Disco Isn’t Dead Yet

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Anthony DeSclafani vs LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

He’s safe to drop, I said. He has a tough schedule, facing his arch-nemesis, and has a hurt ankle. I felt so smart moving on from Anthony DeScalfani last week in preparation for this start against the Dodgers and in response, he showed up in a big way: 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches. Does this mean we’re back on this train?

Well, it is Coors + Padres + Atlanta next, so that’s not a great start to the Tony Disco renaissance. It was wonderful to see his slider go 36% CSW and that’s a great indication, but he got a little lucky with heaters and it wasn’t so great that I’m willing to overlook that schedule. I think we can all agree we’d be playing with fire chasing a start in Coors, so let’s just take it easy, applaud Tony for this day, and choose something else.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Corey Knebel @ SF (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 32 pitches.

It was another bullpen game for the Dodgers, who keep making it work for them. Props to em…? It’s your bullpen.

Rich Hill @ WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

Whoa, six frames?! Hill plodded through this one, feeling like a kid who snuck past the velvet rope in a museum and is wandering around, just waiting for someone to catch him. Wait, why isn’t anyone stopping me from going six scoreless frames? I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE. The Yankees are a bigger challenge next time and I’d avoid that one + I’m not sure he’s worth a hold through to the Phillies after.

Adam Wainwright @ MIL (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 105 pitches.

Are you trying to stop this man? Don’t do that, it’s futile. YOU CAN’T STOP THIS MAN. Seriously, even on a night where he didn’t have his ridiculous curveball (just 23% CSW and 21% usage is incredibly abnormal), he made it work. That’s what Waino does.

Néstor Cortes Jr. vs BAL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 84 pitches.

Sweeeeeeet. I had my doubts Néstor would be able to rebound after stumbling against the Athletics, but here he is, earning a King Cole with his slider returning 45% CSW and setting a foundation with a strong 38% CSW heater. The real test is next against the Jays and that’s debatable for me. Sure, this is a great run, but is his stuff really that good to handle one of the better offenses around? That’s your call to make.

Tyler Alexander @ CIN (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches.

T-Lex wasn’t terrible and that’s a cool thing. If you actually want to be considered, you should try to go more than 11 outs on 79 pitches in the future. Something to think about.

Sean Manaea @ TOR (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 86 pitches.

YES. Manaea had a tough date in Toronto and responded with a 93.6 mph heater (his hardest of the season) + getting curveballs and changeups decently over the plate to keep the Jays off-balance. I do want to see a bit more out of those secondaries, but with the way the heater is performing, it doesn’t really matter. Were you out on Manaea? Welp, get back in here, we have a whole month of fun ahead.

Shohei Ohtani vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 117 pitches.

Yesssss. I’m glad to see him rebound and do what he’s meant to do. Mostly fastball/slider here with some cutters, splitters, and a rare curveball. You have one more month, Ohtani. Earn that MVP.

Michael Wacha vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

That’s another start with 94+ velocity (not 95 mph, though) and changeups for whiffs. He’s set to get Detroit twice and while I’m not saying you should run out and get him, I’d at the very least include Wacha in the “desperate options” pile.

Carlos Hernández vs CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.

That’s three-for-three taking down the White Sox, even if this one came with the same questionable command we’ve seen across the last month. The good news is that the schedule eases up a bit moving forward now and I’d be holding onto Carlos wherever I have him. It’s 97 mph with potential whiffability in his breakers. That’s dope.

John Means @ NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.

The heater was at 93.5 mph (nice) and his curveball did great work at 36% CSW (double nice). The changeup earned outs and was generally spotted down (triiiiiiiple nice) and he gets the Royals next (ULLLTRA NICE). Sure, I want to see a start where the slowball flirts with double-digit whiffs with that velocity sticking 93/94 mph, but hey, I’ll take it.

Glenn Otto @ LAA (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 84 pitches.

It’s not pretty, but that works. Streaming Record: 81-62. Otto didn’t have his best slider against the Angels and had to labor a bit to only get pulled in the fifth, but those ratios aren’t bad and hey, you got four strikeouts. Cool cool cool. He heads to Arizona next and that’s not the worst thing ever.

Alec Mills vs PIT (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

Look at Mills go, providing sneaky value constantly through the season with some hiccups here and there. He hosts the Reds next and that could be okay given the Reds’ distaste for lefties (especially on the road), but then again, we saw what they did to J.A. HappSomething to think about.

Sean Nolin vs NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Sure, it was a 3.60 ERA, but he’s No Lynn. Don’t buy into this, his stuff is as pedestrian as a walkway.

José Urquidy @ SD (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 71 pitches.

He was allowed to go just 71 pitches and it was…fine. He didn’t have the full extension of his repertoire working, but the slider was solid and now he gets the Mariners. I’m all for it as he should go 80+ there.

