Gerrit Cole signed a massive $324 million dollar contract in 2019 with the New York Yankees. Cole was with the Houston Astros for 2 seasons prior, and was a great pitcher, leading the American League with a 2.50 ERA in 2019, along with a 20-5 record and leading MLB with 326 K’s. Since coming to New York – Cole has been magnificent – and has been worth every giant penny they shoveled at him as a sports team. For 3 years, from 2018-2020, he has been showing his stuff – with a 42-13 record and a 696 K’s and a 2.71 ERA. This year the big righty leads the Yankees with 104 strikeouts through 12 starts, along with a nice 2.26 ERA.
He has given the Yankees an incredibly stout pitcher, they can count on every time he takes the mound. In fact, the Yankees have not had a dominant pitcher like him, the way he is playing, since CC Sabathia back in the 2009-2012 era – and even he wasn’t as unbreakable as Cole. He has single handedly been able to keep the Yankees ahead, while they are still figuring some things out with their bats, as they are sitting at only 26th in the majors with a pitiful .228 team batting avg. He has won games 3-1, 2-0, and 1-0 this year, when New York hasn’t been giving run support, he has been enough to get the W’s.
He has been ripping it with a well balanced combination of changeup, slider, curveball and a wicked fastball. Keeping batters uncomfortable and off balance with his lethal and advanced arsenal, he gets batters out in so many different ways. And when at a full count, which hasn’t been often, the 6-4 pitcher keeps batters to a dismal .105 batting avg.
It seems that regardless if ahead, or behind – there is no quit in him.
The 30 year old recently hit the historic 1500 K mark for his career and becoming the Top Dog in Baseball. And he achieved this in 212 games – the only pitcher who hit that number faster was “The Big Unit”, Randy Johnson, he hit his in an astonishing 206 games, achievements like that aren’t to be taken lightly, it certainly puts things in perspective. As of 6.3.2021 – Cole has had 6 games of 4 hits or less, along with 5 games of 9 or more K’s, and has only walked 11 batters, on the season.
With his marvelous play this season, the Yankees can approach a game offensively differently when he is on the mound. In honesty, the Yanks can focus on scoring even just 2-3 runs – they aren’t bogged down with pressure to score 5+. A team always wants to score as many runs as they can, of course, but it has to be a huge relief to know that if you are struggling finding the hit zone, and not able to get some runs on the board – your pitcher is whiffing bats on the other end, keeping them from crossing the plate. And when a pitcher is throwing the ball the way he has – it also makes things much more easier for fielders. They know what they are expecting throughout the game, and it makes their job that much easier.
Cole has been incredible this year, and if he keeps going on this path of destruction he is weaving to opponents – the Yanks very well may have a CY Young winner on their hands.