Archery Lessons

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

It’s time again to talk about Chris Archer after yesterday’s 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks line against the Cardinals. Fast and I talked about Archer incorporating a curveball early in counts and how it was working well to get ahead. In this start, Archer didn’t throw a single one. THANKS A LOT, CHRIS. 32/101 CSW is solid with four-seamers generally up and a good amount of sliders…up and down, but all arm side. I think there’s room for improvement here on locating that signature breaker better and I honestly wanted a little more than a PQS against the Cards, but I’ll 100% take this. Eight strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP from Archer is lovely, with three straight games of 8 strikeouts or more. Sign me up.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Chase Anderson5.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. And Chase has still failed to throw six frames in any of his last seven starts. It’s a 2.45 ERA across his last five, though…with a 4.87 SIERA. I wouldn’t ch—go after this.

Yu Darvish6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. This was such a fun game to watch between Darvish and Gray. Really good to see Darvish’s heater commanded as good as we’ve seen in the past, though integration with sliders and curveballs took a bit of a backseat. That’s fine when his heater is like this and sitting 95 mph, maxing out at 98 on his final pitch. Here’s to hoping he’s a Top 25 arm in the second half now.

Kenta Maeda2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. This one was cut short due to rain, though seeing two walks in as many frames is a little odd. Whatever, I feel cheated and life isn’t fair.

Aaron Brooks2.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. He opened for the Orioles with Gabriel Ynoa following. You don’t need to know anything more. Nope.

Mike Clevinger6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace as I’M SO HAPPY. 41% CSW with 23 whiffs (one off the Gallows Pole, stupid Cole. Hey that rhymes!), pumping 96 mph ched consistently with 14/44 whiffs on sliders. Unreal. I missed him so much.

Gerrit Cole7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Cole has another Gallows Pole at 24 whiffs because duh. 46% CSW over 109 pitches is STUPID. One of the highest I’ve ever seen.

Erick Fedde6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Don’t trust the Feddes. But he did well! Against the Orioles. It ain’t gonna stick, y’all.

Chris Paddack7.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Paddack flirted with a no-hitter and made us all feel good for toughing out the demotion. It’s unclear how much more we get of Paddack, but you have to hold onto him tight as we need every ounce of his production in this SP landscape.

Martin Perez6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Velocity was right at 94 mph – fine, not great – and his cutter was…okay. I’m hesitant to jump back on the Perez train, but at least his changeup did a good job of staying away from right-handers in this one as he carved up the Mets. Pick your spots and you should be fine.

Nick Pivetta2.1 IP, 1 ER, 0 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Pivetta was saved as rain hit Philly. Four walks is just not right, even if he went 4/7 outs via the K.

Homer Bailey6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. 24/87 CSW is fine as his splitter did the work his slider couldn’t. I know some will say “new scenery! New man!” But not this guy. Well, maybe he can pull a Fiers, but I don’t buy a resurgence for Homer Bale. Too risky.

Danny Duffy6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid start from Duffy and I want to say that I have something more interesting to say about him here, but I honestly don’t. Changeup was used a little more and it worked, but just 10% whiffs for the night and he took advantage of a good matchup against the ChiSox. Consider him as a deep streamer and nothing more.

Sonny Gray6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. The Sonny Delight continues as Gray went from curveball heavy prior to slider heavy here (no curveballs!) with 19/47 CSW on sliders. It helped him return 38% CSW overall and life is good as a Gray owner. SO GOOD.

Eduardo Rodriguez6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhhh yeah, this is good. This start only helps, it’s just not exciting. I’ll take that from Eduardo who normally goes dope or broke.

Erik Swanson2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Step aside child of The Swans, Tommy Milone is the interesting arm as he followed with 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. The tale of Schmilone is coming to end, failing to eclipse 5 Ks in four games after fanning six in six of his first seven. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Trevor Richards5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. His changeup was good, but it just isn’t enough sometimes. I think there are better arms to chase out there.

