D. Ceased

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Dylan Cease vs BOS (ND) – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 71 pitches.

Saturday was a difficult time for Dylan Cease. After tallying twenty strikeouts across his previous two starts, Cease broke down against the Red Sox, returning a line of 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 71 pitches as our ratios took a heavy beating. His fastball wasn’t at its best and the slider was often left over the plate, failing to carry the same precision we’ve seen, normally dotting the down-and-away corner from right-handers.

Despite the aggressive headline, this isn’t the end of the line for Cease, in fact, I’d call it a One Night Bland as Cease averaged 98 mph on his heater – 1.4 ticks harder than his season average. There’s plenty left in the tank and this was a day where his command was a bit off against a team that knows how to exploit it. Shake it off and enjoy @TEX + @DET next.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Corbin Burnes @ CLE (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks – 26 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 115 pitches.

Aces gonna ace as Burnes tossed a combined no-hitter with Josh Hader. That’s an obvious Golden Goal as I’m a bit shocked they let him toss 115 pitches when we expected some sort of pullback by this time. Maybe we see it in the next few weeks as he sits at 151 innings + the playoffs on the horizon.

Chris Archer @ DET (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 55 pitches.

Archer was removed early due to…hip discomfort. Sigh. His stuff wasn’t particularly incredible here, FWIW, but it’s not what you want to see. This isn’t the sneaky option you’re looking for.

Zack Wheeler vs COL (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. You’re so wonderful, Wheeler. I’m so happy for you.

Michael Pineda vs KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 72 pitches.

I was hoping Pineda could last five frames on his limited pitch count and I’m so glad he was able to pull it off. The slider was solid and when that breaker is on, he’ll sing a pretty song. Wow, such poetry.

Jose Suarez @ HOU (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 102 pitches.

Whoa, he did it! And it wasn’t in typical Houston fashion of accepting an egregious amount of four-seamers for called strikes! The curveball did work, the heater got so many foul balls and wasn’t crushed, and the changeup was…okay. I don’t think it puts me over the edge to trust him against Oakland, but possible the Mariners after.

Thomas Hatch @ BAL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 63 pitches.

Sorry Hatch, you weren’t going to get a Win here as the Jays were being no-hit and exploded for 11 runs in the final inning. Unreal. As for Thomas, you should down the Hatch. He isn’t it.

Walker Buehler vs SD (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s nearly 20 more frames than Corbin Burneswith an ERA difference of 0.16 points. This is such a close Cy Young race.

Connor Seabold @ CWS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 43 pitches.

C Seabold shocking tossed more pitches than Garrett Richardswho tossed 33 right after. And that’s all I’ve got.

Cole Irvin vs TEX (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 93 pitches.

Ahhhh, there we are. Irvin hasn’t been paying his dues as a Tobyrushed to the office while tying his tie mid-job (poorly, I might add), and slammed the check on the table just in time to get the Rangers. His heater was as good as we’ve seen it, sitting 91 mph and earning 11 whiffs for a 48% CSW. Wonderful stuff. Now he gets the Angels + Mariners x2 and that could very well work. It’s good to see you again.

Zach Plesac vs MIL (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 84 pitches.

Yeah, this is fine. What isn’t was the 2.6 mph drop in his heater down to just 90.3 mph (yikes) + his slider going just 1/10 CSW (double yikes) and his changeup earning 22% CSW (Triiiiiiple yikes). Sure, he got outs on the slowball, but this is supposed to be a deadly pitch, not a decent pitch. The Yankees are next and like Jason Donald’s grounder to Miguel Cabrera, I’m out.

Charlie Morton vs MIA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna…kinda ace. It’s not quite a Dusty Donut and everything is fine, but you wanted at least one fewer ER against the Marlins. He gets the Giants next and let’s hope he steps up.

Keegan Akin vs TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 97 pitches.

This was a seven-inning doubleheader game and Akin tossed six frames of no-hit ball…until he allowed a trio of hits (including a two-run shot) to kick off the seventh, and the Jays went on to score eleven runs. Yeah, that happened. I’m not seeing anything new from Akin to outline something to buy into, so let’s ignore this. I can see a desperate AL-Only chase for a Win, but even that’s questionable.

Humberto Castellanos @ SEA (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

Sure, that WHIP is cool, but nothing else is. You don’t want this.

Wil Crowe vs WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.

Our watch of this Crowe ended a long time ago.

Casey Mize vs TB (L) – 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 48 pitches.

Blegh. I just don’t see Mize being worth the gamble, since he has just one good matchup left and it’s in two weeks…and who knows how long he goes.

Kevin Gausman @ CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.

