Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cole, Cervelli Hurt in Loss Nicasio Tries to Help as Reliever in Over-Worked, Weary Bullpen, but Fails

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cole, Cervelli Hurt in Loss Nicasio Tries to Help as Reliever in Over-Worked, Weary Bullpen, but Fails

Article excerpt

The sight of athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk trotting out of the Pirates dugout to examine a player usually portends trouble. Matters worsen when his patients include the staff ace and the starting catcher.

The game Friday night asked a lot of the pitchers, especially relievers who had to cover 10 innings after Gerrit Cole departed because of an injury and a 3-3 tie forced extra innings. With the St. Louis Cardinals bench empty, starter Adam Wainwright pinch-hit in the 12th - and hit a two-run double, which led to a six-run inning and a 9-3 Pirates loss at PNC Park.

Juan Nicasio, working out of the bullpen on his side day to aid a weary relief unit, allowed six runs in the 12th.

The bullpen has blown the lead in the eighth three times in the past seven days. A doubleheader and Cole's two-inning outing Friday further taxed the relievers.

Cole exited in the top of the third because of tightness in his right triceps. Francisco Cervelli left in the bottom of the fourth because of pain in his left hand after an awkward-looking finish to a swing.

Between the second and third inning, Cole said, his triceps began to tighten. He has not experienced such an issue before. After Matt Carpenter singled to begin the third, Tomczyk and manager Clint Hurdle visited the mound. Cole eventually left the game, and A.J. Schugel replaced him.

"I hosed them pretty good tonight," Cole said. "I gave it everything I had. The third inning, it wasn't right."

Cole said the medical staff told him that after competition is a bad time to evaluate an injury and they will further examine him today.

Cervelli took a big swing at the first pitch he saw from Michael Wacha. He dropped the bat out of his left hand on his follow-through and appeared to favor that hand. After meeting with the medical staff, Cervelli left the game, and Chris Stewart replaced him. …

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