Chasing History

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

(Photo by Kyusung Gong/Icon Sportswire)

The start of 2018 wasn’t pretty for Chase Anderson. We expected him to build upon his breakout 2017 campaign and we were met with diminished velocity and a 4.54 ERA paired with a paltry 17.1% K rate in his first 14 starts. It was bad and we felt bad. However, it’s been dramatically different in his last eight starts, returning a 2.08 ERA, 24.3% K rate, 8% BB rate, and 1.11 WHIP  including last night’s 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks against the Dodgers. Velocity is up a tick from the opening two months and we’re thinking maybe this will work. Well, the overall result this season is a Toby, which means I’m all for this. If that’s what we end with, great! That’s still beneficial. If it means closer to his ~#30 preseason rank, then hot dang life is beautiful. I think he settles to be a 3.60 ERA & 22% K rate kind of pitcher as he’s a solid command pitcher without that single pitch to push him over the edge. It’s possible there’s still a stigma surrounding Chase rooted in his opening lap so get on board if you still can.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Carlos Carrasco7.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Seriously, across his last eight starts (and one inning in relief, the ASB is weird okay?) Carrasco is sporting a 2.30 ERA, 35% K rate, 4% BB rate, and 1.04 WHIP. Yeah, that’s as dope as dope gets.

Mike Fiers2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Fiers took a ball to the shin and was removed from the game. He’ll probably make his next start against…wait. Fiers gets the Angels, ChiSox, Twins, ChiSox, Royals, ChiSox, Cards next. That’s as good of a schedule to hope he continues overperforming than anyone I’ve seen.

Cole Hamels5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. I was tempted to lead with Hamels as I’m oddly into owning him right now. I think this switch to the Cubs from Rangers will only help his HR/FB numbers, obviously his Win total will jump as well, but I also think the change of scenery can do well to express his changeup that hints at a 30% whiff rate. We saw it in action here – 8/27 whiffs on the slow ball – and I think that infield defense will only make him better. A 3.70 ERA with a 25% K rate seems kinda attainable.

Adalberto Mejia5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. I think Mejia is a Cup of Schmo so I’m going to make a terrible joke. Ahem. I imagine Adalberto in a movie where he swaps bodies with someone else who has a terrible accent and struggles with the English language. “No no no, Me He-a! Not Mejia. Me, He-a!” The things I do for you guys.

Alex Cobb6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Hey, Cobb got his third Win of the season! Please clap.

Tyler Glasnow3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s a False Start from Glasnow as he made his debut for the Rays. There’s a chance this turns into an actual starting job and maybe Tampa Bay can fix his shtick that has failed so spectacularly in Pittsburgh. I’ll monitor this and I think he’s a fun Hail Mary play in AL-Only leagues.

Rich Hill6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. If Hill is starting, you roll with him. I don’t expect it him to start every fifth day without a hitch the rest of the way, but as long as he’s on the bump, let him fly.

Sean Manaea – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. This is the fifth straight start and eighth of his last ten with a double-digit overall whiff rate. In those 10 starts it’s a 3.10 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 16.7% K rate (11.4% whiff rate though!), and 3.3% BB rate with a 6.1 IPS. You should be happy with this. I’m very happy with this.

Tommy Milone7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Milone Schmilone. Seriously, I know what you’re thinking, don’t do it. Blame it on the Mets. Seriously, blame it on them A LOT these days.

Nick Kingham 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. I could talk a lot about this, but it’s all pretty clear. I hated this stream – even told you I wouldn’t do it in the cast and said after his last start to drop him and possibly pick him up after his next Coors start and I’m not shocked it didn’t go well. While his changeup was good, fastball command was blegh, and his slider was flat out missing. It wasn’t prime Kingham…but he didn’t deserve to throw 51 pitches in the first frame, with multiple errors, infield hits, and just one well-hit ball – a double by Zobrist on a spotted up-and-in fastball that was simply a bad pitch call. This was a game that should have been 2-3 ER across 5-6 IP with a handful of Ks. Not great, but not cataclysmic. So we’re clear right? This wasn’t a massive blowup, he didn’t deserve a stud performance, but he deserved better. It’s all kinda moot, though, as with the Pirates getting Archer, he’s probably getting demoted in the short term. That might be a good thing – skip Coors and maybe one more start, get some confidence back and finetune the slide piece, then return late August for a solid final month. Don’t rule it out weeks down the road. Streaming Record: 63-37. One hundred streams down, about 60 to go. If that seems off (170+ days of baseball!), it’s because many streams had guys change their starts or rainout a decent amount. Took me a moment, too.

