New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole has been on quite a tear to open up the 2023 season.
Cole was a standout performer in the Yankees’ 3-2 home win against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday. The veteran right-hander pitched 5.2 shutout innings, and he allowed a mere four hits in the contest. He also tallied six swings and misses against a Blue Jays lineup that entered Saturday ranking in the top 10 in all of baseball in a multitude of stats, including team batting average (.261).
No team has had any answer for Cole over the early stages of the 2023 campaign.
As noted by OptaStats on Twitter, Cole became just the second pitcher since 1901 to have the following numbers or better through his first five games of a single season: 30-plus innings pitched, 35-plus strikeouts, three runs allowed or fewer, zero home runs allowed and a WHIP of 0.80 or less. Roger Clemens in the 1991 season with the Boston Red Sox is the only other pitcher over the last 122 years to reach this feat. Clemens went on to take home the 1991 American League Cy Young Award.
Cole has continued to bolster his early resume for the 2023 American League Cy Young Award. His 0.79 ERA is the third-lowest by a Yankees starter through his first five games of a season. The five-time All-Star has also recorded 36 strikeouts over 34.0 innings pitched.
The Yankees currently boast a 13-8 record, and they will look to clinch a series win over the Blue Jays on Sunday.