Had A Vlad Day

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Vladimir Gutiérrez @ MIA (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 67 pitches.

When it gets to be the end of August, we often look toward good, not great arms to pull us to the end, driven by the force of their comfortable schedule. Vladimir Gutiérrez has been one of those men for us and today’s date with the Marlins seemed to be easy money. But no, we weren’t destined to have a good time, and Vlad went 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 67 pitches as he couldn’t come through against Miami.

What happened is pretty simple: Vladimir didn’t have his command. We’ve seen many games of Gutiérrez spotting his four-seamers in a quadrant, then featuring sliders, changeups, and curveballs all around to befuddle hitters. It just wasn’t the case here and even with their lacking bats, the Marlins were able to capitalize. The Tigers are coming to Cincy next time out and I can see some letting Vlad go given he couldn’t handle the Marlins. Me? I think this was a blip. The command should return.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Kyle Gibson vs ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 99 pitches.

That’s seven straight starts now for Gibson where he hasn’t exceeded 3 ER, all of which with at least six frames save for a date with the Dodgers. Welp, guess he’s on another run despite failing to earn consistent whiffs or even a good CSW. It doesn’t matter, start the man, he gets Miami next, after all.

Adam Wainwright @ PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

What a remarkable season. That curveball is still incredible and while it’s easier against poor offenses, you still need to execute and follow through on the gift given to you. You love to see it.

Frankie Montas vs NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

This is getting pretty dumb, so much so that I see 16 whiffs from Montas and think “Just sixteen?!” I don’t care who he faces next (it’s Toronto), I’m starting him everywhere. Montas, Waino, and Webb all get this love right now. Embrace it.

José Ureña vs TOR (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 49 pitches.

He came back for 49 pitches and wasn’t on anyone’s fantasy team. As it should be, because if you roster José, Ureña boatload of trouble.

Alec Mills @ CWS (W) – 8.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 103 pitches.

Leave it to Mills to face the White Sox and out duel Lance Lynn for 25 outs. Unreal. The ChiSox hit into plenty of outs here and Mills just kept plodding along through the game. It’s a TEEs of a start, but then again, he gets the Pirates next sooooo I guess we’re buying in for a night.

Logan Webb @ ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.

Do you roster Webb? Good, now don’t even think about not starting him. He’s in one of those rhythms like Germán Márquez or Zack Wheeler back in 2018. Just don’t say anything and keep starting him and we’ll talk about 2022 over the winter.

Corey Knebel vs COL (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 19 pitches.

Knebel opened for David Pricewho tossed 3.2 frames of 2 ER ball with one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!and I hope all of y’all have moved on by now. It’s just not worth your roster spot.

Daniel Lynch @ SEA (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 104 pitches.

Soooo this didn’t go as planned as Lynch served us a “Dusty Donut.” That ERA is certainly what we want, but a 2.00+ WHIP and just 4.2 frames ain’t it. Streaming Record: 78-60. It’s wild, his slider…wasn’t wild and earned 12/45 whiffs – it’s exactly what you want! – but he wasted a decent amount of them + the four-seamer and changeup just couldn’t do the rest. I’m still encouraged about Lynch for September, but just wait until after his next start against the ChiSox, okay?

Cal Quantrill vs BOS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.

What a ride this is. Y’all know me, I see this like a Dereck Rodriguez situation where Quantrill is on a nice run, but we’re not drafting him in 2022 – the slider and fastball are good, but not exceptional. We know this won’t last. But hey, Keep starting him as a Vargas Rule all you want. I’d do the same.

Jon Gray @ LAD (ND) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 47 pitches.

Gray left this one early with forearm tightness. Sigh. Injuries are the worst. I think you’re safe to drop, but feel free to wait a day or two as we get more info.

Sandy Alcantara vs CIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 29 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 98 pitches.

He’s blossoming right in front of us and it’s just…so beautiful. that’s a Golden Goal on the back of – get this – 17 slider whiffs. That’s right, Sandy is starting to get a feel for the breaker and leaned on it nearly 3x more than the changeup. IT’SHAPPENING.GIF. Look at the precision of the pitch, locating them down-and-away from right-handers. He’s following the trend of Zack Wheeler and I really hope this wasn’t a one-night thing. Trust the slider, Sandy. I’ll be waiting with bated breath for his next start.

Michael Wacha @ BAL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

Wacha had the two elements he needs for success – a 95 mph heater & a whiff-heavy changeup. It’s just like the old days in St. Louis. Sadly, these days that adds up to getting pulled in the fifth inning. Womp womp.

Alek Manoah @ DET (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 103 pitches.

