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USATSI

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole did more than help his team gut out a victory against Cleveland on Saturday night, he also made franchise history in the process.

Cole held the Fighting Franconas to one run over seven innings, giving up three hits and no walks while striking out 11 batters. His seasonal totals through five starts now include 50 strikeouts, three walks, and one home run allowed. Cole is the first pitcher in Yankees history to amass at least 50 strikeouts and permit fewer than five walks over any five-game stretch, according to Katie Sharp of Stathead's research.

It's unlikely that Cole will sustain this level of dominance over the entire season, but his 16.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio would be the best in franchise history. At present, Michael Pineda's 7.43 mark (2015) is the highest posted by a Yankees pitcher who threw at least 100 innings, while Mariano Rivera's 12.83 mark (2008) is the leader among seasons with at least 50 innings pitched. No other Yankees pitcher has topped 10.0.

Independent of team affiliation, the highest strikeout-to-walk ratio in the majors since World War II belongs to Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who recorded 15.64 strikeouts per walk during the 2016 season.

Per Sharp, Cole is the first pitcher to have at least 50 strikeouts and fewer than five walks over their initial five starts of a season since Curt Schilling did it in 2001. Coincidentally, Schilling also had 50 strikeouts and three walks, albeit in seven additional innings. He finished the season with 293 strikeouts versus 39 walks in 256 ⅔ innings. It's fair to conclude Cole won't match Schilling's workload.

Cole was opposed by another one of the American League's best starters on Saturday, as Cleveland's Shane Bieber struck out nine batters of his own over seven innings of work. He threw a career-high 119 pitches but he suffered the loss after allowing solo home runs to Aaron Hicks and Rougned Odor