Brax A Punch

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Braxton Garrett vs SD (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 44% CSW, 85 pitches.

Not much needs to be said about Braxton Garrett today as he was optioned to Triple-A today to make room for Sandy Alcántara’s return to the squad, but after 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 44% CSW, 85 pitches against the Padres, I’m sure you’re wondering if he’s someone to consider for a spot start in the final two months.

The answer is a reluctant maybe. He tosses 89 mph heaters with a solid curveball and he earned that King Cole above through called strikes galore, a product of some terrible pitch calling as Doug Eddings gave Garrett a ton of called strikes outside the zone. I’d be shocked if Braxton has another start even close to this one this season, maybe even 2022, but if he does get a juicy matchup and is still stretched out, sure, I can see him being used as a deep stream. The fastball command is good enough and the curveball has some lovely movement to it and earned a 50% CSW in this one. That ain’t so bad.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Matt Harvey vs WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 83 pitches.

Whoaaaa another Win?! He’s on a roll and I don’t mean one of those art toasters that etch images onto your bread. This rolling stone is about to hit the lake, though, where it’s going to sink awfully quickly. There’s nothing to latch onto here.

Drew Smyly @ PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 72 pitches.

Smyly was pulled early in this one with knee pain. His heater was below 92 mph (normally 92/93), though his curveball was still performing at the high level we’ve seen over the past few weeks. I wonder if it means an IL stint, but considering he’s heavily fringe already for your 12-teamer, I’d move on if you have him rostered.

Tony Gonsolin vs COL (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches.

Much better from Gonsolin as he took full advantage of Rockie Roadthough I’m not quite seeing the exceptional slider I want to see from him and his four-seamer isn’t doing wonderful things to make me turn a blind eye. The good news is he has another weak opponent in the Diamondbacks next that he should be able to produce against, but I’m not seeing the skills to match the line.

Framber Valdez vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 99 pitches.

What if I told you that Valdez’s six walks were fewer than the opposing starter? At least Framber did it without allowing a hit and I’m glad Houston pulled him at 99 pitches instead of “chasing history”. Y’all are making history each day by living, don’t worry about that stuff. His sinker is still struggling and I’m just as concerned as before. Let’s hope he can survive the lefty-smashing Giants.

Ryan Weathers @ MIA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 73 pitches.

We didn’t expect many frames from Weathers, but he took full advantage of his limited time, even smacking a HR in his sole plate appearance. I’m still not seeing a high enough ceiling for us to consider him as a must-hold, but he does get Rockie Road next and will likely be above 80 pitches. That could be a cheap Win with decent ratios and is worth consideration.

Luis Castillo vs STL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 107 pitches.

There’s nothing quite like getting DMs from Fast at midnight geeking out over Castillo earning 10/35 whiffs on four-seamers + 8/23 on changeups. The two helping him earn a Gallows Polewhile the slider wasn’t quite as amazing as we’ve seen, it took a solid complementary role as well. This is the Castillo I’ve been looking for since the start of the year and if that slider can be the pitch it’s been over the last month or two, then we have ourselves a legit Top 15 arm once again. I’m glad we finally got here.

Jose Berrios vs LAA (L) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 101 pitches.

Oh my, you’re doing a massive service to the Twins with this start. There are plenty of whispers about Berríos moving to another team before the deadline and given he’s lined up for a Friday start (i.e. the day of the deadline), I imagine this was his final audition. His curveball was on and he earned outs with fastballs and that’s what you hope for on a given day. I really hope this is the year we see a sub 3.50 ERA from José, but if history has told us anything, it’s that he’ll find a way to balance it out through the end of the year. It’s just what he does.

Corbin Burnes vs CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. After the Brewers talked about limiting his innings, Burnes goes out and tossed 98 pitches for six beautiful frames. If there’s one thing I dislike about baseball analysis, it’s taking out the magnifying glass and deciphering how many innings a guy will get and when he’ll get them. I often resort to  ¯  \_(ツ)_/¯  and keep starting the dang guy until something official comes out. Anyway, good stuff Burnes, you’re dope and make us feel dope.

Kyle Freeland @ LAD (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 89 pitches.

Wow. Freeland had a Birthday Party against the Dodgers as he escaped Coors and y’all know this shouldn’t be trusted. He even tossed sub 91 mph after sitting 91/92 most of the year. But hey, this is cool.

Jameson Taillon @ BOS (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.

Another solid outing from Taillon as we’re clearly seeing something click with him over the past month and change. He’s still earning the whiffs with four-seamers up, but his slider and curveball were able to land in the zone here with little damage, keeping the Sawx often off his heater. There’s still some tweaking left to turn this into a seven strikeout/one walk start, but you should be nodding your head in an embrace of what we’re seeing. The Marlins + Orioles await and could spell a dramatic swing in his favor.

Patrick Sandoval @ MIN (W) – 8.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 108 pitches.

The Panada strikes again. It’s simply incredible seeing him turn into what he is today and it’s been a journey since this tweet back in 2019. Here we saw 60% sliders + changeups returned 19 whiffs between them, with his four-seamer earning outs and called strikes + a few curveballs for called strikes for good measure. I’m not telling you that he’s suddenly going to be a Top 20 guy now, but you best keep starting him and hoping this secondary command stays this good. And why not, get yourself a 32 Whiffs shirt while you’re at it and show your love for The Irish Panda.

Drew Rasmussen @ CLE (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 35 pitches.

This was a bullpen as the DR was in for the first three innings. Glad he gave them a healthy few innings, but this wouldn’t be sick for your teams.

