Home > Pittsburgh Pirates, weird numbers > Gerrit Cole goes 7 innings, throws hard, strikes out no one

Gerrit Cole goes 7 innings, throws hard, strikes out no one

gerritcole9cpsh4f-ppsmA starting pitcher making it through at least seven innings without recording a strikeout isn’t exactly rare, even though it feels like it should be. With strikeouts rising throughout the league, I was surprised to find that this has happened 20 times since the start of 2013. Colby Lewis did this just a few weeks ago. Rick Porcello threw a no-strikeout shutout less than two years ago.

Most of the names attached to these performances from the past couple of seasons are less surprising. Justin Nicolino. Brett Oberholtzer. Mike Pelfrey. 2015 R.A. Dickey. Yeah, none of those dudes are breaking radar guns. 

But Gerrit Cole? He with an easy 95-MPH fastball and with a changeup and a slider in the high-80s? Against a Colorado squad that whiffs a fair amount?

Cole threw seven innings on Thursday night and couldn’t get a third strike on any of the 28 Rockies he faced. And Cole was throwing hard. All of his average pitch velocities were higher than their season averages. He reached 98 MPH a few times and even got his changeup up to 90.

He got the win, 2-1. He got zero K luck. 

So I wanted to find out how often this happens to a starter with a career K/9 average greater than Cole’s 8.5 (minimum 500 innings pitched).Well, that’s not that easy. After some searching, my best guess is this hasn’t happened to such a strikeout pitcher since 1987. And it happened to that particular pitcher twice during the same month in ’87 .

That pitcher was Roger Clemens.

Clemens went nine innings in both of those outings and — 

Wait a minute …


Are you kidding me!? In case you are wondering, this never occurred with Nolan Ryan or Randy Johnson, the two men above Clemens on the career strikeouts list.

Anyway, on July 1 and July 21, Roger notched complete-game victories without a K. He would still strike out 256 batters that season and go on to claim his second consecutive Cy Young.

My next best guess is that Gerrit Cole will strike out somebody when he returns to the bump in five days. In the meantime, he can celebrate both his odd win and his odd tie to one of the greatest.

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