Last Updated on September 20, 2023 at 5:13 pm by Amanda Cunha
Two hours after the commencement of the game between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, Aaron Boone, the Yankees’ manager, addressed the media in a pre-game press conference to share his thoughts on Gerrit Cole’s chances of winning the Cy Young Award.
Boone expressed his strong belief that Cole is the clear frontrunner for the Cy Young Award, stating, “To me, he’s the Cy Young.”
Gerrit Cole’s journey toward 200 wins: A testament to dedication and excellence
In a piece by Tyler Kepner, dated September 20, 2023, it was highlighted that Gerrit Cole, who had once been a rookie entrusted with starting a pivotal playoff game for the Pittsburgh Pirates, has come a long way. Despite facing early challenges in his career, such as giving up a two-run homer in a crucial game, Cole has persevered and is now on the verge of reaching 200 career wins, a significant milestone in the world of baseball.
Currently standing at 143 career wins and having recently turned 33, Cole is poised to become one of the few active pitchers to achieve this feat, following in the footsteps of players like Adam Wainwright, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Max Scherzer, and Clayton Kershaw. Notably, this milestone of 200 wins is likely to be one of the last such round numbers reached by pitchers of Cole’s generation, as the landscape of baseball has evolved significantly over the years.
Gerrit Cole’s exceptional performance in the 2023 season positions him as a strong candidate for the Cy Young Award, leading the American League in earned run average (2.81) and innings pitched (192) for the Yankees. Although his win-loss record stands at 13-4, his dominance on the mound is evident. In numerous starts, Cole has worked at least six innings while allowing no more than two earned runs, even if he did not secure the victory. While wins may not be the sole measure of a pitcher’s performance, they remain significant to starting pitchers as they reflect the team’s success on the day of their start.
In an interview, Cole expressed his deep appreciation for wins, emphasizing the limited number of games pitchers participate in and how each game offers an opportunity to contribute to a team’s victory. He also recalled receiving advice early in his career that emphasized the importance of pitching deep into games, a principle he has embraced during his time with the Yankees.
Cole’s dedication to his craft and his commitment to working deep into games has made him a leader in the Yankees’ pitching staff. Yankees manager Aaron Boone commended Cole for his year-round focus on his routine and pitching performance, highlighting his pride in being a leader for the team.
Despite the evolving standards in baseball statistics that prioritize rate stats over volume, Cole remains true to his workmanlike approach. He expressed concern that the industry may not fully appreciate the value of durability and consistent performance, particularly in the context of the modern emphasis on “per-nine” rate statistics.
Cole also discussed the changing landscape of pitching in baseball, with bullpens and Triple-A call-ups playing larger roles in innings distribution, thereby diminishing the role of starting pitchers. This shift reflects a broader trend in the industry, where the number of starting pitchers capable of reaching 200 innings has significantly decreased over the years.
Adam Wainwright’s recent achievement of his 200th career win serves as a testament to his enduring career and unwavering dedication to pitching deep into games. Wainwright’s journey from reaching 200 innings as a 26-year-old to achieving the milestone once more at the age of 40 underscores the rarity of such accomplishments in today’s game.
For pitchers like Wainwright, pitching deep into games provides a sense of fulfillment and fuels their competitive spirit. However, the shift towards shorter outings and reliance on bullpens has made reaching this milestone increasingly challenging.
In conclusion, Gerrit Cole’s pursuit of 200 career wins is a testament to his dedication and excellence on the mound. While the role of starting pitchers in baseball has evolved over the years, milestones like 200 wins remain a significant measure of a pitcher’s success and longevity in the game. Cole’s journey toward this milestone is a reflection of his commitment to both team success and personal excellence in the world of baseball.
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