Grabbing a Six Mac

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Shane McClanahan @ SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 86 pitches.

Let’s all gather round and throw a fist pump and exhale for a massive sigh of relief as Shane McClanahan FINALLY did the thing: 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 86 pitches. Sure, it was against the Seattle Mariners, but it’s about dang time McShane went six full frames:  It’s especially wonderful to see this after a pair of four-strikeout games, challenge us McClanafans like Jonah in the whale of the season. Open the baleen and be free.

It’s not like McClanahan was lucky, either. His slider went 8/29 whiffs. Curveballs landed for strikes. Changeups went 6/7 strikes. His four-seamer topped 100 mph and pounded the zone constantly and kept him ahead in counts. Yes, once again, it was Seattle, but the stuff was there, the Rays let him go 86 pitches, and Shane was a Big Mac and all kinds of delicious (a contradiction, I know). We’ve been teetering on the edge of holding or not and while this could relapse next time out (it’s still not over 90 pitches, FWIW), I just can’t help but hold against the Angels. The dude’s stuff is just too good.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Drew Smyly vs STL (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

You see this line and hope he had the same cutter usage as last time and expressed another step forward for Smyly: Narrator: It did not. Sub-10% Cutters, standard 92/93 mph heater, and decent curveballs. That was it. That’s not enough for me to jump back on, sadly.

Sam Hentges @ PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 57 pitches.

Ohhhh, is it starting to come together for Hentges? Suit man whisper in my ear Ohhh, right. The Pirates. And just 57 pitches as they hit the ball in play and, get this, they did it poorly. He has a solid slider and sits 94/95 mph so there’s a chance this still works out this year. For now, just a Young Gun, especially with that low pitch count.

Zach Thompson @ CHC (L) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 73 pitches.

Hot dang! Seven strikeouts without a single hit! He tallied 73 pitches and allowed an unearned run, forcing the ugly L you see there. Life ain’t fair (he’s a Marlin, after all) (That’s a low blow) (Apologies). The cutter was king again for 33% CSW and there’s a chance we see it against the Nationals over the weekend. I wouldn’t run to it — it’s a bit of a low pitch count and I’m not totally sold that the cutter is a magical pitch n all. It’s too risky.

Alec Mills vs MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 77 pitches.

I questioned if Mills would get the pitches to make this worthwhile and I’m proud he made it through the full five for the Win. Well done Mills, you made many a manager proud on this desperate Sunday. Now go back to the wire as you face the Dodgers. Your service will not be forgotten, General. I see what you did there.

Dinelson Lamet vs CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.

It’s so wonderful to see the Lamet that was promised. There’s even more to squeeze from Dinelson as he goes past 85 pitches, but at least we’re seeing five frames and five stellar frames at that. 9/36 slider whiffs + 98 mph max velocity. This is going to be a fun summer rostering Lamet.

Adam Wainwright @ ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 111 pitches.

I feel like we’re not appreciating Wainwright as his Cherry Bomb production this year. He holds a 3.74 ERA with a near strikeout per inning to go with a 1.12 WHIP across almost 87 frames. That’s legit. He had a moment where he lost his cutter, he got it back, and now he gets PIT + ARI + SFG and I’m down for all of it. He’ll get a bump on The List tomorrow.

Hyun-Jin Ryu @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches.

Atta boy Ryu, I’m proud of ya. The Orioles are strong against lefties, and you’ve had yourself a trio of poor outings. But this is what good pitchers do, they bounce back. It’s not all roses, though — that changeup still ain’t what it’s supposed to be as he’s failing to get anything down like usual. Now it’s BAL, TBR, @BAL and while that seems tasty, the Rays have Wander up + the Orioles, as I already mentioned, are great vs. southpaws. Let’s hope the slow ball returns.

Kwang-Hyun Kim @ ATL (L) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 47 pitches.

He allowed a solo shot to Acuña and that was it, getting pulled a bit early in the short seven-inning game. He’s still a bit interesting, but with the low pitch count, I’d avoid for a good while.

Jordan Montgomery vs OAK (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 85 pitches.

