All That Baz

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Shane Baz vs MIA (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 82 pitches.

I didn’t lead with Shane Baz last time because I did a nearly 40-minute video breaking down every pitch he threw in his MLB debut. You really should watch it – I think it’s the video I had the most fun making of all 100 of them from the season. Anyway, Baz amazed us even more today via 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 82 pitches against the Marlins and we really do need to talk.

I absolutely adore him. The mechanics are smooth and straight, the heater isn’t wild at 97 mph, the curveball is a legit whiff pitch, and he has the confidence to sequence effectively. The only question for the long term is about his role on the Rays, an organization well known for steering clear of standard planning. If the plan is to start Baz out of the gate, he’ll be inside my Top 50 starters for next season – he’s that good. I’d also let him fly against the Yankees next weekend. It may be just five frames, but his stuff plays against any team – Miami or the Bronx. He’s legit.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Jesse Chavez @ SD (ND) – 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 19 pitches.

Every day of the year has to have a bullpen game – dems the 2022 rules – and even Drew Smyly was limited to just 21 pitches here. I’m often asked if I like the shift of bullpen-intense games like this and I think the answer is obvious. H*ck no, but I don’t blame teams doing it. I just want more legit starting pitchers because that’s the most fun part of the game. But whatever, I’m just a curmudgeon n all.

Julio Urías @ ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 85 pitches.

The changeup is still blegh and all he did here is pump strikes and forced the Sneks to do something about it. Narrator: They did not.

Kris Bubic @ DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

What if I told you Bubic had this outing while going 1/30 whiffs on his changeups + curveballs? Absolutely unreal as his four-seamer did the heavy lifting with 34% CSW across 68% usage. And they weren’t even craftily placed. I can see some people leaning on Bubic as a sleeper pick for next year and while there is a path toward sustainable success (hint: it’s developing changeup and curveball command + a fastball around 92+), I would be shocked if we see it. There are better spins of the wheel. He’d get Minnesota next weekend if he’s allowed one more start and I wouldn’t dance with Kris. He steps on too many toes.

Lucas Giolito @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 100 pitches.

There’s the Giolito you needed. It’s not the Giolito you know, though, with his changeup someone failing to earn a single whiff across 21 thrown, forcing his slider to step up for 35% usage. But hey, it was Cleveland and that’s what Cleveland does. Expect few issues with the Tigers to close out the somewhat disappointing season.

Max Kranick @ PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

Hey, this worked! Kranick’s slider was decent + the heater sat 94 mph and got effective strikes. There’s a touch of upside in there we could see at some point for a longer period of time and I’m happy we got a sprinkle today. Avoid against the Reds, of course.

Tyler Mahle vs WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.

Whoa whoa whoa, Mahle can actually do well at home?! Ahhhh, he just needs teams to not swing and he’ll be fine – 20 called strikes between fastballs and sliders here. Fortunately he heads to Pittsburgh for his final start so you can start him there without fear or confusion.

Jake Odorizzi @ OAK (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 82 pitches.

We were on the fence here and why does it feel like we’re still on the fence. Yes, it’s painful up here, fences aren’t ergonomic. What if I made an ergonomic fence? An Ergonomic fence? Where we would all hang out for a cup of tea? Absolutely. And what would you call that? Why, the Gents Fence, of course. COME NEAR, COME FAR! ENJOY THE FENCE WITH YOUR GENTS! That’s so dumb, it just might work. Annnnnnyway, it’s the A’s again and I think this start pushes us toward other options if we have em.

Jordan Montgomery @ BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 71 pitches.

I’d absolutely take this from The Bear against the mighty Sawx. The curveball wasn’t nearly the pitch we’ve seen in the second half but he managed to get outs and survive. I think you’re safe for the Rays next time out.

Paul Blackburn vs HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

Five frames of good ratios? Yep, that’s fantastic from Blackburn. But just one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?! I wouldn’t chance it in a repeat against the Stros next time.

Kevin Gausman @ COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 90 pitches.

“Undefeated, SchmundaSchmeated,” said Gausman, strutting into Coors for a Golden Goal while featuring 13/33 whiffs on splitters like it ain’t no thang. The fastball was stupid legit, too, sitting 95/96 mph all night. It’s so good to see ace Gausman back in action.

Shohei Ohtani vs SEA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 112 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. There, I said it. He’s been that crazy good. What a h*ckin’ dude.

Marco Gonzales @ LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 96 pitches.

