Gilbert Great

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Tyler Gilbert vs SD (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 102 pitches.

If you haven’t heard, Tyler Gilbertin the first MLB start of his career, tossed a no-hitter against the Padres, featuring a full line of 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 102 pitches. That’s baseball for you.

Sadly, I don’t believe in Gilbert as someone to buy into for the season ahead. It was a mix of four-seamers and cutters nearly exclusively, leaning heavily on BABIP luck over CSW as he got away with plenty of mistakes over the plate. I have to give him credit for locating 89 mph four-seamers in the upper third of the zone with consistency, though I’m not sure I’d depend on that command lasting, let alone its results coming close to this level.

I can’t help but be reminded of Max Kranick’s debut start this year, albeit over five no-hit frames instead of nine. Obviously, this is different, but Kranick has quickly shown he’s not relevant for fantasy teams despite his eyebrow-raising first impression. There’s certainly a chance Gilbert goes a different path, I simply wouldn’t chance it against the Phils. The stuff just isn’t good enough.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Aaron Ashby @ PIT (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 58 pitches.

He wasn’t allowed to go more than four frames, but he sure made the most of them and helped those who took a chance. Streaming Record: 72-51. I really am loving what I see from Ashby and I’d heavily monitor what the Brewers do in the future. He’s slider and changeup first, with a 96 mph sinker mixed in effectively about 30% of the time, making for a deceptive pitcher who uses his repertoire to its fullest. He’s back to the minors now (he was up for a doubleheader) and it’ll be a hot moment before he can start again, but who knows, maybe he’ll be able to get the call next week. I’d be ready to pull the trigger the moment he’s confirmed to return.

Matt Moore vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 76 pitches.

Say what now. Moore tossed six no-hit frames and I’m a bit shocked the Phils pulled him at just 76 pitches. It’s not like he’s a magical arm they need to protect and at the very least, he could have gone one more frame to test the no-hit bid some more. He had all his secondaries working – cutter, changeup, curveball – and it’s something to behold. Don’t expect a repeat. This is still Moore we’re talking about here.

Zach Davies @ MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 103 pitches.

Okay, okay, I didn’t have a lot of faith Davies would be able to take full advantage given he’s struggled against weak teams already, but here we are, earning 12 whiffs with his changeup like it’s his J-O-B. But Nick…Shhhh I know. This will make some secure to start him against the Royals and I will preach a bit of caution there. Davies’ floor is awfully low.

Kenta Maeda vs TB (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

His slider found a ton of the plate but wasn’t exploited, his splitter did well under the zone, and his fastball was fine. This was a bit of a lucky one for Maeda and he could run into trouble against the Yanks next time out.

Max Fried @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Atta boy Fried. It’s a bit weird to see him get whiffs only with four-seamers and sinkers here, as the curveball and slider went just 2/34 whiffs, but hey, he’s pumping effective strikes and that’s a good thing. He’s safe against the Orioles next, despite their habits against southpaws.

Taijuan Walker vs LAD (ND) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Whoa, Walker had more than his fastball! His splitter returned 7/24 whiffs and it made a huge difference as his four-seamer was as good as ever at 39% CSW and a phenomenal 95.4 mph heater (normally ~94.4!). It’s a good sign, though I’d still be cautious as he has to face the Dodgers a second time. At least I’ll put him in Questionable instead of Do Not Start next time.

Walker Buehler @ NYM (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 110 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Another seven-inning start with ten strikeouts and he’s certainly making a push for #1 on The List

Jon Lester @ KC (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 90 pitches.

That WHIP is terrible and it’s just two strikeouts, but at least you got your Win and strong ERA? That’s normally a Dusty Donut, but for Lester, we call that a Boston Dream donut.

Kyle Freeland @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 106 pitches.

The Giants have been steamrolling many lately and here comes Freeland, strutting into town and plowing through six frames of one run ball like it was Sunday brunch. His pitch separation was on point and he did an excellent job jamming right-handers with four-seamers, though this was a product of a southpaw having his best command – not a southpaw who went through his normal motions. He gets the Sneks next in Coors and if the command is this good, it should work out. Still super risky, though.

Sam Long vs COL (ND) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 44 pitches.

It was a planned bullpen game and his curveball wasn’t the intriguing pitch we saw during his first opening run s a starter. He’s not on my radar even if he gets stretched out unless that approach shifts – his changeup is the #2 pitch right now and that’s not a strong offering.

Zach Thompson vs CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 72 pitches.

Yay. It was the Cubs and Thompson was good enough. I think he’s a bit worse than we saw earlier in the year and a date in Cincy next is definitely not for me. I’d be open to swapping him with an arm off the wire if there was an alluring stream.

Chris Sale vs BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 89 pitches.

HE HATH RISEN. Sale – aka The BOAT – has returned to the bigs and to be completely Thomas frank, I think he can be much better. His slider returned just 5/18 CSW + his fastball sat at a pedestrian 93.2 mph. Remember, Sale is a guy who has lived in the mid-90s and touched upper-90s in his peak. Sure, it was a King Cole and he helped everyone who trusted him, but I do wonder if his final seven weeks will be a little bumpier than we anticipated because of it. Maybe he just needs to ramp up still, either way, you’re starting him every time out until further notice.

Mitch Keller vs MIL (L) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.

