Realistic expectations for Gerrit Cole

It would be a waste of time to look for faults in Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole's big league debut. He took a four-hit, no-walk shutout into the seventh inning at PNC Park against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night, with a larger-than-normal crowd cheering him on, and was ultimately charged with two runs in 6 1/3 innings and won the game. Cole threw 59 of 81 pitches for strikes, his fastball and slider looked nasty and hard, and his changeup worked well, too. Giants hitters had little chance.

Cole even drove in the first two runs of the game with a single to center field. The guy certainly looks the part of a major leaguer, and while it's premature to call him the next Justin Verlander, there's little doubt a promising career is under way. Of course, I was saying this before Tuesday. One game shouldn't alter months/years of analysis.