Disco Fall

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Anthony DeSclafani vs LAD (L) – 2.2 IP, 10 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 54 pitches.

Today’s lead is Anthony DeSclafani as he staggered faithful managers for 2.2 IP, 10 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks against the Dodgers, but it could have been a slew of arms who disappointed terribly. It’s never easy to write these roundups when I look at the box scores and see struggles from those I believe can be better, but it’s not about what happened, it’s about coming to an agreement together to decide the most rational thing to do moving forward with the new information. Can’t win em all, after all. Would be stupid weird if we did.

ANNNYWAY, Tony Disco. Yeah, we weren’t thrilled about the start against the Dodgers, with many of you likely split between starting and benching – Sundays are a different animal. What happened here was a tough second followed by a disastrous third and at the end of the day, it doesn’t really change much about DeSclafani. Sure, his ERA now balloons and I imagine we’re all subconsciously going to shift our perspective of him moving forward, but he wasn’t regarded as an ace. Not even a #2 or #3 on your teams. The Dodgers are in the elite offense tier for a reason and if we simply pitch Tony around those terrible matchups, things will be fine. He did go 50% CSW on 26 sliders despite the results today – the pitch is still there and will still be there after his next start. His next start? Ah, right. He gets the Dodgers a second time. Hold if you’d like – if you still had him for this, what’s another week? He should help your squads after that.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Adam Wainwright vs CHC (ND) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 101 pitches.

Ahhhh, that’s the Waino we know and love. He’s a true Toby in the sense of “please don’t start me against quality offenses” but then also a true Cherry Bomb as he bounces between phenomenal and disastrous without a middle ground. Just play it smart and you’ll enjoy this.

Michael Wacha @ TOR (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 24 pitches.

Wacha opened for Fleming, who tossed six innings of 4 ER ball across just 79 pitches and two strikeouts. But hey, it was Dunedin and I can see times when I’d stream him in the future. Not against the Phils next but, you know, times.

Taylor Widener @ COL (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 40 pitches.

Widener returned from his groin strain and…was pulled in the second due to injury. Cool cool cool no doubt no doubt.

Mike Foltynewicz vs HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 107 pitches.

Ayyyy Folty survived! And gave us nothing to make us encouraged for tomorrow. Seriously, it’s a trap.

Zach Davies @ STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 76 pitches.

Hey, I’m happy for Davies. I’m also absolutely amazed he survived despite a paltry 17% CSW on his changeup, but you know what, weirder things have happened, like Scott Kazmir starting yesterday. I still can’t get over that.

Jameson Taillon vs CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 80 pitches.

I was sad to see him out of the game entering the sixth, but thrilled he was able to silence a strong ChiSox lineup. He still has a lot of work to do – his curveball and slider were not there – but the four-seamer has stayed vigilant through the year, opening himself up to starts like this. I know you’re tired of me preaching patience, but more innings should result in more tweaks and improvement with those breakers. It’ll come. Be happy he gets the Tigers + Rays next to help take his next step.

Cody Poteet vs NYM (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

Ayyy it worked! Streaming Record: 33-16. I’d like to thank to Mets for being so decimated by injuries that Poteet and his 22% CSW heater and 18% CSW slider can pull out seven scoreless frames. Fine, his changeup was solid at 6/28 whiffs, but you get the point. Don’t you dare risk this against the Sawx next. Maybe PIT + Rockie Road after if he’s still in the rotation.

Cristian Javier @ TEX (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 6 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

Six free passes?! What is this, the land of excuses?! Stop letting them off the hook Javier and use that lovely breaker more than 13% of the time. Don’t you know how good it is?! What a weird start. He schedule is atrocious moving forward – SDP, @TOR, @BOS – and I’d avoid like yesterday’s sushi.

Max Fried vs PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 87 pitches.

It was a shocking Grave Mistake for Fried as he faced the Pirates, earning just 1 whiff across 33 four-seamers and 16 sliders combined. Yeesh. Whatever, you’re happy and he’s taking another step toward getting that AGA label back.