Antonio Senzatela vs ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 83 pitches.

The legend of Senz-A grows. Who will have the brass to start him against the Giants next time out? Not I. Not me. It’s wild how much BABIP magic he has.

Tyler Anderson @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

Anderson just finds a way. Yes, we’ll all take a PQS as you finish off your lovely run of comfortable matchups. Now come the Astros and Red Sox and we want no part in it. It’s been real.

Jake Arrieta vs HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 64 pitches.

At least it wasn’t as bad as last time? Yay?

Vladimir Gutiérrez vs DET (L) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 67 pitches.

Yikes. That’s two straight starts without his command and now I’m getting a little worried we may not see it return in September. But his schedule is so good! @CHC, @PIT, PIT!  Why must you tempt me so. I guess we give this at least one more shot…please Vlad, get it together.

Jesús Luzardo vs PHI (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 90 pitches.

I love this so much. It wasn’t the overwhelming success we saw against the Nationals, but it was just 35% fastballs (even lower than the 40% last time!) and the approach is making him a better pitcher, nearly getting a PQS here. He has a rotation spot through the end of the year and I’m excited to see how he blossoms. Atlanta is next and that one is a toss-up, but I think by the time he’s facing the Nationals twice in a row, he’ll have it down.

Nathan Eovaldi vs CLE (ND) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 98 pitches.

The curveball is still doing crazy good things at 39% CSW, setting the table for his 97 mph fastball to do its thang. He hasn’t slowed down and neither should your love.

Freddy Peralta vs STL (L) – 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 53 pitches.

Womp womp. It just didn’t go Peralta’s way and they gave him the early hook after tossing 53 pitches in just six outs. Whatever, y’all know he’s better than this and it’s too soon to say that his cross-body mechanics are finally catching up to him. That’s 2022 talk.

Huascar Ynoa @ COL (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.

Ahhh dang. I was hoping Ynoa could pull this off, and he nearly earned a PQS but a two-out RBI single in the sixth did him in. The near 1.00 WHIP and five strikeouts ain’t bad, though, and you should feel good moving forward. 10/46 whiffs on sliders works for me.

Madison Bumgarner vs SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

He’s still sitting under 90 mph and this near PQS turned worse with a two-run shot in the sixth. You want nothing to do with this.

Dallas Keuchel @ KC (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 75 pitches.

Are you still starting Keuchel? Why?

Randy Dobnak @ TB (L) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 88 pitches.

He had a rough pair of innings early and then settled into his efficient out-earning self we know and are oddly attracted to, allowing him to go a full seven frames. You’re setting yourself up for a Grave Mistake each time he pitches, but it is Cleveland next. That could be okay. Wow, what an endorsement. 

Steven Brault @ CHC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 80 pitches.

STEVE BRAULT! He got the (s)C(r)ubs and made them look like the Bears. That’s a football team. YOU’RE A FOOTBALL TEAM.

Cal Quantrill @ BOS (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.

Womp womp. He was able to handle the Red Sox last time out and there was a bit of Careful, Icarus here as he allowed a pair of runs in the seventh. The stuff was pretty much the same – sinker + slider with a touch of mediocre changeups – and the schedule is decent enough with 2x Minnesota ahead that I’d just brush it off and move forward. This could be a quick hook after next week, though.

Alek Manoah vs OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.

Yikes. Manoah’s slider was atrocious – 0/18 whiffs. ZERO. – and his heaters were slapped around like pizza dough. He’s had a start or two like this before and it’s not a major cause for concern. I’d still start him against the Yankees next time.

Kyle Gibson @ MIA (L) – 5.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 76 pitches.

Jeeeeeeeez, why. WHY. I’m not going to say that Gibson’s stuff was exceptional in the starts leading up to this one, but seriously?! Eight runs?! That’s just a bad day at the park. He’s slated for the Brewers, Cubs, and Mets next so you gotta still hold but…dang man. This hurt.


Game of the Day 


Ranger Suárez vs. Trevor Rogers – Let’s see Suárez take down the Marlins + Rogers make his long-awaited return to the hill. We’ve missed you and hope you’re doing okay.

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 by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx 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.

3 responses to “Disco Isn’t Dead Yet”

  1. theKraken says:

    Dodgers have reached peak mismanagement of the franchise… as they usually do around this time or year. It really is something that needs attention. They are frying their bullpen nightly. Joe Kelly should NEVER be used in a situation of any leverage and he is being used regularly.

  2. theKraken says:

    Why doesn’t Rich Hill throw 6+ every time out is a better question. He has a long track record of excellence, and there is no reason not to trust him.

  3. BB says:

    The Reds’ distaste for lefties won’t benefit Mills much, since he’s a RHP.

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