gerrit cole yankees
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Not many things have been going right for the Yankees to start the 2023 season. Sure, they own a 16-15 record, but that’s accompanied by being 8.5 games back of the Tampa Bay Rays and in the American League East basement. One consistent bright spot since Opening Day, though, has been starting pitcher Gerrit Cole.

The right-hander has been consistently demolishing his competition. Through seven starts and 46.2 innings, he’s 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, and 52 strikeouts. He’s pitched into at least the sixth inning in every start, racking up six quality starts in the process. Cole has allowed a total of five earned runs all year, with no more than two in a single appearance.

He played the role of stopper on Tuesday night in the Bronx, as well. Across six innings, he allowed two runs on six hits and one walk with eight strikeouts in a win against the Cleveland Guardians (although he got the no-decision).

That set up this ridiculous stat to put what he’s done in perspective:

All the stats Cole has produced have been impressive. The most impressive of all, though? That’d be the number of home runs he’s allowed, which is zero. After leading baseball with 33 homers allowed in 2022, that’s very encouraging.

Any way you slice it, this is a version of Gerrit Cole the Yankees want to keep around. All this got me wondering if the right-hander’s first month of production is an outlier or more of the norm throughout his career.

As it turns out, it’s kind of the norm for the Yankees’ ace. In 304.2 career innings pitched during March/April, Cole owns a 24-13 record with a 2.45 ERA and 366 strikeouts. That’s easily his lowest ERA of any month. The next-lowest is July, which is currently at 2.98.

Cole’s five wins and 1.11 ERA in March/April of this season are both career-best marks. But when it comes to having a sub-2.00 ERA heading into May, he’s done it three other times. Here are pertinent March/April stats throughout his career:

  • 2014: 2-2 record with a 3.18 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 34 innings
  • 2015: 4-0 record with a 1.76 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 30.2 innings
  • 2016: 2-2 record with a 2.78 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 22.2 innings
  • 2017: 1-3 record with a 3.60 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 30 innings
  • 2018: 2-1 record with a 1.73 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 41.2 innings
  • 2019: 2-4 record with a 3.95 ERA and 65 strikeouts in  43.1 innings
  • 2021: 4-1 record with a 1.43 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 37.2 innings
  • 2022: 2-0 record with a 3.00 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 24 innings
  • 2023: 5-0 record with a 1.11 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 40.2 innings

So, yea — Cole is off to a terrific start. The hope will be that he can sustain some level of this dominance over the next few months. He’s no stranger to starting hot out of the gates.

When we look at the times he’s done this in the past, though, his 2023 performance is definitely on another level from the standpoint of run prevention. Let’s see if he can keep riding the wave to his first Cy Young Award.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.