The Times West Virginian


June 12, 2013

Cole makes highly anticipated debut


o Feller’s record stood until Sept. 22, 1954, when a hard-throwing 23-year-old left-hander Dodgers’ left-hander named Karl Spooner broke in against the New York Giants with a three-hitter in which he struck out 17.

He followed that up with another shutout and 12 strikeouts in other start of the year but injured his arm in spring training the following season and never was the same, retiring after the next season.

o The greatest debut belongs to Juan Marichal, the Hall of Famer, who was a 22-year-old rookie when he took the mound against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 19, 1960. All Marichal did was pitch a complete game, 2-0, one-hit shutout with one walk and 12 strikeouts.

o And then there was Cole’s debut, PNC Park electric. First batter, first major league strikeout.

Second batter, first major league hit allowed.

Dominate? No, not yet.

Four hits in the first two innings, a bases-loaded jam in second, but no runs allowed.

And then, in the third, with just six professional at bats behind him and no hits, he goes up and bangs out a two-run single.

Think this wasn’t his night. This first professional hit came off two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum.

With the lead, Cole pounded the strike zone, throwing just 13 balls in five innings, taking a shutout into the seventh before finally being touched for a run and leaving.

A Hall of Fame debut?

Well, all we can tell you is Roger Clemens pitched 5.2 innings in his first game, gave up five runs, 11 hits, walked 3 and struck out four while pitched 6.1, gave up two runs, seven hits, no walks and two strikeouts.

  We’ll let you judge.

Email Bob Hertzel at Follow on Twitter @bhertzel

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