Gerrit Cole Is Off to a Historic Start This Season

In Thursday’s Hot Clicks: Gerrit Cole’s outrageous strikeout numbers, Matt Harvey’s return to Queens and more.
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Hitters don’t stand a chance

Wednesday night’s win over the Rays went pretty much perfectly for the Yankees. Gerrit Cole pitched eight shutout innings and Aroldis Chapman retired the side in order in the ninth to lock up a 1–0 victory.

Cole was dominant, allowing just four hits and striking out 12. The dozen strikeouts came on some truly nasty pitches. He blew by hitters with 99-mph gas and painted the black with some wicked sliders.

Perhaps most notably, he didn’t issue a walk. In fact, Cole hasn’t walked a batter since April 12 against the Blue Jays. (He did hit a batter in his start on April 18.) Wednesday’s game was Cole’s third start of the season in which he has struck out at least 12 batters while not allowing a run or walk. And he’s only made eight starts!

Cole is now tied with Sandy Koufax and Pedro Martínez for the most 12-strikeout, no-run, no-walk games in a single season. And again, he’s only a third of the way through the season.

(Martínez and Koufax both won the Cy Young in those seasons.)

Cole’s control has been ridiculous this season. Since issuing his last walk (to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. leading off the second inning on April 12), he has struck out 53 batters. Since the mound was moved back from 50' to its current 60' 6" in 1893, only Curt Schilling has struck out that many batters in a row without issuing a walk.

Cole has a total of 78 strikeouts this year, but that isn’t the best in the majors. The league leader is reigning Cy Young winner Shane Bieber, who has 85. But Cole has just three walks this season (two on Opening Day and one on April 12), compared to Bieber’s 18. Bieber’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is a very respectable 4.72. Cole’s is an outrageous 26.0.

“He’s an ace,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters. “He is an absolute bulldog. I think he lives for pitching when it’s tough and in the biggest of games. In a 1–0 game, we needed all of it. Even though he breezed through some of those innings and made them look pretty easy, there was a ton on the line with every pitch.”

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Here are a few more Gerrit Cole fun facts

The Chiefs knocked this out of the park

Eyes in the back of his head

Maybe pitchers shouldn’t be hitting

A nice moment, even though he got lit up in his worst start of the season

Harvey really appreciated the ovation

So acrobatic

It was a defensive clinic in Flushing

Another great grab

I didn’t include this a few days ago, but the video above reminded me to drop in this catch from my alma mater

Not such great defense in Philadelphia

Not sports

Ohio is incentivizing vaccinations by giving away $1 million to five people who get their shots. ... A Michigan man logged into his Zoom court hearing with a very obscene username and the judge was not pleased. ... Chick-fil-A is running low on its signature sauce. ... A paralyzed man was able to use a brain implant to send text messages at a rate of 16 words per minute. ... A 28-year-old Miami woman is accused of trespassing at a high school in an attempt to get more Instagram followers.

I was fairly shocked to learn this is a German product

This is my favorite episode of It’s Always Sunny

A good song

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