes issues that are idiotic and pointless. Gerrit Cole started the latter after Sunday’s win over the Chicago Cubs.
Despite the Cubs owning the best record in the MLB of 27-9 and leading the second-place Pirates by 8.0 games in the Central Division, Cole called out the Cubs after Sunday’s 2-1 Pirates’ victory.
The fact that Cole spoke out should be perceived in both a positive and negative way, obviously positively for the Pirates and their fans and negatively for the Cubs and their fans.
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On the Pirates’ side of things, one has to love what Cole said. The Pirates just defeated the team with the best record in baseball, doing so in a game where Cubs’ starter Jon Lester did not give up a hit until the 7th inning.
Not only did the Pirates win Sunday, but they did so behind the dominant pitching of Cole. Pittsburgh’s ace went eight innings, giving up just three hits and no runs, pitching a great game against his team’s rival.
Essentially, Cole pitched a great game and felt very confident in himself after, which is understandable. Why shouldn’t he be proud of his team picking up a victory that puts them just eight games back of first place?
Oh wait, that’s right. The Pirates win puts their record at just 19-17, nearly ten games out of first place in the Central Division in just the second month of the 2016 season. Not only is his team far behind, but they have had little success against the Cubs this season.
Hypothetically, Cole’s comments would not look as bad if the Cubs and Pirates were evenly matched in 2016 thus far. However, the two teams are the exact opposite of even, as the Cubs hold a 5-1 record against the Pirates in 2016.
Not only have the Cubs won five of the six games, but they have done so in dominant fashion, outscoring the Pirates 38-13 in the six games between the two teams. The Cubs have scored at least six runs in five of the six games, with the lone exception coming Sunday.
In addition to scoring as much as they have against the Pirates, the Cubs’ pitching has shut down Pittsburgh this season. In five of the six games, the Pirates have scored two runs or less, breaking this streak Friday when they scored four times in a 9-4 loss.
The Cubs aren’t just outscoring the Pirates, but the entire MLB as well. As of before Sunday’s game, the Cubs hold a run differential of +109, the best in all of baseball. In fact, their run differential is better than the next two teams (Red Sox +58, Cardinals +46) combined.
Cole actually entered Sunday’s game coming off a loss against the Cubs on May 2nd, a game where he allowed six runs (five earned) in 4.2 innings pitched. The Cubs won the game in Pittsburgh 7-2, the first of a three-game sweep of the Pirates.
Despite what he said, it’s pretty hard to believe that Cole thinks the Cubs are not the best team in baseball. He may have said otherwise, but getting off to such a historic start has to have caught his attention.
Yes, the 2016 season is not even two months old, so things could heat up within the Central Division. Until then, though, it’s pretty obvious that the Cubs have been the best team in baseball so far. If Gerrit Cole believes otherwise, he’s kidding himself, plain and simple.