Give a Lynch, Take a Mile

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Daniel Lynch vs DET (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

I remember watching Daniel Lynch during his first call-up, and it just didn’t seem right. His command was lost and he was all over the place, but there was something there. We all saw it. He went back to the minors and got the call against the Tigers today, and he was a different man, going 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches. Not a single walk. Is he someone you should be picking up right now?

Well, no. Maybe. He gets the Jays next, so you can likely wait until this time next week for the proper pickup, but despite the few strikeouts I think there’s something legit here. His slider, curve, and changeup did solid work as secondaries, the former earning 5/12 whiffs, curveball landed for strikes, and while his changeup was erratic, but the executed ones were pretty. His fastball was a tick slower than before, but still 93/94, and it’s possible the 95 mph we saw before was more adrenaline kicking in and him trying to do too much. This was a better-spotted heater, and while he was heavily favored in BABIP, there’s something to it.

Keep an eye on Lynch. Monitor the Blue Jays start to see if it’s more of the same, and maybe he’ll dip under 50% fastball usage and lean on his secondaries in a good way. He could be a…Lynchpin for your staff down the stretch. You didn’t have to do that. YES I DID.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


John Curtiss vs SD (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 50% CSW, 10 pitches.

Look at Curtiss, out-dueling Darvish. It was just one inning. Yeah, and it was marvelous.

Trevor Williams vs ARI (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 104 pitches.

Well look at you, taking down the Sneks with ease with…just nine whiffs + 25% CSW. Fine, nothing has really changed so enjoy your Birthday Party while you can.

Taylor Hearn @ HOU (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 41 pitches.

It was a bullpen game and Hearn’s 96 mph heater paired with a decent slider did work against the Astros. Not the kind of work where you recommend that man to all your friends, nor is he Your Guy now, but props to him for keeping Texas in the game.

Lance Lynn @ MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Say what you want about Lynn, the man can’t stop producing. GEORGE FOREMAN’S LYNN MACHINE.

Touki Toussaint @ PHI (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 90 pitches.

Oh my. 41% CSW and 16 whiffs? Ten strikeouts?! I’m digging Touki tossing 32% curveballs (that number could go even higher if you ask me), but I’m skeptical that his sinker can be a 41% CSW pitch as it earned 14/49 called strikes today. I know a lot of people are super on the Touki train now and I completely understand why, I’m a bit hesitant to jump on board fully as the sinker isn’t nearly as good as it’s performed in this small two-start sample. Sell high if you can — I doubt you can — but if you have him, go ahead, start him against the Mets. If he’s on the wire, sure, take a shot. This is the peak, though.

Zack Greinke vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Ahhh, nice, relaxing Greinke. It’s nothing mind-blowing, just a solid line that gets the job done. Thanks Zack, everyone deserves a pitcher like you.

Ross Stripling @ NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 79 pitches.

Now that’s a well done Strip (at) stake. That didn’t make sense. Well, having this much success super reliant on a 90/91 mph four-seamer doesn’t make sense either. Touché. I wouldn’t jump back on the Stripling train with this one as none of his secondaries did a whole lot and we’ve seen what it normally looks like when Ross becomes buddy-buddy with his fastball. It ain’t pretty.

Alex Wood vs PIT (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 91 pitches.

Awwww yis. Alex has the slider and is hovering 92 mph. Don’t you dare stop starting Wood now, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. But he faces Houston ne–I DON’T CARE.

Ryan Yarbrough @ CLE (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 92 pitches.

Hot dang! “The Fratty Pirate” has it in him after all…or maybe The Guardians really are that bad (Yes, I’m going to embrace the name change now. It’s fun and I need to prep myself for next year). He gets the Sawx next so no need to go off and get him. Cool to see him earn that great start that won’t get repeated.

Aaron Nola vs ATL (W) – 8.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 116 pitches.

Hello old friend, we’ve missed you. Dearly. His curveball was flat-out DOPE once again with 47% CSW and 11/38 whiffs, while his four-seamer and changeup got outs and strikes. I’m not going to act like this one start means he’s completely cured, but it’s one h*ck of a start. At least we can all agree we’re looking forward to his start next time against the Pirates, yeah?

Domingo Germán @ BOS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 93 pitches.

What a ridiculous game. Germán had a no-hitter through seven (including a four-strikeout inning), allow a double to lead off the eighth and came out of the game…as the Red Sox scored five and won 5-4. The initial plan was to limit Germán a touch in this one, and I’m sure Boone was a little relieved he didn’t have to make a tough decision in the ninth given the pitch count but seriously? A Careful, Icarus after all that? Unreal. This was Domingo at his peak, and I wonder if the Yankees will limit him in his next start the same way they wanted to here, but it’s the Marlins and I just can’t resist that start. Let him fly, even if it could be 75 pitches.

Jon Gray @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 106 pitches.

It was the day of The Grays and Jon was the Graytest of them all…despite not having a spectacular line. Hey, it’s the Dodgers. His slider was still elite with 13/45 whiffs and he sat a comfy 95 mph. I still dig the man, even if he had a little worse command this time around. He’s going to make some competing team very happy next week.

Josiah Gray vs COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 79 pitches.

Josiah’s command comes in waves and the average was solid here — 19 whiffs! 35% CSW! — but he had at-bats where it was a bit too erratic. Really cool to see 10/43 four-seamer whiffs lead the charge despite sitting under 95 mph. His stuff is real. I’m sure to get many “Do I hold Josiah or chase Touki/Lynch/Muller etc.?” questions and I’d say hold onto Gray for at least one more start as he gets Arizona next. I prefer Touki for that next one, but it’s honestly a bit of a coin flip — Josiah could fix that command as soon as next start while Touki could take a step back. Lynch gets the Jays so that’s a no, and Muller…well I like him the most for the final two months but I’m not sure it’ll blossom tomorrow or in two weeks. Take your pick.

