Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Corey Kluber vs CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches.

The return from the IL has not been kind to Corey Kluberbut he took a major step forward yesterday in the Bronx with a 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches performance against Cleveland. His breaker was still great with the story being his cutter looking like its Cy Young self – 42% CSW across 31 thrown. His heater is still a little on the low side (90.5 mph instead of 91+) but if Kluber has that cutter + curveball moving forward, I’m on board and guess what. It’s the Rangers next. Sign me up.

That’s it? Yes, that’s it. We’ve all collectively moved on from Kluber and y’all needed to know it’s time to jump back in. BELIEVE IN THE CUTTER.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Miles Mikolas vs SD (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

Oh hey, Mikolas survived! He’s a Toby at best and I wouldn’t look at this as a launching pad to jump in against the Brewers next. But the Cubs twice after? Now there could be something of value. I could use a cheap Win or two.

Luis Castillo vs LAD (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 111 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Aces gonna earn a Golden Goal against the Dodgers at home as Castillo’s changeup was at its zenith, he sat 98 mph, and his slider earned 39% CSW. He even tossed 111 pitches along the way. THIS IS HIS FINAL FORM. And it is GLORIOUS.

Elieser Hernandez vs PIT (L) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.

That’s a Dusty Donut with some unearned runs, but hey, we’ll take it, especially on a night where his slider was so far from its best self. I think you’re safe holding onto Elieser the rest of the way (WSH + @NYM + PHI) but if I don’t see that slider back next time, I may get a bit worried.

Brandon Bielak vs ARI (ND) – 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 55 pitches.

Who, 6/8 outs by way of the K is a cool thing. What isn’t cool is Cristian Javier only tossing 1.1 frames in relief after we expected him to get a sizeable chunk of the innings. Welp, that’s baseball Suzyn.

Dylan Cease @ TEX (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.

This is the ideal Cease start against Texas as he earned a King ColeThe slider was crazy good (per usual) as the fastball wasn’t crushed and the curveball helped plenty. He’s the premier Cherry Bomb out there and you’re safe against Cleveland + Detroit to close out the season. It’s nice when DC isn’t comical.

Cole Irvin @ LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.

Yessss. Irvin is a Toby and this is exactly what he’s supposed to do. Now he gets the Mariners next for two and hopefully that slider and changeup can keep it up. I thought you wanted those pitches down in the zone, not up. Why are you the way that you are.

Chris Flexen @ KC (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 90 pitches.

And the Vargas Rule keeps churning. I keep asking who this year’s Dereck Rodriguez is and I’m pretty sure it’s Flexen. Let’s be real, he won’t be drafted inside the Top 250 players next year despite his solid ERA…right?

Chris Sale vs BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 79 pitches.

The good news: The ratios are glorious and you got a Win. The bad: He earned just one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!as his slider earned just two whiffs and his heater sat 92/93 mph. It’s not what you want. He should get the Mets + Orioles next, though, so we keep starting him and hope everything’s okay.

Michael Pineda @ TOR (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.

I’m flabbergasted by this one. FLABBERGASTED! Pineda faced the Jays, didn’t have his slider, and still survived. The mad man. He has to do it a second time and of course we’re avoiding it but still. The mad man.

Casey Mize @ TB (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 53 pitches.

Yay. Three innings of Mize as we wonder when our dinner will arrive before realizing that was our dinner. We’re never coming back to this restaurant. But they’re changing their menus next year! Okay, we’ll try it again in April, but they better have their old Caeser salad back!

Wil Crowe @ MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 74 pitches.

Crowe was a dark horse streamer as he faced the Marlins and I’m thrilled he pulled it off. His slider + changeup combined for 37% CSW and 10 whiffs as the Marlins offense is simply that bad. You can ignore Crowe, now.

Zack Wheeler @ NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. A little underwhelming tossing just five frames against the Mets, but hey, this is great across the board. Be happy, y’all.

Jhonathan Diaz vs OAK (ND) – 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 50 pitches.

The Angels went all bullpen because they went all big brain on us. You can’t injure your starting pitcher if you don’t have a starting pitcher.

Taijuan Walker vs PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.

I’ll definitely take this as his heater once again sat over 95 mph. You should be fine with the Brewers + Marlins to end the season with Taijuan.

Madison Bumgarner @ HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 82 pitches.

