A Nathan For You

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Friday's games.

Remember the love we had for Nathan Eovaldi at the beginning of the season? He struggled early, hit the IL for a long time, came back as the “closer” and has only recently begun stretching out as a starter, with last night’s third start of the second half returning 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks against the Angels. You should care about this. With the Yankees next, it’s easy for us to sit out and let him stretch this game’s 81 pitches into a full 90, then let him fly for the final weeks of the year. He touched 100 mph here, averaging nearly 98 mph on his four-seamer, featured cutters for strikes, and held a 30% CSW rate. He’ll face the Jays, Giants, Rays, and Orioles to end the year. You want this. You want all of this. Don’t let him sit on the wire now and play chicken with other owners, make the pick up and allow him to sit on your bench for 10 days. He could be a huge difference-maker down the stretch.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Wade Miley3.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Miley, bud, get your command in order. We need you, like, NOW.

Austin Pruitt5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Pruitt got himself a true start today and did a great job with 27/77 CSW, tossing fantastic sliders and breakers for 14/24 CSW between them. It’s a solid performance and there could be value to be had with the Orioles and Rangers next. Sneaky…sneaky… The biggest risk there is his lack of volume – just 77 pitches and I’m wondering if that’s more of a cap than a step toward 90.

Jose Quintana5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. His curveball was solid down in the zone, but I didn’t see the true separation that we saw before from Quintana. It’s not that I’m against starting him – let him fly the rest of the way – but the moment of greatness he had in early August has faded. Maybe it returns, I wouldn’t expect it to.

Madison Bumgarner7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Cards are next and let’s keep this rolling.

Aaron Nola6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It was sad to see the Phillies’ bullpen collapse in the eighth and ruin this phenomenal performance, 35/104 CSW and earning most of his whiffs with beautiful changeups. Let’s ride this high to the end and soar into the horizon.

CC Sabathia3.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Sabathia had fluid drained out of his knee as he hit the IL following this start. It’s really too bad as he had such a lovely schedule to close out the year. There’s a chance he returns, but he should be off your radar now.

Zack Wheeler6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. HE SURVIVED. I hope I’m saying that again next week when he faces the Nationals, but here he gave you a worthwhile line against the Phillies. His 1.67 WHIP isn’t shocking given just 22/97 CSW and how he barely touched the bottom third of the zone – I’m still waiting for something to click in Wheeler’s secondary pitches – and I’m preaching caution for that Nationals start.

Kolby Allard5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Great stuff Allard, pounding the zone constantly for 24 called strikes against the Mariners. His cutter was solid – 15/44 CSW – and this worked well. I don’t love his changeup and breaker enough to trust him with his horrid schedule ahead, so we’ll see you next year. Maybe. Streaming Record: 89-56

Brett Anderson6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Anderson, seriously. This is wild. Just one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?!

Tony Gonsolin5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Gonzo is likely to get reps in the rotation through September and I’ll take outings like these. Keep holding.

Dinelson Lamet5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. This was the sole great matchup left for Lamet and while I’m happy he took clear advantage, I’m nervous. The Diamondbacks are next and he’ll have to work to get through 5+ clean frames there. And then it’s the Cubs, Coors, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers. Yikes.

John Means 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Great stuff Means, now with the Royals behind you, the Rays and Dodgers are next. Blegh. He just misses the Texas series, but at least it’s Detroit, Seattle, and Toronto after.

Anibal Sanchez5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. I’ll take it Anibal, but you couldn’t be a little better against the Marlins? Like not a 1.40 WHIP and more than five frames?

Max Fried6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. LADIES AND GENTLEMAN! IT IS TIME FOR THE START YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! Yes, this is that start despite the 3 ER allowed as Fried featured fastballs all around the zone with sliders and curveballs deftly focused down. 36/90 CSW is glorious (Gallows Pole at 17 whiffs!), 19/49 on just four-seamers is fantastic. This was the ChiSox, yes, and I imagine that comes with some level of comfort for Fried, but to see him moving the fastball around at 94 mph and keep both breakers down is everything I’ve searched for across the last four months. Let’s raise a glass hoping this isn’t a one-start thing.

Dario Agrazal5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. What is it with these Pirates heading into Coors and surviving? Well, this start only hurts you, BUT STILL.

Shane Bieber6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace, even with a PQS. Too bad the Indians couldn’t get him a win here, but Bieber has done an excellent job dancing around the clunkers that shrouded his early career.

Zac Gallen5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Despite the 5 IP/3 ER, I’m impressed. That’s a decent WHIP with six strikeouts against the mighty Dodgers, featuring elevated fastballs with intent and good cutters, changeups, and curves down in the zone. 30/97 CSW works for me and I’d feel confident starting Gallen here-on-out.

Trent Thornton5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Hey, not bad from Thornton going against Houston. I’m not convinced like I am Gallen for a near-identical line, but hey, good stuff Discount Hotel.

Kyle Gibson5.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. And so ends our run with Gibson as he gets the Red Sox, Nationals, and Indians next. He couldn’t handle the Tigers here. THE TIGERS. Oh my, that’s disappointing.

Elieser Hernandez6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. Sure, it’s the Nats, but I wanted more than 3/33 whiffs on sliders and overall better command. His changeup was nothing compared to what we’ve seen before (0/8 CSW!) and I think we’re going to be nervous starting Ellie through the rest of the year. I can see someone with no other options, looking at him in the eye, whispering “I guess we really are the last of us.” Good luck if it comes to that, the upside is still there.

Ivan Nova4.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. We were wondering just wondering how long this Super Nova would last. Thing is, after this start against the Braves and the next one against the Indians, it eases up well – Royals, Mariners, Tigers twice – to end the season. Keep an eye on that.

Jose Suarez5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeaaaaah, Suarez against the Red Sox had little hope of being a good play. Just how it is.

Chase Anderson4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Chase hasn’t been an arm to … go after for a good while.

Marco Gonzales5.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. This was supposed to be the easy one! Now you get the Astros and Reds and I’m uneasy. I’d consider replacing for a streamer.

Edwin Jackson2.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. I need some eye bleach. Oh cool, have some Ajax. THIS IS EJAX. Oh dang.

Antonio Senzatela5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Senz-a is still giving lessons? Who is signing up, his 6th-grade English teacher?

Eric Skoglund4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. You likely don’t know Skoglund. There’s a reason and let’s keep it that way. After, HAISTFMFWT?!


Today’s Streamer


For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.


Joe Ross vs. Miami Marlins Ross has the stuff to take advantage of this great matchup. Framber Valdez vs. Toronto Blue JaysThe Nats are bumping Ross because reasons, so I’ll go with Framber getting the start against the Jays. Logan Webb against the Padres could also be considered as well as Brock Burke against the Mariners.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Eric Lauer vs. San Francisco Giants – Not much to choose from here, I’ll hope that Lauer can pull himself together for a date inside Oracle Park.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Mike Leake vs. San Diego Padres – It’s him or a Woj Bomb and I don’t trust Asher quite yet against the Rays.


Game of the Day


Clayton Kershaw vs. Robbie Ray – Two completely different, yet still effective, southpaws go toe-to-toe.


(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

One response to “A Nathan For You”

  1. Facenda says:

    You’re off on at least two pitchers. Eovaldi get the Twins at home next, not the Yankees. And Lamet’s next start is home against Colorado.

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