Nathan Eovaldi vs NYY (ND) – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 100 pitches.

Another phenomenal outing from Eovaldi as I’ve begun to accept how his secondaries are more consistent than I thought they’d be. That’s Nathan for you. He has a tough challenge against the Jays next that I’d be hesitant for, but he’ll help more than hurt down the stretch and that’s a lovely thing.

Alec Mills vs ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 86 pitches.

It’s far from sexy – HAISTFMFWT?! – but it helped your teams. Streaming Record: 63-45. Please don’t hold onto him now if you streamed this – he gets the Reds and Coors next + he really isn’t that good.

Kyle Gibson @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 8 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 104 pitches.

Eight walks. EIGHT. WALKS. I know it was just two earned runs against the Astros, but come on y’all, it’s time. That’s three straight deviations from the stud of the first three months and you should be moving on from Gibson if there’s something on the wire that will help. Sure, there’s a chance he can find the groove he had in the spring, but the chances are diminishing each time out.

Wil Crowe @ SF (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 90 pitches.

Crowe had both his slider and changeup working – 46% CSW between them – and was able to sneak in called strikes with four-seamers. It’s the peak we see only so often from Crowe and it works. I guess tuck him away as a decent upside stream when you’re in the depths of the week, but until I see consistency, the floor is too scary to do anything in standard leagues.

Carlos Rodón @ MIL (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 79 pitches.

They pulled Rodón a bit early here as he labored through four, including taking a comeback to his non-throwing wrist. His velocity saw a bit of a dip as well to just 94.5 mph (we’ve seen 96/97!) but I’m going to cough it up to being a One Night Bland and not something for us to worry about. Don’t Joe panic.

Merrill Kelly @ CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 77 pitches.

The man keeps on rolling as he converted another solid outing for trusting managers. 92 mph heaters are always welcome from Kelly and his tossed effective changeups and curveballs to get outs. Sadly he has to endure the Dodgers once again next time so it’s back to the wire for you – I don’t think he’s strong enough to warrant a hold through it.

Logan Gilbert vs OAK (ND) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 75 pitches.

After having a phenomenal slider in his previous outings, it was nothing close to exceptional here with just 3/16 CSW against the Athletics, forcing him to over-throw heaters, which Oakland fouled off a ton and pushed his pitch count above 75 before the end of the third. Let’s hope he gets the sweeper back for the Rangers next time – they should make for an easier evening.

Jon Lester @ BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 70 pitches.

Yeaaaaah, this is as boring as it gets with just two whiffs and getting the hook at just 70 pitches. Don’t think about this, I mean how could you when you’ve already forgotten about it…

Jake Woodford @ CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.

I can’t help but see Jake’s name and think it’s the name Amish give to their vehicles. Ahh yes, our wood Ford. Maybe we should call him The Amish Mustang. Anyway, he throws low 90s without a legit secondary pitch and that just ain’t gonna do it.

Hyun Jin Ryu @ NYM (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 77 pitches.

Uh oh. The changeup was terrible once again and his cutter wasn’t there to help. His heater did everything it could – 42% CSW – but without those two secondaries working as they should, Ryu will struggle. His next start against the Sawx terrifies me.

Chris Bassitt @ SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 101 pitches.

Awwwww. Did no one tell him he was facing the Mariners? Whatever, keep starting Bassitt – he’s had some blips here and there, but he’ll still help your squad down the stretch.

Carlos Hernandez vs DET (ND) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 53 pitches.

Womp womp. He throws 100 mph but has no support + that heater is shockingly hittable and wild as anything with just 3/24 CSW in this one. Yikes. Maybe one day he makes the tweak that unlocks this PEAS.

Casey Mize @ KC (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 79 pitches.

Mize got to see the fifth – finally! – and was up to 79 pitches instead of the 50 and change we normally see, but he didn’t complete it, gave you poor ratios, and reinforced the notion that we shouldn’t be rostering Mize. Bummer. I wonder where he’ll go in drafts next year. If he’s going outside pick 250, I’d consider him as a late-round flier, though if he gets pushed into the Top 200 range, that’s just not worth it.

J.C. Mejia vs TB (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

The slider was legit in this one going 8/23 whiffs, but the rest isn’t well command and there’s no reason to chase Mejia.

Kevin Gausman vs PIT (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 89 pitches.

Okay okay, I know you’re scared. That’s two straight starts of devastation as Gausman didn’t have his splitter (it was so blegh, Savant called it a changeup. A CHANGEUP) and his four-seamer wasn’t commanded nearly as well as we normally see. I’m not ready to say it’s all falling apart, though – the first start is an exception, second is a suggestion, third is confirmation – and while I understand your concern against the Astros next, I’d still start him there. Or fine, take one start off and feel better about Arizona after. Up to you.

Taijuan Walker vs TOR (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 76 pitches.

Yikes. I was a bit worried about this one as the Jays are one of the premier offenses in the league and Walker’s four-seamer simply wasn’t enough as the secondaries aren’t great. It led to just one strikeout – HAISTFMFWT?! – you’re better off just ignoring it. He should rebound against Atlanta without their OF stud next week.

Vince Velasquez vs ATL (L) – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 53 pitches.

Remember, VV is only worthwhile against the Marlins. Don’t push it.


Game of the Day 


Tarik SKubal vs. Daniel Lynch – I want another 90+ pitch game from Skubal & I have a feeling Lynch is going to surprise a lot of people. He had terrible command when he first came up but that’s not really his M.O. The stuff is legit.

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 from Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login