The New York Yankees’ 2023 season is a bust. But ace Gerrit Cole, 33, is on the verge of having the best season of his career.
On April 16 (ET), Cole pitched five innings of six-hit ball, striking out four, walking three, and giving up two runs on five hits against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Yankees earned a 7-5 win, but Cole took the no-decision.안전놀이터
Cole had only recorded four or more strikeouts in a game once before this season. The three strikeouts were his first in seven games since Aug. 8 against the Chicago White Sox. His 4.33 K/BB ranks sixth in the American League. While he hasn’t struck out as many batters this season, he hasn’t walked as many either.
That’s why it was unusual to see him walk Bae Ji-Hwan to lead off the first inning, followed by Brian Reynolds and Endy Rodriguez. He gave up a 97 mph fastball to Brian Hayes for an RBI single, but was no longer shaken. In the second inning, he continued his dominance with a 98 mph fastball to Bae. In the fourth inning, he turned a double play with a knuckle curveball to Bae.
Fourth season of a nine-year, $324 million ($43.12 billion) contract. He continues to have healthy and powerful seasons, including 73 innings in 12 games in 2020, 181⅓ innings in 30 games in 2021, and 192 innings in 31 games in 2022. He is the epitome of a conscientious free agent with no recent controversy. He stays injury-free and pitches counting.
Despite only pitching five innings on the day, he’s on pace to reach 200 innings this season after last year. It’s his sixth career 200-inning season after 2015 (208 innings) and 2017 (203 innings) with Pittsburgh and 2018 (200⅓ innings), 2019 (212⅓ innings) and 2022 with the Houston Astros. That’s six 200+ inning seasons in 11 full-time years. That alone is worth more than $300 million.
Leads the American League in innings pitched, first in ERA, second in batting average (.217), third in strikeouts (208), fourth in WHIP (1.05), and tied for fourth in wins. His 135.0 ESPN Cy Young points are second only to Felix Batista (Baltimore Orioles). He received 38 of 39 first-place votes in MLB.com’s latest Cy Young mock poll.
His first Cy Young is on the horizon. Two years ago, he led the Cy Young race but had to settle for second place behind Robbie Ray (Seattle Mariners). He also finished second in 2019 with Houston. He was fourth in 2020 and fifth in 2018, always one or two spots short of the Cy Young.
MLB.com writes, “Cole got off to an uncharacteristically slow start, but after two innings of no-hit ball, he added to his Cy Young campaign once again. “He struggled to find the strike zone but pitched a good, competitive game,” Cole said.