Luke Weaver2.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. We were hoping Weaver was back on track after his last start. Narrator: He wasn’t. Curveball wasn’t there, changeup is not even close to what it used to be, and I’m willing to throw in the towel ROS. Sure, it’s possible he figures it out in the following six weeks, but will we be able to truly trust it? I hope he does, then do a piece on it over the off-season, but at this time, I’m fine losing to someone with Weaver.

Kyle Freeland5.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. This is the regression I’m expecting from Freeland. Not a massive game or two of 6/7 ER, but steady blegh. I imagine fans of Freeland are like my simple friend Carter. I don’t want that high life, just give me constant mediocrity all day. You do you, Carter.

Dallas Keuchel7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s not pretty, but it kinda works. I have no complaints with Keuchel these days as we’ve accepted the fact that he just won’t be 2015/2017 again. That’s okay.

Noah Syndergaard7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s too straight DLHs with 4 Ks from Thor. At least there’s no worry of his next start, but man is it weird to see just eight whiffs on 91 pitches here with 22 CSW. That’s not the Syndergaard we embrace as he cheers us up with ice cream in our darkest moments.

Dylan Covey4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Don’t Covey Thy Dylan or you might run into a Grave Mistake like this. HAISTFMFWT?! I’m pretty sure this is the record for how many catchphrases I can throw into a single blurb.

Jake Junis5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Here’s the thing, I was debating between Kingham and Junis for the stream and in the end, Kingham did less damage to your team as Junis was all kinds of bleeeeegh. If Junis can’t handle the ChiSox, who can you trust him against?

Sal Romano5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, that’s the Romano we know and hate.

Nick Tropeano5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Maybe one day Trop will become the Toby we all want him to be. I’ll label him as a Young Gun for now.

Sonny Gray2.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Like Weaver, I think we hang this one up until 2019. Maybe a trade will help him turn it around. Maybe a full off-season where he finds himself during a visit to the Himalayas. Or Her-Malayas, which should a fantastic restaurant somewhere in the world. Preferably with great guac because who doesn’t like great guac?

Wade LeBlanc4.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. LeBlanc got the Astros and you wanted no part of this anyway. Still considerable as a streamer, but not your constant go-to like me calling  In-n-Out on Monday evenings and pleading them to come to NYC.

Marcus Stroman5.0 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. This didn’t go nearly as planned as Stroman got the super hot A’s lineup. He got Singled Out in this one (zero HRs!) with 30 CSW, using his slider a ton…as he should be. I’m not ready to give up here, but it’s the Sawx/Rays/Yanks next and…yeah, okay I’m giving up here. Let’s come back around the 20th of August when the schedule eases up.

Today’s Streamer

Trevor Richards vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Very limited options here and I’ll go with the guy who has allowed 3 ER in his last four against a weak team. Don’t trust it, but not much of a choice as I don’t care for Mike Montgomery. Welp, Trevor isn’t pitching today so I guess is Mike Montgomery vs. San Diego Padres after all.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

German Marquez vs. Milwaukee Brewers – He’s been killing it and pitches out of Coors.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Mike Minor vs. Baltimore Orioles – Minor is looking solid these days and gets the Orioles who will cool down as their current hot offense is hilarious.

Game of the Day

Nick Pivetta vs. Miami Marlins – This feels like the start that he should have a field day, right? Greinke vs. Bumgarner is also a ton of fun + Scherzer and Kershaw are each going today as well. Ohhh boy.

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.

11 responses to “Chasing History”

  1. TheKraken says:

    Anything wrong with Thor? I didnt watch but the the ks are down lately

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think it’s because he hasn’t been able to get into a routine yet. Give him a week or two, he’s fine.

  2. Tony Bologna says:

    Stripling is coming off DL within a week and is on wire. Would you drop Flaherty for him? (I have noone else I could drop)

  3. Vinny says:

    Hey Nick,
    If you had to drop Castillo bieber or bundy to reactivate Paxton, which would you drop?

  4. Southern Marylander says:

    Yet another impossible question from me:

    Nick Pivetta in 2019… he seems like a candidate to improve significantly on his 4.85 ERA. His xFIP and plate discipline numbers all seem to indicate a top 20 – 25 caliber pitcher and he’d be a relatively cheap $6 to keep (if I can acquire him; $260 budget for 26 roster spots) in my league. Would 3.50 ERA, 175+ K, and 15 W (thanks to a surprisingly good Phillies team) be unreasonable to bet $6 on?

  5. Derek says:

    Any comment on Faria, who is back off the DL and pitched pretty well after Glasnow?

  6. Los Gigantes says:

    Hi Nick,

    In a QS league, who do you like more ROS, Keuchel or Arrieta? Based off of peripherals it would seem to be Keuchel, but Arrieta has a really tasty looking schedule to finish the season…

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