One year ago, Colorado starter Aaron Cook was battling a life-threatening illness. Now he’s back to winning major league games.
Cook looks to build on his first win of the season as the Rockies continue their three-game series with the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field.
The right-hander had to leave a start last August with dizziness and was told at the hospital he had blood clots in his lungs and was lucky to be alive. Cook had two surgeries to clear up the blood clots and then spent seven months getting back into shape.
In his first game back on July 30, Cook was pounded for seven runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings of an 8-7 loss to Philadelphia. He made two strong starts after that one, but did not receive a decision in either despite allowing four earned runs in 12 1-3 innings.
Cook finally got a win on Monday, surrendering two runs and nine hits in six innings of an 11-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. The win was his first since Aug. 1, 2004.
“I treat every game like I’ve been here before,” he said. “I’ve won in the big leagues before. I know how to do it. It’s nice to get the first win of the year out of the way, and hopefully I can stay on a roll and keep pitching well.”
Manager Clint Hurdle has been impressed with how Cook has rebounded from the illness.
“He has handled it very professionally. The level of maturity obviously has risen,” Hurdle said. “He’s taken it one day at a time. He doesn’t get too high, he doesn’t get too low. Hopefully, he’s in a comfortable place where he can let his stuff play out because his stuff is pretty good.”
Mark Prior threw six innings, and Kerry Wood pitched a scoreless eighth. Wood, who was assigned to the bullpen after coming off the disabled list earlier in the month, also pitched in relief Sunday after Prior started, the first time both of Chicago’s aces pitched in the same game.