Spencer Turnbull6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I had some worry here and I’ll gladly take a PQS from Turnbull. Streaming Record: 59-41. I am sad to see just five whiffs and only 23% CSW though. Blegh. 0/21 on whiffs via curveballs and sliders is kinda scary. I’d avoid Turnbull against the Phils next.

Jason Vargas6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. The Vargas Rule had ended after he couldn’t handle the Marlins, but against the Twins? Pffft, easy PQS with a 1.00 WHIP. I guess he’s a Toby? Yeah, he’s a Toby. Do you want a Toby?

Dallas Keuchel5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Ahhhh right. I said Toby three times above so we’ve summoned Keuchel. This is super blegh but not cataclysmic, which means you’re still holding onto Keuchel for the lame production he gets the rest of the way. That’s why he’s the Toby’s Toby.

Daniel Poncedeleon3.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. The King of the Red Lions – That’s not what Ponce de Leon means. I DON’T CARE – doesn’t have much in the ways of secondary stuff and when his heater isn’t doing enough, this is what happens. It’s too bad, I was hoping he could stretch he last start into a bit more, but it wasn’t meant to be. You can drop him for someone like Tyler Beede or Adam Wainwright now.

Robbie Ray6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. The Ks are there still, but he just had to allow three HRs. Three! Ugh, he’ll likely average 1.5 per game this year, so feel good moving forward. He’s on a pretty solid roll right now.

Aaron Sanchez5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Aaron Sanchez has had one game under 4 ER across his last nine. Unreal.

Shaun Anderson4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Yeaaaaah, Shaun-A is too much like 2018 Dereck Rodriguez, just without the whole “I’m gonna overperform my FIP and SIERA dramatically.” It’s kinda a crucial element.

Jon Gray5.1 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Gray had allowed 8 ER total in his previous five games combined and the Giants continued their hot series in Coors, demolishing Marquez’s doppelganger. It’s a headache owning Gray – that certainly hasn’t changed – but I think you have to simply pop some Asprin and Endure, Master Wayne.

Ivan Nova4.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Little Johnny woke up early. “Today could be the day,” he thought excitedly, throwing the covers to the side as he rushed to pull open his drawer. There they were. His UV goggles that allowed him to stare into the stars above. He threw them on and ran down the stairs to meet his father. “Dad! DAD!” He tugged at the old man’s jeans. “Is today the day I get to experience my first Super Nova?” Ray hated disappointing his son, but he couldn’t lie to the little rascal. “Not today son. Not today.”

Jesse Chavez0.2 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Jeeeeeeeeez Chavez. I know no one owns you now, but still. I feel bad for the 1% for once.

Felix Pena4.2 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Well at least now we can look at his last two games and get something somewhat normal from the two. Okay, it’s still terrible even with seven no-hit frames. Stay away.


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.


Tanner Roark vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Roark is fresh off Coors and a date with the Cardinals should be a good transition into production.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Tyler Beede vs. New York Mets – I loved his new slider and improved curveball last time. As long as his fastball doesn’t burn him, this should work out well. Tyler Mahle against the Cardinals is another strong play, maybe a little safer.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Jakob Junis vs. Cleveland Indians – He’s fresh off ten strikeouts against the ChiSox with his best slider of the year, I’ll take the chance it sticks one more time.


Game of the Day 


Matt Boyd vs. Trevor Bauer – Who has more strikeouts in this one? I’ll go with Bauer.


(Photo by Lawrence Iles/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.

4 responses to “Archery Lessons”

  1. Jim says:

    Picked up Archer as a streamer two weeks ago and haven’t let go yet. Would ya drop for Beede or Junis this week? All kind of similar returns. Ty!

  2. Jack says:

    I’m just here to ask why you haven’t made any Chopped references when reviewing the starts of Aaron Sanchez.

    Also, I dropped Cease for Turnbull for a quick stream yesterday. I also own Lamet and simply MUST start him against the Fish, for obvious reasons. Would you drop Turnbull or Lamet and grab Cease, or nah?

    • Nick says:

      Definite grab Cease and drop Turnbull.

      And I’be never watched Chopped. Clearly I’m making poor life choices.

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