Yesss, it’s always wonderful when The Bear has his changeup working — 11/26 whiffs on the slowball is an absolute dream. His mixed in cutters and curveballs as well, as he tossed sub 30% sinkers + four-seamers, and I think this is the ticket to success. It only works when the changeup and curveball are present, though, and that’s the endless struggle for JorMont. I hope it can return for the Red Sox next, that’s a heavily questionable start.

Tony Gonsolin @ ARI (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 46 pitches.

The Dodgers said they were going to limit Gonsolin to 45-60 pitches in this one, but it still doesn’t make it okay. His slider was featured just 20% of the time and I’m sad. Gonsolin deserves better. You can drop him as I imagine he won’t be turning heads again for a few weeks as he gets the pitch count back up + gets the feels back for his slide piece.

Dylan Bundy vs DET (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches.

The dude went four frames against the Tigers with just two strikeouts and a 1.75 WHIP. This ain’t it and if he’s still on your team, it just doesn’t seem like he’s worth the stash anymore. He held a 64% CSW on his slider yet just threw it 11 times. WHY.

JT Brubaker vs CLE (L) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 76 pitches.

Mmmmm that’s some warm Coffee Cakes! The man earned a King Cole as he did what he was supposed to do against the mediocre Cleveland offense. 11/27 slider whiffs because THAT’S WHAT’S UP. He gets @STL + MIL and sign me up for both.

Luis Castillo @ SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 103 pitches.

All three of his runs (two earned) came off a changeup hung a bit to Wil Myersand poked to the outfield for a little-league homer as Castillo looked pretty solid for most of this. His changeup got some whiffs (I want more than six, though), while he was chucking 98 mph and hitting 100. It was rad, even if a bit chaotic. He’s getting a rematch against the Pads and I’m a little cautious, but if he can keep the velocity and changeup, I’m game. I’m likely rolling with it.

Sammy Long vs PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

Whoaaaaa, look at this! Long was true to his name as he was stretched out to 84 pitches, tossing curveballs 39% of the time for a 42% CSW rate. That’s lovely. He’s slated to get the Athletics next and I’m not sure I’m game for that — it really is just that hook as I don’t trust his changeup and the 93 mph fastball is fine, not legit — but there are worse options out there.

Kenta Maeda @ TEX (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Save for the one Gallo absolutely CRUSHED, Maeda’s slider was a hero in this, with 9/42 whiffs and 33% CSW. It needed to be as his fastball and splitter were not as good as we’ve seen and I hope they return for Cleveland next. Huh, he had his splitter and not his slider time out. I hope we get the two good elements of the last two starts, not the bad. Anyway, I’ll be starting him.

Mike Minor vs BOS (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 107 pitches.

I gotta hand it to Minor, he pitched oddly well last time out despite the final line, dominated with a 90 mph heater before that, and in this one — still with a sub-91 mph heater — he did well with sliders and curveballs + a ton of changeups earning outs. The man made it work once again and he’s earned your consideration against the Rangers next time out.

Marco Gonzales vs TB (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

The WHIP isn’t there yet, but we’ll certainly take this level of production from Gonzo. His changeup was solid — the rest wasn’t — and I’m not sure it’s enough to hold for the Jays next. Is Marco someone you sit and hold? I don’t really think so.

Lance McCullers Jr. vs CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

The main question is “did he have his breakers back?” and this answer is…sorta. His curveball wasn’t the pristine hook (2/29 whiffs), but the slider earned 38% CSW and was the stable option for the day. This was an anxiety-ridden decision for you to start Lance and we’re glad he got the innings we wanted against a tough team. Now go dominate Detroit.

Sean Manaea @ NYY (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 98 pitches.

That’s a Gallows Pole for Manaea as the man didn’t throw a single breaker. Nope, this was sinkers and changeups, with the fastball going 20/72 whiffs. That’s right, his sinker earned 20 whiffs. UNBELIEVABLE. It sat 93.2 mph — well above the 91/92 average — and flat out dominated the Yankees. Manaea is in the midst of a career year with a sub-3.00 ERA (don’t let the ~1.20 WHIP fool you), and let’s keep riding this for as long it takes us.

