Jacob’s Sadder

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Jacob deGrom vs SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 80 pitches.

I don’t normally lead with aces, but it’s time for a Jacob deGrom appreciation post. It felt like he was destined for a perfect game as he went 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks against the Padres yesterday (18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 80 pitches) and we later found he was pulled a little early due to Right Flexor Tendonitis and I’m still so terribly sad. So here are some deGrom facts that deserve love.

He has more RBI (5) than ER allowed (4). He has a 0.56 ERA through ten starts with a 0.53 WHIP and 46% strikeout rate. His 21.2% SwStr this year would be the highest of any qualified starter since we calculated it…if not for his 21.6% clip in 2020. He essentially throws just two pitches – four-seamer and slider – and to the same spots regardless of handedness: glove-side and down and it does not matter if they know it’s coming. We don’t deserve him and now that we likely see him again until post All-Star break (if we’re lucky) is…pain. Lots of pain. I’m tempted to make the first tier of The List on Monday empty and to start with “Tier 2” in his honor, but until then, we have to adapt and move on. Let’s hope he’s back and dominating in August.


Update: It looks like we’ve seen reports that deGrom could be okay and make his next start. YES. I’m not quite sold that he will – this is clearly an issue and it would be wise to at least let him take a start off – but I’m very happy to see that the early reports look incorrect and my pessimism seems misplaced. Phew, sorry for the worry!


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Clayton Kershaw vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. I guess with deGrom down, he’s the TATIAGA again, especially as he earned a Gallows Pole with 14 slider whiffs. The guy is dang good, bringing down his ERA to 3.39 and WHIP to 0.97. Don’t overthink this.

Ryan Yarbrough vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 79 pitches.

Atta boy Yarbrough. The Fratty Pirate earned himself a Win as a proper starter for once, doing so even as a southpaw against a hot Baltimore squad that performs better against lefties. It was the standard affair of changeups and cutters hanging off the outside corner to right-handers, with some curveball sprinkled in as well. He’s in a good place right now and I’d trust it against the Nationals next.

Aaron Civale vs SEA (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 101 pitches.

Hahahaha. Fast and I have been wondering what Civale needs to do to get the strikeouts back and it clearly awakened Civale as he earned himself a King Cole against eight frames. His curveball was the pitch we know it to be with 48% CSW across 1/4 of all his pitches, while his cutter and four-seamer did excellent work over the plate. Even his splitter got in the action with 5/12 whiffs as Seattle, once again, gave us a glorious outing. It could keep going for Civale with BAL, @CHC, DET next and let’s hope he’s in a rhythm now that sticks.

Max Scherzer vs SF (ND) – 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 0% CSW, 6 pitches.

Oh cool, it’s a Friday where we lose both deGrom and Scherzer ON THE SAME DAY. At least with Max it seems a little better – he’s dealing with a groin strain and could be back a bit sooner. Let’s hope it’s just a start or two.

Anthony DeSclafani @ WSH (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 103 pitches.

Hot dang! Tony Disco is proving to be something more than a Toby but not an ace as he can’t be trusted against a legit offense. Let’s all collectively thank Mike Tauchman as well for pulling back a HR. His traditional slider/fastball combo was in motion and with ARI, PHI, OAK ahead, I’m holding for all three. Things are cool here.

Cole Irvin vs KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 62 pitches.

You know, I debated Dunn vs. Irvin as the streamer and I hate how I chased Dunn’s upside over this. NEVER AGAIN! Anyway, it’s not exciting from Irvin as I see him as a Toby and it’s a question mark if he’s worth it against the Angels next. Only 62 pitches here should be a factor, too – can he go over 80 next start?

Bailey Ober vs HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 73 pitches.

Whoaaaa, what?! Easily the most shocking of the outings as he earned 20/73 called strikes to push a 36% CSW and seven strikeouts against the mighty Houston lineup. I don’t quite buy his four-seamer performing this well and the fact that no pitch earned more than three whiffs is a bit questionable – his slider went 5/9 called strikes and 0 whiffs – and I wouldn’t bank on this repeating. But hot dang, that was cool.

Chase De Jong @ MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 90 pitches.

Hey it worked! Well, kinda, that’s a 1.60 WHIP and just two strikeouts, but a 3.60 ERA! That’s kinda good, right? Maybe? No? Okay fine.