Marco Gonzales vs OAK (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 105 pitches.

Yeah, I’ll take a Philly from Marco. Cool to see him earn 12 whiffs on curveballs + changeups as he threw the pair almost 60% of the time. Maybe that’s the new adjustment he’s making for the second half, but even if it is, I won’t bank on it making him a legit Top-40 starer again.

JT Brubaker @ SF (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 69 pitches.

Coffee Cakes was done a disservice getting pulled just under 70 pitches as that slider was filthy — 11/24 whiffs while he was able to ride four-seamers for strikes at will. This is the Brubaker you remember from the spring and I’d be okay starting him against the Phillies next. Just let him go more than four innings this time, okay? Thanks.

Jaime Barría @ MIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 95 pitches.

Hot dang! That’s a nice surprise start from Barría who’s suddenly throwing a tick harder at 94 mph. Sadly, his 38 changeups + sliders returned 13% CSW, but that heater did enough work to survive. I’ll consider you as a desperate streamer now, at least you’ve shown you can go deep if things go your way.

Triston McKenzie vs TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.

I didn’t know what to expect here and McKenzie did a superb job against the Rays. Velocity stuck a tick up like the Houston start, but it came with a much better curveball (50% CSW and thrown a third of the time!) and he executed a textbook BSB. One of those cool, modern ones, not those boring “Identifying Wood” textbooks. I want to be a bit more hyped about this start because it’s the one we’ve been chasing for four months, but he gets the White Sox next and I’d hate to test to see if it sticks with that low of a floor. Make a spec add if you have the room and stash, or if you have the brass, take a show against the ChiSox.

Bailey Ober vs LAA (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 68 pitches.

Not bad at all from Ober as the slider earned 44% CSW and the four-seamer was well commanded up in the zone. He’s not doing enough in these starts for me to begin recommending him again (that one start was just so lovely!) but I’m monitoring him.

Rich Hill vs TOR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 62 pitches.

Hey Mets fans, this is what you got — an aging arm who struggles to earn whiff(s) and won’t last long for the rest of the year. Seriously, I can’t believe he earned a strikeout without a single whiff. HAISTFMFWT?! I wouldn’t touch this Hill even if my name was Jack (or Jill).

Brandon Woodruff vs CWS (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 45% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace as Woody earned a Golden Goal. I’m so conflicted for tomorrow because I’m tempted to go Wheeler/Woody/Darvish behind Cole, but the innings question has me distraught. Why can’t life just be simple.

Johan Oviedo @ CIN (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 98 pitches.

He’s still a Young Gun given the clear command issues, but the stuff makes the potential interesting. I could see him in the 100-125 range of my 2022 rankings on the idea that I have no idea how the off-season will treat him and maybe he’ll have it figured it out in time.

Martín Pérez vs NYY (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 80 pitches.

Hey, you’re going to take a PQS from Pérez against the Yankees, and you’re gonna like it. Seriously, you can’t expect much better from him on a given night.

Paolo Espino @ BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 79 pitches.

This is as great of a start you could hope for from Paolo, and that’s a cool thing. He’s still throwing sub 90 mph and that curveball, despite its 6/18 whiffs here, isn’t going to pull me in.

Cole Irvin @ SEA (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 77 pitches.

Blegh. Irvin is a Toby and a matchup against Seattle warrants your start every time. He just didn’t have it in this one and that’s just how it is with a Toby sometimes.

John Means vs WSH (ND) – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 87 pitches.

Sigh. He’s not back yet. Spin rates were better on his four-seamer, but we’re seeing -200 RPM on his curveball (though it still had 5/13 called strikes), and there’s some calibrating left to do. I think Gerrit Cole is a good example of an arm who needed a few starts to figure it out, and I think Means is the same. He’ll get Detroit next, and that could be the outing it comes together, don’t you dare drop him now.

Yu Darvish @ MIA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna…blegh? At least he gave you six strikeouts and a decent WHIP, but come on Darvish. I put you at #2 on The List, you can’t be doing this against the Marlins.

Caleb Smith @ CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 102 pitches.

So the slider and four-seamer earned whiffs, but he got unlucky with baserunners and lost his command at times. Bummer. I’m conflicted as the heater is at 91 but the slider has fully returned (changeup was solid, but not elite), so this is still a heavy gamble. And hey, it’s the Dodgers next, so just watch from afar.

Tarik Skubal @ KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.

On the plus side, he was allowed to go five frames and 88 pitches, while he held a 1.00 WHIP. On the downside, everything else. He allowed a trio of longballs and it did him in, but it’s not like it was just terrible luck. He didn’t have his best stuff and that’s that. Let’s hope he gets it back.

Sonny Gray vs STL (L) – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 72 pitches.

Oh no. Gray, this is the opposite of “The Cardinal Rule”. He tossed far too many pitches over the heart of the plate and couldn’t get anything working like it should and…it’s a bummer. I was confident a week ago that we’d seen Sonny get a handle on his stuff and now he’s just a glorified Cherry Bomb. I don’t have a choice but to lower him in the ranks a decent amount tomorrow, and hopefully he shows me something next time out to pull us back in the right direction. No, I wouldn’t drop him because of this, though. The ceiling is too high and it’s unlikely he’s this bad again.


Game of the Day 

Germán Márquez vs Shohei OhtaniThe best player out there + Shohei? Should be a treat. Hol up. Okay, I don’t actually love Márquez that much, but I sure enjoy those breakers when they’re 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.

Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted 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.

One response to “Give a Lynch, Take a Mile”

  1. Mike Honcho says:

    Would you drop Stripling or Odorizzi for McKenzie in a 12 teamer?

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