The man is a Toby doing Toby things. Way to show Tyler what he was supposed to do. No, no, no, seven innings, not seven runsMarco gets them again and you’re obviously running this play a second time.

Hans Crouse vs PIT (L) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 59 pitches.

It was the kid’s MLB debut and he tossed more sliders than fastballs. What a world we live in. Nothing was as effective as it was in the minors and sadly this wasn’t the super sneaky play I was hoping it would be for those in deep NL-Only leagues.

Keegan Thompson vs STL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 56 pitches.

Jeeeeez Keegan, seven Ks in nine outs?! Look at you. I definitely can’t trust you, but I’ll certainly stare through the window with an “oh! that’s cute” noise.

Jesús Luzardo @ TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 82 pitches.

The changeup was absolutely gone for some reason and while the curveball was legit, the sinker wasn’t. Good four-seamers, though. I’m super curious to see Luzardo next spring – if he’s tossing under 40% fastballs with consistency, count me in.

Dane Dunning @ BAL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 71 pitches.

To think he was traded for Lance Lynn over the off-season. Maybe one day we’ll see the Great Dane appear, but for now, his 2020 looks like a one-and-Dunning.

Alek Manoah @ MIN (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 102 pitches.

Awwww yeah. That slider is stupid legit these days and he’s essentially your Ynoa/Peralta/Lamet type at this point – the changeup just isn’t good enough. I hope he can continue to grow next year.

Jake Woodford @ CHC (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

The Amish Mustang served us a HAISTBMBWT?! but you’re okay with that. He was here just for the ratios and this was…fine. Maybe. Not really. He’ll get another date with the Cubs and it could be more of the same. There isn’t much in the repertoire to suggest otherwise.

Wily Peralta vs KC (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 100 pitches.

It’s as if all of the good BABIP fortune was used up last week. The man is a Double Bubble and we should move on.

Eduardo Rodriguez vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 81 pitches.

I’m all for this as the cutter did some work – 9/21 called strikes is everything we dream for the pitch to be. The changeup wasn’t half bad either – 5/19 whiffs – and that opens the door for eight strikeouts in five innings. I’d be totally fine starting him against the Nats to end the season.

Antonio Senzatela vs SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 98 pitches.

This time on “HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS?!” Senz-A allowed nine baserunners and held the Giants to just two runs. In Coors. WHERE IS THE OFFSEASON THIS HAS TO STOP.

Triston McKenzie vs CWS (L) – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 61 pitches.

Oh Triston. The command wasn’t there and the ChiSox took advantage. I imagine he’s still worth the start against the Rangers next weekend, though, I’m just sad he’s still having blips like this.

Humberto Mejía vs LAD (L) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 60 pitches.

Y’all knew this was a bad idea and I’m proud we could all agree on it. Look at us, working together. It’s a beautiful thing.

Joe Musgrove vs ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

A 2.00 WHIP is killer but at least he gave you nine strikeouts…? The tough schedule has taken a toll on Musgrove and he has one more left in a start against the Giants. I’m here for you as you deal with this anxiety.

Josh Rogers @ CIN (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 102 pitches.

Guys, he faced the Marlins in the last two starts. The Reds aren’t the Marlins. More at eleven.

John Means vs TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 108 pitches.

He’s all the way down here but he didn’t pitch terribly. The changeup was legit and the heater did some work. The deuce wasn’t as reliable as in the past and it didn’t work out in the end. He gets the Jays next and I don’t think I’d take the chance, but there is a possible outcome of legit production if you need to chase it.

Freddy Peralta vs NYM (W) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

Peralta got a little unlucky here and I don’t think the ERA is a product of his skills. I mean, y’all already know that. I feel your frustration, but don’t let it stop you from starting him against the Dodgers. The kid should be fine.

Griffin Jax vs TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 83 pitches.

I mean, it was the Jays. We knew this would happen and quite frankly, 5 IP with 4 ER is slightly better than I expected.

Carlos Carrasco @ MIL (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 78 pitches.

It’s not what you wanted. The changeup wasn’t there and Carrasco labored through four. He gets the Marlins next and that’s wonderful and I can’t help but wonder what 2022 holds. He’ll be 35-years-old entering next season and there’s a sense his best days are behind him.


Game of the Day 


Reiver Sanmartin vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – On a day with few games, at least we get a first look at an arm we could see a decent amount next season.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch Livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am EST Monday through Friday.

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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.

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