Sean Manaea @ LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.

His sinker was back up to 91 mph and his changeup earned strikes. Things are back up in Manaea land and we’re going to continue starting him for the foreseeable future. Yay.

Yu Darvish vs SEA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Awww, one ER this time? HOW COULD YOU.

Zack Wheeler vs BOS (W) – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s a 2.38 ERA, sub 1.00 WHIP, 30% K rate as Wheeler has tallied 44.1 innings across his six starts, and here he is earning a Gallows Pole against the Sawx. If you weren’t a believer in his four-seamer before the season started, you better be now.

Justin Dunn @ SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 71 pitches.

Four-seamer sat at a wonderful 94.6 mph while he danced between curveballs and sliders for all of those seven whiffs. I feel like he’s close and not facing the Padres could make things a bit better in the future, like Texas in his next outing. I’m 100% streaming that one.

Dallas Keuchel @ NYY (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.

He had to throw more pitches due to an early error and the Yankees were plenty patient to force his 100th pitch as he walked the bases loaded to kick off the fifth. That said, Keuchel was fantastic living around the edges here, just a little too far off the plate today. I’ll take this all day as an expression of skills over tossing too many strikes. It gets stupid easy for him now with BAL, @CLE, DET, @DET ahead, and you better hold tight.

Casey Mize @ KC (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches.

Okay, this start was better. His slider was a legit whiff pitch as he earned six on the breaker, while his splitter was well placed and fastballs avoided the heart of the zone. This is the Mize we’ve wanted. The problem? Yankees + White Sox next. Yeaaaaah that’s a no from me and I don’t think this talent warrants a hold for two weeks as you watch the gauntlet from afar.

Julio Urias @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 89 pitches.

Can I give him the AGA label again? I think I can as Urias earned a King Cole, dominating with four-seamers and his new curveball. Aces gonna ace.

Freddy Peralta @ CIN (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 103 pitches.

You can essentially tell how well Peralta performed based on his innings thrown – 103 pitches for sub five frames? That’s gonna be a high walk rate and questionable ERA. Whatever, he’s a talent where he’ll still give you strikeouts even when the ratios aren’t pristine and you best keep starting him.

Kris Bubic vs DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 82 pitches.

Bubic is still a raw pitcher, hanging changeups constantly here while battling the command of his four-seamer. He’s not ready yet as I’ll give him the Young Gun label.

Hyun Jin Ryu vs TB (ND) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 107 pitches.

Aces gonna ace despite a 1.50 WHIP. Hey, it’s his last start in Dunedin, give him a break.

Zach Plesac vs MIN (ND) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 63 pitches.

He tossed a perfect three frames, then began the fourth with two singles + a longball. Then another pair of runs after an error and he was donezo. That’s baseball, Suzyn. Stupid frustrating after Plesac seemingly started to get his bearings after a tough start to the season, but the new curveball wasn’t good and his normally excellent slider wasn’t there. It doesn’t get easier ahead – Jays and White Sox (gasp!) – but I’m planning on holding on. He’s better than this.

Jon Gray vs ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

I guess we’re cool with a PQSright? It was Coors after all. Jon lives in the grey area of fantasy analysis and I just avoid it, mostly. Way more fun that way. Push all the anxiety out of your life.

Jordan Yamamoto @ MIA (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 73 pitches.

The Mets snatched Yamamoto in the off-season as a backup option when things were bad. Narrator: Things were bad. Just because it’s their desperate option, doesn’t mean you have to go along with it.

J.A. Happ @ CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 103 pitches.

Whaaaa, ten strikeouts for Happ?! After performing so terribly that you made us anxiety-ridden just to consider starting you against Cleveland, you actually had your slider working for a changeup, earning 50% CSW and six whiffs, helping squeeze out the most in your four-seamer. Wild (he was not). It makes me tempted to start him against the Royals, but let’s be honest, we don’t expect this to stick…right? Your call.

Eduardo Rodriguez @ PHI (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 103 pitches.

