While he's not slated to pitch during the New York Yankees' quick two-game set in Pittsburgh, Gerrit Cole returned to PNC Park Tuesday for the first time since the Pirates traded him to the Houston Astros in January of 2018.
In a meeting with the assembled media, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft was asked to reflect on his five seasons with the Pirates, and whether he would change anything from his time as a Bucco.
"I would probably take that slider back to [Kyle] Schwarber," Cole said, as noted by Alex Stumpf of DK Sports Pittsburgh.
Of course, Cole is referring to the 430-foot home run that he gave up to Schwarber -- then with the Chicago Cubs -- in the third inning of the 2015 National League Wild Card Game:
Cole gave up six hits and four runs over five innings, while eventual NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta pitched a complete-game shutout for the Cubs in a 4-0 win. The Pirates haven't been back to the playoffs since.
While Schwarber is now hitting tape-measure shots for the Philadelphia Phillies, he faced Cole as a member of the Boston Red Sox in the American League Wild Card Game in 2021. The end result was a solo shot for Schwarber, in an eventual 6-2 win for the Red Sox: