Hard Knocks Gibson

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Thursday's games.

What a weird season it’s been for Kyle Gibson, acting as a good but not great arm through the first two months of the year, stumbling in June, then picking it back up in July only to be a massive disappointment from August til now, culminating in last night’s 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. He has been battling stomach issues that put him on the IL, but we were hoping by now he would have settled back in to take advantage of the Royals. And now’s the tricky part. Is he going to be good enough to take on the Tigers next week? Maybe you have the luxury to make that decision the day-off on Wednesday, I’m going to suggest considering the other options on the wire. His command was off yesterday, nibbling a bit too much with heaters and failing to land his curveball or slider for strikes, while his changeup floated like root-beer and ice cream. This isn’t the steady strike-throwing arm that we want for a start against the Tigers. It’s possible he gets it together in time, but I’d hate to bank on that for my championship week.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Mike Clevinger6.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 31% CSW and a smooth start for Clev against the Tigers. As expected. Every party needs a good MC to lead the way.

Anthony Kay – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Soooo Kay got the Win and this actually worked. Streaming Record: 99-64. Okay, if you’re in a QS league maybe not, but I’m a bit amazed that this actually played out. Wild. Now we can forget this ever happened.

Eduardo Rodriguez6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Yet another Gallows Pole for Eduardo as he took full advantage of his date with Giants. 39/107 CSW with 21 whiffs is stupid good, going 28/64 CSW alone on fastballs. Even his cutter did a good job of earning strikes and oddly enough, his changeup was middling. This was a start of beautiful fastball command and he coasted. Now, you’re going to hear a lot of chatter about this September in the off-season. He’s a top 30 SP! His breakout has already started! He won me my playoffs! It’s wonderful and lovely and I don’t buy it. HE IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS. Sorry for yelling, but the reason we endured the horrible ratios across his first 25 starts (4.31 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) was because of this upside. It’s a 3.53 ERA and 1.30 now with these seven starts after – that’s how good they have been – starts with a 1.00 ERA and 3.52 SIERA. Not that it’s a bad run that’s undeserved, it’s just Eduardo hasn’t fixed something. He hasn’t made a leap in his repertoire or added velocity, rather he currently has a feel for his fastball. And that’s wonderful but a short term benefit, not one to bank on for a full season ahead. You’re going to get the turmoil again in 2020 and I’d rather look elsewhere.

Jack Flaherty8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s not gonna stop this year. And that’s a wonderful thing.

Jordan Lyles4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Look at Lyles go, doing his best to give you production despite getting pulled in the fifth frame, doing an unbelievable job of avoiding the heart of the plate. With the Reds next, I think you’re okay starting him there unless you need a Win.

Daniel Norris3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. This is perfectly fine from Norris…not Drew VerHagen who showed up after with 1.1 frames of 6 ER. Yikes. During the morning cast I initially suggested VerHagen as a sneaky play, then retracted realizing Clevinger was starting and a Win was unlikely. PHEW. I feel bad for those that didn’t hear that though as I was initially excited for this to be a 4-D Chess move and it backfired in the worst way. We can forget all about it now as the Twins would be next as these guys move on to 2020.

Masahiro Tanaka7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Tanaka got the weak Angels and didn’t waste his opportunity. 31% CSW with a good splitter and slider and with Texas next, you can bet we’re comfortable letting him fly.

Joe Musgrove5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. A sloppy second frame led to four runs (two earned) that slowed down this outing, but overall, I’ll take it. Velocity was still hovering 94 mph, even earning 18 whiffs along the way across his repertoire. Now it’s risk time as he takes on the Cubs, I’m leaning start there. This is as good of a Musgrove we’ve seen.

Mike Soroka5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s not overly sexy, but that’ll work Soroka. Thanks for not being like the rest of em.

Joey Lucchesi4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Nah, let’s do this one again. I wanted a Lucchesi, not a Fugghesi. But seven strikeouts! But my ratios are hurt. I know you went to Milwaukee, Joey, but that doesn’t mean you need to last just four frames. I’d consider dropping him now as he gets the Dodgers for his final start of the year.

Gabriel Ynoa6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Whoa, you got slightly better from a PQS from Ynoa. That’s absolutely wild. Still another loss (1-9 on the year) and a HAISTFMFWT?! that helped you only in WHIP if you’re in a non-QS league. So yeah, no thanks Gabe.

Kyle Hendricks5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhhh this doesn’t help. We have you for ratios, Hendricks, you need to be better. This was a disappointing day for a trio of aces and for each you just need to hope you’re still playing next week to start them again.

Yusei Kikuchi4.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. It’s wild to me that Y2K can’t even live up to his nickname. HAISTFMFWT?! This was the Pirates, if you didn’t know, which does wonders to kill any hope we have of a productive start against the A’s.

Madison Bumgarner5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Blegh. I know it was the Red Sox, but they didn’t have Betts or JD and Bumgarner has been a stable rock all year. I feel for y’all that needed him to do more here.

Mike Montgomery4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. We didn’t expect anything here against the Twins, so I’m not disappointed. Just selectively ignorant. That’s not a thing. Imagine it is. Please, for me.

Aaron Nola5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Bleeeegggh. We needed you Nola. I know the Braves are hot n all, but this should have been a bit better. You know that, we know that. Yes, I’m starting him still against the Nats.

Andrew Heaney5.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. We had a bit of fear rolling with Heaney against the Yanks and it did burn us a bit. I will say, 30/90 CSW with 18 whiffs and solid pitch separation is still a good thing, but allowing a pair of HRs and walking three isn’t going to work in New York. His last start is against the A’s and I think I’d lean start there given his skill set being intact. A bit risky, clearly.


Today’s Streamer


For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.


Drew Smyly vs. Cleveland Indians – I have my concerns about Smyly and his current approach, but he has been a bit hotter lately and could return value against a Jose Ramirez-less offense.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Ivan Nova vs. Detroit Tigers – Voth and Sheff got pushed to Sunday, so we’re left with Nova. Please go super. Please.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Justus Sheffield vs. Baltimore Orioles – He got pushed back a day, so we’re going with him on Sunday now.


Game of the Day


Jacob deGrom vs. Luis Castillo – deGrom always gets the best matchups. And worst, I guess, but best for fans like me.


(Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire)

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.

6 responses to “Hard Knocks Gibson”

  1. Frankie says:

    It all comes down to this!
    Sounds like you are really liking Sheffield @ BAL, but do you like him more than Voth @ MIA? Or would ya pass on both to preserve Ratios and instead grab Bailey for next week. I know. We’re talking about Bailey, Sheffield and Voth to get to the Championship matchup. Baseball is nuts, right?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I do, similar floors but higher ceiling for Sheff.

      Baseball is weiiiiiird.

      • Todd says:

        What about Mikolas vs. Sheff on Sunday? Still going Sheff?

        • Nick Pollack says:


        • theKraken says:

          I will always go with the more proven arm – Mikolas is not perfect but he can throw a gem – it depends what you are chasing. Chef is a 4+ BB/9 guy in the best case. He walked nearly 7 per 9 in AAA over a much larger sample this year. Going 5 innings is nowhere near a given and he is ratio poison. Yes, BAL is terrible, but so were the AAA guys that crushed him all year long.

  2. theKraken says:

    I don’t think the Braves offense has been hot. They have scored 10 runs in their last 4 games and Freeman hasn’t been great since he got lifted earlier this week. They are winning but their offense hasn’t been special as a whole.

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