Yeeeesh. That’s 4+ ER in four of his last five starts, here struggling massively with his changeup as 19 of them return a 5% CSW. FIVE. PERCENT. He needs that pitch as the cutter sure ain’t enough to, ahem, cut it as a #2 offering, and it’s driving y’all mad. Let’s make a deal. Start him for Atlanta next and unless he’s absolutely unreal, we can drop him for the Yanks, Astros, Atlanta after. Cool? Cool.

Patrick Corbin vs BAL (W) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

Noooooo. It’s frustrating as the one element I was waiting for – slider whiffs – has been there across each of his last three starts. It was a 22.5% SwStr across 40 thrown here, while his four-seamer averaged 92.8 mph – the hardest mark of the season. And what do we get? A 2.20 WHIP, a poor ERA, and just three strikeouts. WHAT IS LIFE. Fine, y’all know that whiffs and velocity aren’t everything – location is incredibly important, and his fastball was left over the middle of the plate far too often here. But man, I saw this line and thought he was reverting back to his April self and I just know all the comments are going to tell me that. I’m sure many of you are dropping Corbin and moving on and if you are, can you at least understand where I’m coming from here? The skills are vastly different from April. I still believe in the man. Stay with him for just one more start, okay? It’s the Brewers. The Brewers!

Dylan Bundy vs OAK (ND) – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 50 pitches.

Okay okay, we can be scared now. Well, it’s kinda weird to be scared of six baserunners but fine, he was pulled before the third was over and it’s just not what we expect from Dylan in the slightest. So weird to see him toss just five sliders here, while his four-seamer dipped to just 90.3 mph as he tossed it over 50% of the time – why does Bundy have a tendency to increase his fastball usage when he’s throwing it softer?! If you’re contemplating dropping Bundy, you’re going to regret that as his next four starts are: @OAK, SEA, @ARI, DET. Bench him if you must against the A’s next, but you definitely want him for the trio of games after.

Matt Harvey @ WSH (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 92 pitches.

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I organize these blurbs by ER allowed. As I got through each game, I scroll up or down guessing where the pitcher lands so I can begin writing his notes. I always scroll down for Harvey. That’s all you need to know.

Luis Castillo vs MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Life is pain. Did he not know he was facing Milwaukee? Castillo wasn’t locked in, tossing too many mistake pitches down the heart of the plate or missing terribly. The man just doesn’t have it.  We all know it won’t last all season but man, this is excruciating. Do whatever you feel is best – I think he’s worth the stash at the very least.

JT Brubaker @ ATL (L) – 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 81 pitches.

A trio of efficient homers did Coffee Cakes in, knocking in all seven baserunners earned by Atlanta. It’s not fair as JT executed a ton of fantastic offerings, and then would make a mistake here and there and, whoops, there’s another pair of runs in the books. Seriously, that was 14/32 whiffs on sliders – you barely see that. The good news is if you’re thinking about dropping him, you should know that Rockie Road + MIA are next and it doesn’t take a stud to return value there. Enjoy your Coffee Cakes.

Game of the Day 


Blake Snell vs. Brandon Woodruff – Snell is off his best start of the season while Woodruff has been the ace we dreamed of. This should be good.


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


Featured image 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.

5 responses to “Disco Fall”

  1. BP says:

    The ChiSox lineup isn’t strong.

  2. Chucky says:

    Skubal with two home starts this week v Clev and NYY. Other options include Sonny @ Washington, Disco @ LAD and Ray @ NYY.

  3. LeftyNation says:

    Someone dropped Castillo. Is he worth dropping a Morton or montas? Both haven’t been awesome but Castillo has been bad… just not good haha. Weather? Injury? What could it be?!

  4. James says:

    I was confused by what you said about Cole Irvin after his last start. Obviously the Mariners are a tempting matchup but what do you think of him long term? Thanks for this site.

  5. Yohnny says:

    You said E-Rod has ATL next, but he’s lined up to face the Marlins next which should be a favorable matchup. Was that a typo?

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