I find it funny how I still haven’t seen the changeup become a legit #3 offering, but Manoah’s fastballs + slider are so good it doesn’t matter. I wonder what he’ll look like when the slow ball develops down the road…can’t wait.

Marcus Stroman vs WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

His slider was fantastic once again – 45% CSW! – and that’s all you need to know here. Keep starting the man, he’ll get a little raise on The List on Monday.

Sean Nolin @ NYM (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 71 pitches.

For once, he’s happy he’s No Lynn. Ayyyy. But seriously, I’m shocked his changeup + curveball returned 54% CSW combined and that just isn’t right. The Mets really are that poor these days, aren’t they? Sean will get the Mets a second time and that’s kinda tempting. Naaah, I can’t do it. He tosses a mediocre 90/91 mph heater that will get swatted around in a week. It’s not worth it.

José Suarez vs SD (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 73 pitches.

Blegh. It was the Padres and you didn’t want it anyway, but I had a small sliver of hope Suarez could show something that would make me confident streaming him next weekend against Texas. I still might, but this doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.

Nathan Eovaldi @ CLE (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 97 pitches.

I gotta hand it to Eovaldi. I think I should raise him a decent amount on The List given how consistent he’s been with that curveball + there are days like today where the slider and/or cutter + splitter can show up, too. He’s truly figuring it out.

Framber Valdez @ TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 85 pitches.

His curveball was legit in this one, while his sinker earned all the called strikes he wanted. That’s the best version of Valdez and it does come down to that sinker earning strikes instead of hits. He has a test against the Padres next, but if he pitches like this, he’ll be just fine.

John Means vs TB (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.

Means fastball is steadily rising again, now at 93.5 mph and that’s lovely. What isn’t is his questionable changeup and curveball command. He isn’t at the place we saw at the end of 2020/start of this season and I really hope we see it before the end. I know it’s in there.

Huascar Ynoa vs SF (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 96 pitches.

It’s weird to see a start with just one slider whiff from Ynoa, but at least he got 14 called strikes with the pitch, doing its best to mask to a fastball that earned just 10% CSW here. Whatever, that 90% contained a ton of foul balls and outs, so everything’s cool. Now he gets Coors and it gets legit tough to make a choice. I kinda wanna say yes, but, you know, Coors.

Néstor Cortes Jr. @ OAK (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

Blegh. This only hurts as Néstor wasn’t able to replicate the magic of his previous couple of starts. At least he’s still earning whiffs, though, and it’s not like he hit a massive wall here. He’ll get another chance against the Orioles and I think that’s alright for you to start him.

Tyler Anderson vs KC (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.

If you streamed Anderson again, this one worked too. The man is a Toby machine and that’s a wonderful thing.

Charlie Barnes vs MIL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 64 pitches.

Barnes is hoping to be a Toby and he’s going to keep looking out that window for a while. If only I had a red tie…

Ryan Weathers @ LAA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 54 pitches.

Ugh Weathers, could you have done this and not hit Shohei Ohtani in the process? HE BETTER BE OKAY. Sorry, sorry, I’m sure you feel terrible about it and I don’t mean to yell. He’s just, so dang precious. Anyway, this is a HAISTBMBWT?! and nothing else of note. Man, I really saw something cool that April game against the Dodgers that was never replicated with ya. Bummer.

Humberto Mejía @ PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 92 pitches.

Humberto couldn’t pull it off the second start in a row and y’all know he doesn’t have the stuff that speaks to demanding your attention. More like Ho-Humberto, sadly.

Kolby Allard vs HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 99 pitches.

Sup Dralla. Guess you were dealt a tough hand against the Astros and this is exactly what we expected. I missed the days when we surprised each other. Me too Kolby. Me too.

Adrian Houser @ MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 94 pitches.

The man just doesn’t have enough in that repertoire, it’s that simple. Against the weakest of teams, there’s a chance it can work. Against the Twins? Nah.

Lance Lynn vs CHC (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 95 pitches.

He had a 2.20 ERA entering this start. This isn’t the beginning of the end, it just didn’t go his way in this one and it’s a One Night Bland. That’s baseball, Suzyn.

Steven Brault vs STL (L) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 66 pitches.

Yikes. The Cardinals aren’t nearly as rough offensively as they were when I started using the “Cardinal Rule” and Brault learned that the hard way. There’s always a chance he squeezes out something useful, but this is the floor. Don’t forget when you’re faced with a tough decision in September.


Game of the Day 


Anthony DeSclafani vs. Ian Anderson – Both pitchers have been Top 40 this year and are coming back from the IL on this day. Wild, eh?

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

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Photo from Joe Robbins | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong 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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