Both starting pitchers in tonight’s National League Wild Card game, Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole, came through Metro Bank Park on their way to tonight’s matchup. Both left City Island collared with their team’s loss, and in Cole’s case a badly bruised face.
Let’s first look back at Arrieta’s lone start against the Senators on May 22, 2009 when he was still a top prospect in the Baltimore Orioles’ system. According to the story from PennLive’s Geoff Morrow, the game also marked the first time the new outfield seats and boardwalk were opened to the public.
Arrieta threw well, but was outdueled by Harrisburg’s Luis Atilano in the Senators’ 3-2 win. The future Cubs’ ace scattered six hits over six innings while striking out nine but allowed three first-inning runs. Marvin Lowrance accounted for the big hit in the frame as the slugger connected on a first pitch two-run home run off Arrieta.
In Cole’s case three years later on June 26,2012, the Altoona right-hander was hit around and literally hit in his one inning of work. Cole allowed three runs on five hits, none more damaging then a line drive Destin Hood lined right back at the pitcher and off his face.
Bruised and battered, Cole finished the inning thanks in all likelihood to a huge rush of adrenaline but was replaced after that. Per PennLive’s Bob Flounders, the Pirates’ prospect was taken to a nearby hospital for a precautionary exam but somehow still made his next scheduled start without a hitch.
Reliever Zech Zinicola, who years earlier pocketed the save in the Arrieta game, earned the win against Altoona and Cole.
Later tonight, both Arrieta and Cole will make a case for their team to advance in this year’s postseason.