That’s a PQS against a terrible offense with his splitter earning just 3/32 whiffs. Bleeeeegh. I mean, sure, that helps many of you (and hey, nine strikeouts!) but Gausman was a Top 10 SP at one point this year. Without that splitter, he’s good, but not dope. I hope he can find it back soon.

Elieser Hernandez @ ATL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

Sure, this was the tough start for Elieser, but the slider was decent enough that I feel cool with PIT + WSH next. That should work out, especially with a 93 pitch start at his back.

Luis Castillo @ STL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

Blegh. The changeup was great and he was chucking 98+ heaters, but he got Singled Out and it didn’t go his way. The command wasn’t poor here, this was just a case of being too hittable for whatever reason. So it goes.

Chris Paddack @ LAD (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 96 pitches.

We expected nothing and at least he got four more strikeouts and seven more whiffs than his last start. Always have to find the silver lining. He has a horrid schedule ahead and you’d be wise to not consider Paddack for September.

Kyle Freeland @ PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

Blegh. It was a very reluctant stream here for Freeland and the new curveball was good, but not what it needed to be. Streaming Record: 84-67. Still better than the Mets. He gets the Nationals next and there’s a chance the breaker shows up there, but I’d probably sit it out at this point.

Miles Mikolas vs CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 72 pitches.

Yeah, Mikolas isn’t bringing enough to the table to even be considered a Toby at this point. I mean, look at that. Just one strikeout – HAISTBMBWT?!

Luis Garcia vs LAA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 82 pitches.

Garcia is in a funk as he isn’t in a groove with his cutter and slider lately, forcing him to toss far too many heaters. It’s rough and it could be a product of fatigue – his 139 frames this year are the most he’s thrown in his career. We’ll be debating if this is the real Garcia or if he’ll return to his old ways in 2022 and I lean toward a rebound next year. It’s rare to showcase a legit skill for so long for it to never come back. Uhhh, Matthew Boyd, Patrick Corbin, Zack Godley, etc. Okay okay okay, good point.

Corey Kluber @ NYM (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.

Nah, he’s not back yet. Still 90 mph on his heater (we want 91/92) and while the breaker is still goo, the cutter wasn’t. I really miss old Kluber. What a guy he was.

Chris Flexen vs ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 79 pitches.

Annnnd the wheels may be starting to fall off. The four-seamer performed super well, gaining a bit of velocity to sit 93/94 mph instead of 92/93, but the cutter was unexceptional and there’s nothing else in that arsenal. He should be okay for the Royals next, but if that fails, too, I wouldn’t want him for the Athletics twice after.

Zach Davies vs SF (L) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 58 pitches.

I don’t see a reason you should be pushing Davies. If you do so, you’ll be pushing daisies. We’re done here.

Dean Kremer vs TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 66 pitches.

I get sad seeing his name each time he starts. He really had some interesting stuff last September and it’s nowhere to be found.

Josiah Gray @ PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 100 pitches.

Noooooooo. Man, Gray, you have so much talent. I know this is just a rough patch for you and the future is stupid bright. I just feel for you as your command is a touch out of whack at the moment. Believe it or not, it wasn’t all bad here, but it was a teetering expression of excellence and failure. He’s destined for better, but we may not see it again until 2022. Note: Yes, I think he’ll be a legit sleeper next year because of this stretch.

Taijuan Walker vs NYY (ND) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 103 pitches.

The good news: he’s back up to 95+ mph on his heater after sitting in the 93 range last time out. The bad news: The Yanks jumped on him via the longball and messed him up. You should feel much better about Taijuan now for the PHI + @MIL starts ahead now that his velocity is back up.

Brady Singer @ MIN (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 97 pitches.

Womp womp. He had it working for three straight and the slider wasn’t the whiff machine this time around. This is the story of Singer, a discount José Berríos as I don’t expect him to be horrific or dominate for a full year, but he’ll instead undulate between both during stretches across the season. The good news is it’s SEA + @DET next and that should be okay.

Wes Benjamin @ OAK (ND) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 62 pitches.

We should have known Benjamin would have had bad intentions. They don’t call em the Wicked Witch of the Eas, after all. But Nick, there was a Wicked Witch of–Sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of my hand waving on to the next starter. But–NEXT!

Hyun Jin Ryu @ BAL (ND) – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 69 pitches.

Annnnnnd we’re back to sub 90 mph heaters without anything else. I won’t drag this out – start someone else. He had that one start of success and is back to the old ways. Look past the name and find something else (like Cole Irvin!).


Game of the Day 


Blake Snell vs. Max Scherzer – This is going to be so dang good.

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 Quinn Harris/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.

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