The Cole Hard Facts

    Gerrit Cole did not hurt his emerging identity Friday night by adding Angels ace Jered Weaver to his growing list of victims. Rather, an impressive list of feats, herewith collected, got lost in the big picture of his impressive third straight victory.

    The Cole Hard Facts:

    • Cole registered the fastest pitch (101 mph) thrown by a starter other than Detroit’s Justin Verlander since 2008.
    • Nine percent of Cole’s 88 pitches (eight) clocked 100-plus mph — the Majors’ other starters this season have all combined for one, delivered by the Mets’ Matt Harvey.
    • Before Cole, only one other overall No. 1 Draft pick had won each of his first three starts, the Orioles’ Ben McDonald in 1990. With one big difference: McDonald already had 12 relief appearances under his belt before the first of those starts.
    • Cole became the second pitcher in the Pirates’ 127-year history to start and win each of his first three appearances, matching the dog-eared feat of Myrl Brown in 1922 (poor Myrl, alas, never won again).
    • Cole issued his first, and only, big-league walk to the 72nd big-league batter he faced, Mark Trumbo in the seventh inning. No walks in his first 18 innings is a franchise-record [post-1915] at the outset of a career.
    • In another first, Cole allowed his first home run, to Albert Pujols in the same seventh inning. That was also the first homer in Cole’s last seven starts, reverting to his Indianapolis tenure and bridging a total of 44 innings.
    • After having already  become the first to ever decision Cy Young Award winners (Tim Lincecum and Zack Greinke) in his first two starts, Cole got the best of Weaver, a mere runner up in 2011 with a couple of other top-five finishes in the voting.
    • Cole: “That’s like $400 million worth of pitching. I’ve been really fortunate to go against that kind of competition and have the guys score runs, which allowed me to attack and not have to do anything crazy.”

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