Ummmmm what. Bumgarner has been struggling heavily against poor lineups but against a strong crew in Houston? Pffft, no problem. This was his hardest fastball of the second half at 90.5 mph, but that’s still not the ~92 we saw before his injury. Now it’s ATL + @SFG and I’m still very much out.

Logan Webb vs ATL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches.

Phew. I was a little worried that Webb’s sinker command was a waning a touch, but it was on point here as the slider and changeup cleaned up for 12 whiffs between them. He’s in a great place and don’t you dare stop starting Webb.

Walker Buehler @ CIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

It’s a PQS for Buehler and it’s not what you want. I feel weird calling this a “bad” day to shrug off but yeah, it kinda is for a guy like Buehler who has been so good this season. Nick, he’s clearly fatigued from throwing 185 frames this season. Naaaah. I don’t buy that.

Ian Anderson @ SF (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

Ehhhhh, there are some things to like here, but I was hoping for Anderson’s curveball to mimic its 50%+ CSW from last time out and it wasn’t nearly the same here. But hey, the fastball was solid and his changeup did its thang. He made some mistakes that the Giants’ strong crew took advantage of and there you have it. He should be a great option for the Diamondbacks and Phillies next.

Jon Heasley vs SEA (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 75 pitches.

It was a late scratch of Brady Singer as he hit the IL, forcing the Royals to call up Jon Heasley for his MLB debut and…it was fine. The curveball has some promise and he sits 93/94 mph, but there wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about. I wouldn’t consider this until we see something that wows us.

Zach Davies @ MIL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

Yep, Davies has been purged from our teams for a long time now. Don’t put yourself through this.

Adrian Houser vs CHC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.

Blegh. I believed in Houser’s sinker from the last two starts replicating its 2019 September self, and a start against the Cubs seemed primed for production. Get this: Across 50 sinkers thrown, Houser failed to get one whiff. Yikes. Yeah. He gets the Cardinals twice now and I’m reluctant to let it fly. That’s up to you.

Luis Patiño vs DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

Hmmmmm. One ER fewer and I’m satisfied with this, but that has to be a streaming loss. Streaming Record: 86-71. His slider was better in this one, though, and it does make me feel encouraged to start him against the Marlins next time out. I just wish he truly blossomed by now, you know?

Vince Velasquez @ STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 67 pitches.

Oh right. VV is a Padre now. And he’s the same ole VV. Some things change in this world. And some things don’t.

Keegan Akin @ BOS (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 88 pitches.

This hasn’t worked since 2020 and you’re just Akin for a bad time at this point.

Josiah Gray vs COL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Sigh. I love him for 2022 but he’s in a rough patch and it’s just not going his way. Nick, he’s the new Renyaldo LópezDon’t you dare say that. We’ll talk in the off-season and don’t touch him now, I don’t care if he gets the Marlins next.

Zach Plesac @ NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 93 pitches.

Here’s the thing, Plesac tossed six frames of 2 ER ball, but came back out for the seventh and it fell apart quickly, giving us a clear Careful, Icarus. The changeup was finally great again (50% CSW!) and his slider did earn 7/32 whiffs and I’m kinda encouraged moving forward. Okay, not so much to start him against the White Sox, but I’d circle the Royals start after. Especially if he has his changeup again next time out.

Hyun Jin Ryu vs MIN (L) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 48 pitches.

Soooooo you’ve already given up on Ryu by now…right? Cool cool cool, just checking.

Germán Márquez @ WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.

Yikes. Marquez went 0/7 CSW on his curveball and his slider didn’t do a whole lot either. And here we were, happy he got the Nationals instead of Atlanta. Next up is the Dodgers in Coors and I just can’t do it. His stuff isn’t there.

Taylor Hearn vs CWS (L) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

I know, Hearn had been doing well, but the man is a Toby and you don’t start Tobys against premier offenses. Stick to the script.


Game of the Day 


Max Scherzer vs. Sonny GrayScherzer is must-watch TV + Sonny could have all his pitches working.

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.

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.

2 responses to “GameKlube”

  1. Mario Mendoza says:

    Could you give us a little bit on Aaron Ashby’s MIRP appearance(s), as he could be potential starter next week?

  2. King Donko of Punchstania says:

    Josiah Gray gives up 4,000 home runs per start. That eventually must be a part of his evaluation.

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