Most of the feel good Major League Baseball stories are never as easy as, Player X arrives, franchise skyrockets on their way to the World Series. With Gerrit Coles arrival in Pittsburgh, the Bucs are playoff contenders that just added a very talented pitcher.
The teams the Bucs are battling with at the top of the National League Central both are blessed with pitching. The Pirates just got a little bit closer. But how much?
Just what do you expect from Gerrit Cole when he makes his Major League debut tomorrow at PNC Park? The right-hander is riding a 19 consecutive shutout innings streak and has gone from a pitcher seemed focused on striking everyone out to a guy that just kept getting people out.
Will he be Juan Marichal who back in 1960 struckout twelve and took a perfect game into the seventh inning? We would take a Marchial outing from Cole–that would spark the city of Pittsburgh who is now stuck with only the Pirates to cheer for after the beloved Pens were bounced from the NHL Playoffs.
How bout Karl Spooner who struckout 15 Giants while throwing 143 pitches in his 1954 debut. Spooner went nine shutout innings that day, two years later he was out of baseball. Now that wouldn’t be good. We don’t want a Spooner.
Strasmas was madness. One thing we know for sure. The Cole debut won’t garner the attention that Stephen Strasburg, or Strasmas did.
The Pirates won’t allow it. Neal Huntington said yesterday that if he could do everything under the radar he would. Of course in today’s age, that isn’t possible. It was rather easy to decipher that when Charlie Morton headed to the mound for his rehab start, that Cole was headed to Pittsburgh.
A big part of us wishes that Cole has a sparkling debut. A stunner the likes of the ones all of those household and not-so household names had in their big league debut.
Pittsburgh deserves it.
You. Deserve. It.
These are some of the facts that surrounded Strasburg’s debut.
*More than 200 members of the press were credentialed for Strasburg’s Major League debut. About the same number for a League Championship Series game.
*More tickets were sold for the Strasmas at Nationals Park than for any other game in Nationals history.
*Ticket sales for Strasburg’s next home start (June 18 or 19th barring rain) were over 30,000.
*More than 165,000 households in the Washington region watched the game on TV. The highest viewing ever for any Nationals game.
*TBS changed their scheduled national Sunday telecast of the Phillies vs. the Red Sox in favor of the Nationals vs. the Indians.
*FOX has picked up the Nationals vs. Chicago as their national game on Saturday, June 19.
*MLB Network scheduled his start on Friday June 18th game as their national TV game.
Strasburg read his “Little-Known Facts About Stephen Strasburg” on The Letterman Show which Strasburg read via satellite from Nationals Park in DC.
CBS’ David Letterman: “This guy is already selling tickets. In his Major League debut for the Washington Nationals, struck out 14 batters against the Pittsburgh Pirates and went on to win that ballgame 5-2. He has four incredible pitches. He has a 91-mile-an-hour changeup. He has a curveball – the only way you can see this curveball is if you actually have seats in the parking lot. It breaks that severely, honest to God, and I spent seven years of my life in the Dominican Republic as a scout so I know what I’m talking about” (“Late Show,” CBS, 6/10).
10) “To keep my focus on pitching, I sleep on a mound of dirt.”
9) “Every morning I spread Icy Hot on my toast.”
8) “Got 3 of my 14 strikeouts while Twittering.”
7) “To celebrate my first big league win, I bought a hot tub time machine.”
6) “I wasn’t really good till I got bitten by that radioactive spider.”
5) “Dumb guys think I directed ‘E.T.’”
4) “I also scored the winning goal for the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals.”
3) “I blew my signing bonus on laser back hair removal.”
2) “Don’t even try to talk to me before a start or while I’m watching ‘Glee.’”
1) “If I would have known I’d be on Letterman, I wouldn’t have pitched so well.”