Patrick Corbin vs NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.

Ummmm, that’s two great outings from Corbin, though his slider wasn’t nearly as good — 4/32 whiffs — but his fastball was great at 92.5 mph. He should have one more in him against the Marlins (hot dang!) before LAD and @SDP (oh dang) as he goes back to the wire. Hey, maybe he’s just so good there, too, but let’s just start him against Miami and take it from there.

Nathan Eovaldi @ KC (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

Ugh. We’re always at the whim of his secondary stuff and it was…pretty blegh here. None of his cutter, splitter, or curveball sat above a 20% CSW, leaving just four-seamers and about a dozen sliders. We need more. MOAR. It’s NYY + KCR next, but does that really matter? He’s a Cherry Bomb given the hyper-reliance on his stuff showing up or not. Up to you if you want that.

Eric Lauer @ COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

His cutter was good once again and I’ll consider this start “surviving” in Coors. I wonder if the Brewers will keep using him, though, and even if they do, is this really what you want to trust?

Casey Mize @ LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

Blegh. Blame Shohei and Walsh for this one as they each hit a longball to ruin Mize’s afternoon. Or you can blame his sinker that returned just 2/24 CSW. I think I’m gonna blame that instead. Why is Mize still throwing that sinker? I DON’T KNOW. The four-seamer is way better + his slider was solid once again. Just lean on those two and use the sinker/splitter/curve as surprise pitches. Tada! That’ll work as long as the slider does. Not elite, ace-like “work” but it’ll work.

Dallas Keuchel @ HOU (L) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 74 pitches.

Keuchel was run out of the game with 74 pitches in just eight outs, demolishing your WHIP along the way. He’s been making his yearly play at Spider-Man and that can still happen as he gets Detroit + Seattle next. This was Houston, don’t let this start mean you miss those solid performances.

Dane Dunning vs MIN (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 78 pitches.

Nooooooo. Streaming Record: 44-34. I didn’t like this in the first place, but I had some hope Dunning could overcome the tough matchup and squeeze out some good ratios, at least. It just wasn’t meant to be — I would consider him for the Royals next, though.

Taijuan Walker @ WSH (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.

Ugggggh, last time out, I said quote “I’ll start pushing Walker dramatically up The List.” and now…why did you have to pull an Avril and make things so complicated? Walker was bullied by Kyle Schwarber, even in the Careful, Icarus in the seventh as Schwarbs hit yet another longball off the reliever, scoring the inherited runner. Annnyway, Walker is still a solid play and while I don’t love his secondary stuff, his four-seamer was still solid here. The Mets schedule is wack and it looks like he gets Atlanta next and I’d still start him there.

Matt Harvey vs TOR (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

His slider was good but the rest was Matt Harvey. You don’t want to be that these days.

Bryse Wilson vs STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 65 pitches.

Sigh. There was a time where Wilson looked like a serviceable fantasy arm. We are not living in that time. 8/34 four-seamer whiffs at 41% CSW is cool, though.

Alex Young vs LAD (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 70 pitches.

Young got the Dodgers and you wouldn’t start him against the Phillies. ‘Nuff said.

Zach Eflin @ SF (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.

Womp womp. His slider was oddly missing here, leaning on changeups and curveballs as much as the sweeper, nearly an even 15% usage for each. Too bad they were all blegh. It’s the Mets and Marlins next, so we’re holding here.

Chi Chi González vs MIL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 73 pitches.

Yeaaaaah, at least he’s helping you avoid an addiction to a CCG.


Game of the Day 


Jacob deGrom vs I DON’T CARE – He’s facing Atlanta BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS.

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 Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Pardis (@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 “Grabbing a Six Mac”

  1. JB says:

    Always a pleasant surprise to check PitcherList late at night and see an SP Roundup fresh off the press.

    Whoever does your graphics is a talented dude/dudette.

  2. Junius says:

    Great write up on McClanahan, but Jonah, not Job right in the belly of the whale, right?

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