78 strikeouts. Three walks. Ridiculous.
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.”
The best of SI
Six teams that drew the short straw with the NFL schedule. … NFL personnel executives speculate about what kind of package would be necessary to actually trade for Aaron Rodgers. … Pat Forde caught up with Medina Spirit’s breeder amid a hectic Preakness week. … Minor league baseball is back across America after a long, long layoff.
Around the sports world
ESPN’s Jeff Passan checked back in with Drew Robinson as his comeback continues. … Five-star basketball recruit Patrick Baldwin Jr. committed to play for his dad at Milwaukee over Duke. … A college pitcher whose prosthetic arm was stolen had it returned after it was found at a recycling plant. … An NCAA women’s golf regional was controversially canceled before even a single hole had been played.
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
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
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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