Cole Gives Bullpen Much Needed Breather
Coming into last night’s game, my expectations were low on how Cole would do against a power-hitting lineup. The 24-year-old was able to keep the Nats in the game and give most of the bullpen a night off they desperately needed.
Cole went seven innings, gave up four runs on five hits, struck out eight, and walked two on 108 pitches (67 strikes) in the loss. Despite the loss, this outing was much better than the one he had in Atlanta in April 2015 (nine runs in two innings).
If you count Cole’s last five starts at triple-A Syracuse, he has three outings of eight or more strikeouts. Last night, Cole got five of his eight strikeouts via the fastball, which averaged out at 92.3 miles per hour (according to Brooks Baseball).
During the first four innings, Cole made two mistakes and the Orioles made him pay. In the bottom of the third, Schoop hit a fastball over the wall in left to tie the game. One inning later, with the score tied at two and first base open, Cole pitched to Trumbo and the top home run hitter in the league this season hit a fastball over the wall in left-center for a two-run home run.
Despite those two pitches, Cole retired 12 of the final 14 batters to end his outing on a good note. Right now, Cole is scheduled to pitch against the Rockies this weekend at home. Even though Lucas Giolito is an option, according to Dusty Baker, I would lean towards giving Cole another start because of the good job he did last night.
Next: Murphy's Up And Down Night