ST. LOUIS -- For the Cardinals, lack of familiarity is not an excuse for why they were shut down by Pirates rookie Gerrit Cole in Game 2, but having seen the rookie just five days prior certainly won't hurt their chances in Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday (7 p.m. CT on TBS).
On Friday, Cole limited the Cards to just one run on two hits and a walk, while fanning five in his postseason debut, which was the first time he'd faced St. Louis in his career. The lone run came on a solo homer from Yadier Molina.
"I don't think we were uncomfortable the first time, he just had great stuff," Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams said. "... We'll just go out and see what he has working [Wednesday]. He had all three pitches working in Game 2, and we've just got to go out there and try to put together some good at-bats off him."
The rookie right-hander rolled into the postseason after a hot September. Cole posted a 4-0 record and a 1.69 ERA in five starts, allowing two or fewer runs in each. On Sept. 9, he tossed seven shutout innings against the Rangers, yielding just three hits.
Now, after witnessing Cole's stuff firsthand and reviewing tape of Game 2, the Cards are confident heading into Game 5 against the former No. 1 overall Draft pick.
"I think it's going to help, big-time," Adams said. "We're going to know how the ball is coming out of his hand, and we're going to see what his tendencies are, and we'll go from there."
Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.