Far From Fine

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Sandy Alcantara @ COL (L) – 3.2 IP, 10 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches.

Oh Sandy Alcántara. This one hurt. Your first inning featured a glorious strikeout of Brendan Rogers with two perfect sliders, but that was the sole highlight of this one as an eight-run fourth turned it into a final line of 3.2 IP, 10 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches against the Rockies. It doesn’t matter that this was Coors, that wasn’t the problem here. His fastball wasn’t the dominating offering we’ve seen and I was a bit surprised to see it used a bit less often than normal in favor of too many sliders and changeups.

It hurts as I’ve been such a believer in the skillset – 97/98 mph fastballs with a changeup and slider that can miss bats – but with each step forward comes a start like this one. He gets the Padres next and I think I’d still roll with him there. The ceiling is too high and starts like these are the exception, not the rule. But yeah, it’s not easy seeing starts like this and we just have to keep pushing forward.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Germán Márquez vs MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 76 pitches.

See Sandy? This is how you handle Coors. He didn’t go to his curveball a whole lot, but the fastball and slider did their job and Márquez had a cakewalk. What a weird term “cakewalk”. Am I walking through pastries? Is it a catwalk for bakers? Why does cakewalk exist.

Cal Quantrill vs DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 98 pitches.

I’m in absolute shock. Quantrill earned himself not just 20 whiffs, but a full-on Golden Goal against the Tigers en route to ten strikeouts. Streaming Record: 69-49. It’s absolutely wild. His slider was as good as I’ve seen, earning 7/26 whiffs and 38% CSW, while his four-seamer and sinker paired for eleven whiffs on their own. Eleven! It was close to a BSB from Quantrill with fastballs sticking in the top half of the zone and…I just can’t shake my doubt. This was a major exception relative to what we’ve already seen – his recent successes included – and the man shouldn’t be getting this many whiffs from his stuff. The question is, do you have the faith to let him go against the Athletics next time out? I’m fine making this a Vargas Rule but that’s not a lock of an outing.

Wandy Peralta vs SEA (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 26 pitches.

The Yanks went bullpen here instead of calling up Deivi Garcia and it was fine. Nice job Wandy.

Wade Miley vs PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.

You can’t stop Miley as has the Spider-Man in his sights. Eight more weeks left Miley, you gots this.

Marco Gonzales @ NYY (ND) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 108 pitches.

Nothing special here from Gonzo save for the 14/58 called strikes on sinkers. He’ll get the Rangers next and that should be okay. He’s a Tobyafter all.

John Means vs TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

The changeup was great, the breakers were solid, and the fastball…still isn’t the same. It returned 18% CSW here despite a good 93 mph velocity and until he gets that pitch back, he won’t be that Means.

Kyle Gibson vs NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 100 pitches.

Those four walks with just three strikeouts make it easy to call it a Dusty Donut and his magical changeup from his last outing was there this time. I’m a little worried and with the Dodgers next, I’d consider what else in on the wire.

Lance Lynn @ CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s six of his last seven starts with 1 ER or fewer earned runs. Sweet.

Logan Webb @ MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.

Yessss. Just keep starting Webb. even if his changeup isn’t quite there yet. The slider was ridiculous as he threw it a third of the time to return eight whiffs and 38% CSW and that’s all the man needed to make it work. He hosts Rockie Road next and I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

Corbin Burnes vs SF (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 105 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He is going to get his innings limited at some point…right?!

Chris Bassitt vs TEX (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 94 pitches.

Yesssss. That’s how you rebound after a poor outing. I’m sure some people want Bassitt to get the AGA label, but he’s more like a strong #2/#3. And that’s a lovely thing.

Mike Foltynewicz @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 93 pitches.

I mean, you don’t need me. The man earned four whiffs. Two strikeouts. Stares into your soul Come on.

David Price vs LAA (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 62 pitches.

Price impressed me here with his changeup, which earned whiffs + plenty of outs here against the Angels. The heater did its work as it earned strikes galore, and there are your 5.1 frames in just 62 pitches. I’m a little concerned about the lack of volume, but he should be fine for a start against the Phils next.

Patrick Sandoval @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.

Soooo it’s far from exciting, but at least he survived the Dodgers? His changeup and slider weren’t the whifftastic pitches we know and love, but at least the fastball command was good enough to keep him afloat. It’s unclear when his next start will be (next Friday?!) but it doesn’t really matter as it could be the Jays on Thursday or the Astros on Friday. I’d take the chance with either – if he has the slow ball and slider, who cares, he’ll be dope – and it’s the schedule regression after July’s luscious matchups.

Alek Manoah vs BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 93 pitches.

