Gerrit Cole has become not only one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past two seasons, but also one of the most dominant. In addition to his excellent numbers and high Cy Young finishes, Cole has struck out 12.4 and then 13.8 batters per nine.
That dominance can lead to some pretty wild pitcher vs. batter statlines. Here are some of the most amusing from Cole’s career so far.
5. Austin Meadows
Good news for the Yankees is that so far, Cole has gotten the upper hand in this matchup. Cole and Meadows have faced off 12 times, all in 2019 and six of which came in this past year’s ALDS. He has yet to reach base. In the playoffs, he made contact a couple times, but at one point during the regular season, he struck out five straight at-bats across the two regular season meetings.
4. Kolten Wong
Wong has the worst OPS of anyone who’s faced Cole 30 or more times. Most of those came in 2014 and ‘15 when Cole was with the Pirates in the NL Central. Early on, Wong got the better of him, going 3-for-11 with a home run and a double back in 2014. Since then, he’s gone 2-for-23, which in total gives him a career OPS of .436 against the new Yankee. Assuming everything lines up, the two could meet again as the Yankees are matched up against the NL Central in interleague this year.
3. Ian Kinsler
Wong may have the worst OPS of anyone at the 30 plate appearance cut off, but that’s only because Ian Kinsler falls barely short.
Kinsler has faced Cole 28 times. He has two hits. One went for extra bases, a double. He’s never walked, been hit by a pitch, recorded a sac fly, or anything else. That means he’s put up a career OPS of .179. His last hit against Cole came on April 14, 2016. Yes, they’ve been in opposite leagues for the last year, but still.
2. Nick Martini
It shouldn’t be totally shocking that someone of Cole’s caliber owns Martini, a guy who has been put on waivers twice since late August. However, the manner of the ownage is impressive.
Martini has struck out all four times he’s faced Cole. He’s done so on an average of 3.75 pitches per at bat. The last two have come on just three pitches both times.
1. Matt Olson
Cole became a regular opponent of the Athletics upon his trade to the Astros before the 2018 season. That meant he would be a regular opponent of Matt Olson, which did not go well for the Oakland first baseman.
Olson has faced Cole 20 times. He walked once. In the rest, he was 0-for-19 with 12 strikeouts. After striking out on 11 combined pitches the first three times they met, Olson finally put a ball in play in the fourth at-bat. He did it on the first pitch, not even giving himself the chance to K again. Only three times have any of those at-bats reached a full count.
These do go the other way, as well. For example, Troy Tulowitzki went 1-for-1 with a walk against him. That hit was a home run, meaning his OPS against Cole is 5.000. None of these stats are necessarily useful in the long run, but it’s fun to gawk at small sample sizes.