My Thoughts on Cole’s First Outing
His Line: 6 and 1/3 IP, 7 Hits, 1 HBP, 2 ER, 81 Pitches/ 57 for strikes
Stats: 2.84 ERA, 1.26 WHIP
At the Plate: 1-for-3 with a 2 RBI Single
What a debut for first-overall pick Gerrit Cole. To sum up his first major league start in the quickest way possible, I’d have to say that he gave us all that we could ask for, and then some. He threw with impressive command—throwing his marquee fastball at an impressive velocity, rarely dropping below 96 mph, and throwing 22 balls in his entire outing. The most impressive thing about his control was that he only threw one wild pitch despite the fact that he was maintaining a high speed on all his pitches—a feat that even Justin Verlander would be proud to boast of.
The other memorable thing that Cole did tonight was to truly win over the fans by showing that he doesn’t lack skill at the plate either. A half-inning after getting himself out of a bases-loaded jam, Cole was able to step to the plate, with bases loaded, and strike a two-RBI single to center field, which put his team on the board with a 2-0 lead.
Lastly, Cole showed an impressive ability to settle down and work himself out of trouble. In the first inning he worked himself out of trouble with two runners on and one out, in the second inning he worked his way out of a bases loaded situation without letting any runners cross the plate, and in the 4 and 1/3 innings that followed he threw only 47 pitches—retiring 13 batters in a row along the way.
I have to admit that after the first inning I was a bit antsy because his pitch count seemed a bit high for a fastball pitcher, but by the end of the second inning I realized that he wasn’t out there looking for strikeouts, he was just out there looking to attack the batters and get some outs. I think this mentality is what has really won me over for Cole so far. While I still wanted him to succeed, I didn’t want him to have a debut like the one we saw recently from Stephen Strausburg where he strikes out virtually every batter leaving himself no room for improvement in his young career.
So in conclusion, I have nothing to complain about in Cole’s debut and I hope to see much more of the same in the future. Do I want to see more from him this season—yes, will I go insane if Wandy and the Ground Chuck come back strong from the DL and shuffle him out of the rotation—for now, maybe just a little.
*Notes: Also let it be known that he drew a crowd of 30,000 on a Tuesday night in June
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