Had it not been for a bank of lights going out during the top of the fifth, causing a 22-minute
delay, he probably would have stayed in the game longer.
"He's not here by accident. He earned his way here," Altoona manager P.J. Forbes said after the
contest. "We feel very comfortable with what he did tonight."
During the same game, Cole also threw a first-pitch strike to 15 of the 20 batters he faced. His explosive
fastball was clocked in the 93-98 mph range, and he also did an excellent job of mixing in his breaking pitches.
"Off-speed pitches are something that's a necessity because you have to keep hitters off balance
no matter how hard you throw," Cole said after the game. "It's not all about velocity. It's also about
location and changing speeds. That was something I picked up in college, where you pitch more to miss
bats. So it's something that I've been comfortable with for awhile, throwing off-speed pitches and
throwing them behind in the count."
Because Cole is an impressive physical specimen at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, and so accomplished
on the mound, people tend to forget that he's still only 21 years old. He won't turn 22 until September 8. As he continues to tackle the Double-A level, not every outing will go as smoothly as his June 20 start
did, and that's okay. New levels are supposed to challenge players and help them grow.
"I'm looking forward to him experiencing some adversity," Forbes said. "When he experiences
adversity, we'll see what kind of guy he is. He needs to go through that, and we'd rather him fail here
than fail up there (in the big leagues). That's the organization's philosophy. 'Let's go through the
growing pains here.'"
One start into Cole's time with Altoona, some people were already wondering how long he would
remain with the team before moving on to Triple-A Indianapolis.
"That's a decision that's way above my pay grade," Forbes said with a smile. "But I think the hitters
let you know, at each level, where a guy is at. His thing here will be understanding the weapons he
has, how to use them and what's going to be most effective in certain situations. That's going to be his
Cole admitted having "butterflies" before his June 20 start, but outwardly he seemed unaffected
by the buzz that surrounded his Double-A debut. When asked what part of his experiences in the
Arizona Fall League and the Florida State League will benefit him the most as he continues to move
forward, he said: "Just getting comfortable with your surroundings and getting comfortable with all the
different situations pro ball throws at you. You just tuck those under your belt and move on."
Curve shortstop Drew Maggi, a product of Arizona State University who also played with Cole at
Bradenton earlier this year said: "He pretty much does it all out there. I don't think he has a weak spot
in his game. He dominated at High A. That's why he got up here so fast."
Just like everyone expected.