Gerrit Cole issued his first walk in more than a month Monday night, but he managed to set a big league record first.
The New York Yankees’ ace set the major league record (since 1900) for most consecutive strikeouts without a walk, breaking a mark Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers had set just last week.
Burnes collected 58 Ks without a walk to start the season. Cole topped that mark when he struck out the side in the bottom of the first inning against the Texas Rangers on Monday night in Arlington, Texas, then added two more strikeouts later in the game before issuing his first walk since April 12 when Joey Gallo reached with one out in the third.
All told, Cole had 61 strikeouts over a 41 2/3-inning walk-less stretch.
The only downside to the record night? It came in a loss, as Cole’s bid to become the American League’s first six-game winner was denied in a 5-2 Rangers victory.
“It’s pretty cool. I wish it would’ve come in a win. So yeah, I’m kind of more focused on the fact that we lost,” Cole told reporters afterward.
Cole (5-2) allowed season highs of five runs and seven hits, getting pulled after Adolis Garcia led off the sixth with a sharp single on the right-hander’s 89th pitch. Cole struck out seven but also issued two free passes.
His franchise record-matching streak of 12 consecutive starts allowing two earned runs or fewer ended, keeping him tied with Whitey Ford (1963) and Chad Green (2017-19). Cole also snapped a run of five starts in a row going at least six innings and not walking a batter, one off the team record David Wells set 18 years ago.