And after another brilliant performance against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, Cole joined Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez as the second pitcher in baseball history to record three straight stars of 14 or more strikeouts.
You know you're in good company when your only comparable player is one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game of baseball. Of course, things were different, whiff-wise in '99, but...no one else has EVER done this.
But it's all par for the course for Cole. The free agent-to-be entered the day with a league-leading 266 strikeouts, 10 shy of the career high he set last year when he managed 276. Now, every strikeout he registers is going to set the bar just a little bit higher for himself.
Some might point out that strikeouts in the majors are at an unprecedented level in 2019, but that shouldn't diminish the work that Cole has done. Striking out 14 batters in a game is no easy task. To do it three games in a row is borderline impossible.
And yet he did. 14 against the Rays, 14 against the Brewers, and 15 against the Mariners.
He's pitched at a Cy Young level all season long. He's been one of the most unhittable pitchers in the league. And now he's etched his name into the history books alongside one of the greatest pitchers ever.