Pittsburgh Pirates rookie starter Gerrit Cole, after registering wins in each of his first four career starts, was handed his first career loss on Thursday as the Pirates fell to the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 6-4.
Coming into Thursday’s contest, Cole boasted a 4-0 record and 3.70 ERA over 24 1/3 innings in four starts. Despite the loss, Cole was solid in his effort, working 5 1/3 innings and surrendering three runs on eight hits while striking out five and walking one.
“I thought he pitched well,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s a 22-year-old young man. He’s still learning, continuing to grow. He’s fun to watch.”
While Cole garnered his first loss, Phillies starter Cole Hamels registered just his third victory of the season.
Hamels was strong on Thursday, pitching seven innings and surrendering two runs (one earned) while striking out eight batters and walking none.
Hamels was able to keep his fastball down in the zone and work around an efficient zone (and comfort level) that was established early on in the game.
“It was being able to get back to what I know, which is establish the strike zone early then throw all my pitches,” Hamels said. “Ultimately, it was staying down in the zone. That’s where I’ve got hurt in the past, I get guys where I want them and not able to finish them off because I’m getting too many balls up in the zone.”
In 18 starts this season, Hamels has posted a 4.28 ERA and 107/33 strikeout to walk ratio in 113.0 innings of work. Solid numbers all around, except for the fact that he currently holds onto a 3-11 record and the major league lead in losses.
Despite the fact that run support and luck has not been on his side through many of his starts this season, Hamels remains positive and asserts that the losses do not phase him.
“I’ve played a lot of baseball and I’ve pitched in a lot of games, and I know I’m going to play a lot more baseball and pitch in a lot more games,” Hamels said. “I know that my record is just kind of blip on the radar and you have to be who you are.”
With the victory, the Phillies improved to a 41-45 record on the season and sit nine games back of the NL East division leading Atlanta Braves.