It ain’t pretty, but at least he gave you a decent ERA against the Sawx. Things should get much easier against the Angels next time out.

Kyle Hendricks vs CWS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.

Have I been underrating Hendricks? That’s one ER away from a VVPQSbut that’s not fair at all – he only had two! – and he had seven strikeouts here. The reason I have Hendricks as low as I do is a root of a capped ceiling while those ahead have potential to much more. It’s a tough balance to get right, though, and I’ll likely raise Hendricks a touch on Monday.

Marcus Stroman @ PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

The cutter and slider were cooking while the sinker earned tons of strikes. That’s the ticket for Stroman and I’m glad he was able to get on track. He should be fine against the Nationals next.

Adam Wainwright vs KC (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 96 pitches.

I still can’t believe the run Waino is on this year and it’s best not to think about it. Just start the dang man and we’ll talk about it in November.

Kyle Muller vs WSH (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

This was wild to see. Muller went 53% sliders here – they worked – but only because he didn’t have his curveball or fastball command. Oh, I thought you meant “wild” like “this is insane!” Oh, no. But maybe a little, but nah, he was a bit wild with pitches not rhyming with glider and I hope he can recover soon – he gets the Reds next and that’s a tough challenge. I’m not sure he’s worth it.

Zack Greinke vs MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.

PQS seems like business as usual for Greinke, who continues to plod along as the signature TobyWhat a guy.

Bailey Ober @ HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

I sure hope Bailey’s family lives somewhere along the prairies. You could then say they live Ober the hills and far away. Please stop. Sorry, I wanted to provide something as this performance was all kinds of forgettable. At least he’s going 80 pitches now…? The four-seamer is still a solid offering, but there’s just not enough there to support it.

Mike Minor @ STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 98 pitches.

Blegh. All four of his offerings returned a 32%+ CSW, if you can believe it, but he made some mistakes and got punished for it. He gets the Yankees next and while I wouldn’t rule out success there (it seemed like luck was against him here instead of him legit pitching poorly), but it’s likely not a great idea to chance it.

Erick Fedde @ ATL (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 93 pitches.

Remember kids, Don’t Trust The Feddes.

Caleb Smith @ SD (ND) – 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 61 pitches.

Maybe it’ll all come together, but this was the Padres. We knew this wasn’t his day, like my seventh grade photo day. THEY DIDN’T TELL ME IT WAS RIGHT AFTER BASKETBALL. My sweaty hair was glorious.

Ryan Yarbrough @ BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

Womp womp. Despite pitching on a Friday, the Friday Pirate “The Fratty Pirate” was unable to come through. Given he tossed just six sinkers here, the heavy majority of his pitches came in under 82 mph and it can be tough not having a reliable heater to get confident strikes. I wouldn’t be leaning on Yarbrough in my twelve teamers.

Matt Manning @ CLE (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.

I’ve been calling Manning a Tobyyet I banished him to the Tier 4 realm in this morning’s streaming article and here he is, disappointing faithful managers against Cleveland. I don’t think he deserves the honor.

Ryan Weathers vs ARI (ND) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 57 pitches.

Womp womp. If you’re still Weathersing this storm, I’m not sure why. The man can’t fan enough batters – HAISTBMBWT?! – and it’s not like the ratios are anything to pull out the ole quill and jot for the love back home. Dear Claire, the denominator was too low today. The ratio was unsatisfactory. What am I going to do.

Nathan Eovaldi @ TOR (L) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 86 pitches.

Yikes. His splitter actually went 4/10 whiffs, but this was the Jays and they attacked Eovaldi. Whatever, it was an elite offense. Start him against the Rays next time because it would be silly to overvalue a start against Toronto.

JT Brubaker @ CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 95 pitches.

Coffee Cakes hasn’t been exceptional and had a start lined up in Cincinnati. This was an easy call to avoid and with it out of the way, we can at least consider him to follow “The Cardinal Rule”. He’s not destined for constant disasters.


Game of the Day 


Carlos Rodón vs. Adbert AlzolayI hope Rodón is hovering 96 mph again + Alzolay can find his groove again.

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

Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@graphical_ark 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.

2 responses to “Far From Fine”

  1. DB says:

    A “cakewalk” was a leisure dance contest type-thing taken part in by slaves on southern plantations. it gets its connotations since it was leisure and not labor – “easy.”

  2. DB says:

    I honestly don’t know if its use is insensitive… There’s a lot to be said for eradicating language that references slave-era practices, but I personally feel, that as long as its usage is well understood, (hence my choice to inform here,) and it is not directly hostile to anyone, the history involved needs to be remembered as often as possible.

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