The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped a fourth-straight game at home to the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs on Wednesday afternoon. Following the four-game sweep at home, members of the Pirates may have been ready to do something to take their mind off the sting of losing. What better way to do that than by taking in a postseason hockey game? Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole did just that as he sat rink-side as the Pittsburgh Penguins took on the Washington Capitals in a crucial second-round game in Pittsburgh.
Cole, wearing a Sidney Crosby jersey and holding a can of Miller Lite in his right hand, got to embrace being a fan and took some time to heckle the Capitals players. He may have gone a little too far, as far as security was concerned. As you can see in the video below, Cole was seen pressing his face against the glass and asked to tone it down by a security staffer. Cole obliged with a smile.
Cole is not the first professional athlete in another sport to get a little rambunctious at a postseason hockey game. In the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, New York Jets center Nick Mangold got a little eccentric rooting on the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden, against the Penguins. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick could do nothing more than laugh while looking away as Mangold taunted the Penguins. Remember stories like these the next time you hear a professional athlete complain about heckling from the fans; they do it too.
Cole’s heckling may have paid off Wednesday night, as Pittsburgh took the game with an overtime goal from Patric Hornqvist. That gives the Penguins a commanding 3-1 series lead on the Capitals, the NHL’s best team during the regular season. Pittsburgh can close things out and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals if they can pull off a win in Game 5, which takes place in Washington, D.C. Saturday. It’s a pity the Nationals won’t be in town; Bryce Harper won’t be able to return the favor.