Gerrit Cole
Courtesy IG: @yankees

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole shut down the Rays on Wednesday and made some significant history at the same time.

The New York Yankees have plenty of reasons to love Gerrit Cole.

He’s a great pitcher, strong leader and teammate, and doesn’t mind making some history along the way.

Facing the rival Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, Cole tossed eight shutout innings with 12 strikeouts. In doing so, he became the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 1,500 career strikeouts. Cole did it in 212 games, while Hall of Famer and former Yankee Randy Johnson did it in 206.

To say Gerrit Cole is in great company is an understatement. Johnson pitched 22 seasons and won five Cy Youngs, including four in a row from 1999-2002. Johnson also retired with 303 wins and 4,875 strikeouts.

Cole is only 30 and has a long way to go, but even so. His performance Wednesday lowered his ERA to 1.37.

Simply put, the man can pitch.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.