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Dallas Keuchel pitches seven scoreless innings in minor league start

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For all the talk of the rust that might’ve formed on Dallas Keuchel‘s arm during his multi-month free agent odyssey he isn’t showing much of it. The newest Braves pitcher tossed seven scoreless innings in a minor league start last night.

Now, to be fair, it was an A-ball game in Rome, facing the Charleston River Dogs (he had been scheduled to pitch Saturday in Triple-A but the game was rained out). Still, those on the scene say he looked good as he struck out nine while allowing only one hit, walking one and throwing 55 of his 77 pitches for strikes.

Meanwhile, down in Atlanta, Kevin Gausman was pulled in the third inning despite being staked to a 5-1 lead. He had just given up a three-run homer and his manager was not gonna let him ride it out, even if the Braves offense was hot last night. Here’s Brian Snitker on why he yanked Gausman: “the last couple of outings haven’t been very good and it didn’t look like it was going anywhere good today.” So, uh, yeah, you don’t need to be a forensic scientist to figure out where this is all going.

Here’s Keuchel on his start:

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.