Blegh. We’re far from a Keller that we can trust for success and I’m still holding out hope he can nail down the breakers to be that man. Well, hope for a blissful day of enlightenment sometime in 2022 or so, not tomorrow for heaven’s sake.

Hyun Jin Ryu @ SEA (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

The changeup and cutter are still questionable and prevent Ryu from being the ace of old. Each start is making us a little more anxious as we approach September, though Detroit should hopefully restore plenty of confidence.

Luis Garcia @ LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

The slider wasn’t nearly as good as we’ve seen from Garcia and it was one of the more pedestrian outings we’ve seen from the rookie this year. I wouldn’t worry about it and anticipate a full rebound against the Royals next.

Yusei Kikuchi vs TOR (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 97 pitches.

Blegh. The Heater was sub 94 mph and the cutter just wasn’t good. He didn’t have a pitch to confidently throw for a strike, leading to four walks and easier swings for his opponents. Sure, the Jays are a strong offense, but Kikuchi didn’t bring his A-Game. And now it’s the Astros? Nah, I’m not starting him there.

Jaime Barria vs HOU (L) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 52 pitches.

Hey, it could have been worse for Barria against the mighty Astros. Still, he was trusted for just three frames and only 52 pitches and that’s simply not something for you to latch onto. Maybe they let him go longer against Cleveland next time, but all he really has is a slider and I’m not sure it’s that good to warrant a start there.

James Kaprielian @ TEX (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 69 pitches.

I don’t understand Kap. He faced the Rangers five times this year and just once allowed fewer than 3 ER. ONCE! For whatever reason, Texas has his number, failing to strike one once (HAISTBMBWT?!), and all we can do is throw our hands up in confusion. And now he gets the White Sox and do we start him thinking this is a specialized Rangers vs. Kap situation? Ehhh probably not. I’d bench.

Jameson Taillon @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 93 pitches.

It’s been a nice roll for Taillon, but his curveball wasn’t the stellar offering last time out and this was the White Sox. The result was the above + a curveball that went just 6% CSW across sixteen thrown. Yeah, not great. The Twins are coming next and while I think Taillon is worth the play, it’s no lock his curveball will fall back into place. It’s tough banking on the ceiling to return soon.

Brad Keller vs STL (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 112 pitches.

He was the original streaming option before Ashby was announced and I’d be thrilled to see a line close to a VPQS with eight strikeouts from Keller. He didn’t perform so well to make me believe in him as a legit 12-teamer option, but hey, on a desperate Sunday, he’s an option.

Luis Castillo @ PHI (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 106 pitches.

Wow, that’s a Golden Goal for Castillo as he had a touch of Careful, Icarus and allowed his third ER in the seventh frame. I’m stoked as he finally had double-digit whiffs on his changeup, though I’m sad to see his slider fail to be the pitch that carried him through July. Whatever, the man averaged 98.6 mph on his sinker today and his changeup was dope. This is the Castillo I fell for years ago.

Wily Peralta vs CLE (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

Y’all are over this by now, right? Please say yes. Yes. Good.

Sam Hentges @ DET (ND) – 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 44 pitches.

Maybe it’ll all click one day for Sam. For now, it’s a Hentges maze and I’m not sure when he’ll escape.

Dylan Cease vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 103 pitches.

The slider was great – sweet – but he needs one other pitch from his curveball and fastball to click for him to excel. While they weren’t terrible, it prevented Cease from a smooth outing, and getting through just five in over 100 pitches. He should be better against the Athletics next.

Bryse Wilson vs MIL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 61 pitches.

Wilson is a Young Gun and I’m happy he’s getting his experience in the Pirates rotation. Well, I’m happy for my 2022 or 2023 self when we could see the dividends of these rough starts from the early days of his career. Stay strong, Wilson.

Jordan Lyles vs OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 103 pitches.

Meh. Nothing new here for us to reconsider Lyles. It’s the equivalent of a small town’s Tuesday event at the community center. You didn’t know it was happening and now that you’re aware, you give a polite nod and continue scratching your back. It itches, something had to be done.

Joe Musgrove @ ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Blegh. After a dominant performance last time out, Musgrove took a major step back with his slider, turning in just 1/10 CSW on the pitch. An absolute departure from his “slider first” blueprint for the majority of the season. Without that pitch, Musgrove didn’t have a rhythm and the rest is what you see. I wouldn’t expect that slider to take a vacation much all the rest of the year, and this has all the makings of a One Night Bland.

Brett Anderson @ PIT (L) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 68 pitches.

Womp womp. This felt like a coin flip of being meh and barely serviceable or a disaster like this. That’s the game we play with Brett.

Patrick Corbin vs ATL (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.

I don’t understand you Corbin. 14/53 whiffs on sliders is great. A 93 mph fastball is fantastic for you. And here you are, still struggling to get results. It doesn’t make sense but we can’t deny the negative impact he makes and we just need to ignore it all. So strange.

Michael Wacha @ MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 92 pitches.

The fastball was a tick harder and he earned some changeup whiffs, but it didn’t matter. Just Wacha away from this.

Jorge Lopez @ BOS (L) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 81 pitches.

Honestly, I won’t even give JorLo a HAISTBMBWT?! as I don’t think I expected him to do much better in the first place.


Game of the Day 


Max Scherzer vs. Carlos Carrasco – It’s the #1 SP against Carrasco, who we all know can act like the best pitcher of the day. Let’s hope he has it.

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.

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