Brandon Woodruff vs PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s funny how we see this and think Ugh, just five strikeouts?! How dare you Woody, how dare you.

Shohei Ohtani @ ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.

What a wild pitch velocity chart from Ohtani as he was sitting low 90s until pushing it to upper 90s for a moment…then falling back down. I think he’s electing to hold back a bit to help out his command, then push himself when he needs to, with a 99 mph fastball with cut action included. I’m all for this – it explains the velocity dip! – and it’s clearly working. Stupid two balks + fouling a ball off his knee, but hey looks like that doesn’t matter, right? He’ll rise on The List on Monday as things are looking like they’re starting to click.

Sandy Alcantara vs ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 97 pitches.

I won’t give him the AGA label – I’m trying to be a little conservative with them – but if he’s able to dominate both the Cardinals and Jays next, I’ll be happy when he gives me no choice. A bit shocking to see him lean more on the slider than changeup in this one as the slow ball simply wasn’t the overwhelming pitch it’s been before, but it’s good to see the sweeper step up when needed. He’s dope and it’s yet another Quality Start in the books.

Lucas Giolito @ DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 105 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He’s so far removed from that four-start hiccup, let’s just forget it ever happened.

Merrill Kelly vs LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.

Did it work? Maybe? I’m thrilled to see Kelly at 93.2 mph (normally around 91 mph!) and his curveball did a solid job as his #2. Sadly, his cutter and changeup weren’t really there and needed that one final pitch to truly make it come together. This is encouraging, though, and I think I’m down for Oracle Park + MIL next.

Keegan Akin @ TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 95 pitches.

Womp womp. Just 91 mph on the heater and while his slider earned five whiffs, it just wasn’t enough. Don’t ignore Akin completely as a possible streamer later in the year, but we’re there yet.

Blake Snell @ NYM (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 71 pitches.

Uggggggh. I have a problem of getting too excited when a change is made and not waiting long enough to ensure it’s sticking. Robbie RaySure, the change is real. Snell throwing sliders for strikes? Yeah, just 1/6 CSW here. He relied too much on heaters and his curveball wasn’t the heavy zone rate pitch Snell needs a breaker to do. The schedule isn’t too rough, though – Reds, Sneks, Phillies – and I’ll likely be starting him for all of it. It’s a grind now, let’s hope he gets out of this. He should, but it’s a process.

Jose Urquidy @ MIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 103 pitches.

Look at this, Urquidy earned himself a share of the Gallows Pole as he fanned eight in Minnesota. We finally got the full array of pitches as everything earned at least a 29% CSW and 10% usage, with his changeup returning to form as the true #2 pitch – we’re talking 9/29 whiffs and 45% CSW for the slow ball. Great stuff and he has one final challenge left before his respite – the White Sox. Let him fly.

Tarik Skubal vs CWS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 96 pitches.

It wasn’t quite the reflection of his last outing that we wanted as he faced the ChiSox a second time, but a PQS with six strikeouts against a strong offense ain’t so bad for a developing pitcher. His slider wasn’t quite as dominant (25% CSW with five whiffs) and his heater wasn’t able to do the rest of the work. He gets the Royals next, though, and I’d keep rolling with Skubs.

Brady Singer @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.

PQS with a 1.00 WHIP and seven strikeouts? YES PLEASE. It’s the same story from Singer as normal as it’s just sinker/slider, but it was good to see the slider doing its best and even earning six whiffs on sinkers. Enjoy the Tigers next.

Charlie Morton @ MIA (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

I’d say this is the most disappointing outing of the night as Morton should have steamrolled Miami. Four walks is the biggest surprise, failing to find consistency with his heater. Ugh, the velocity is there, his curveball is good enough, and this should be working – after all, it was just 9 ER total across his previous six starts. I’m still rolling him out there against the Cardinals next.

Tyler Mahle vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 95 pitches.

Ehhhh that’s a bit unlucky for 4/6 baserunners to score as the skill set of Mahle is very much intact. It’s too bad – we all wanted absolute dominance from the gift of Rockie Road and we got no ice cream, just us muttering Awww, nuts.

Ross Stripling @ BOS (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

This Jays vs Sawx start had avoid for both pitchers written all over it as we’re here to focus on the skills, not the results. What we got from Stripling was the heater still performing well – 7/49 whiffs! – while the secondary stuff is sadly still lacking. Now it’s the Yankees and I’d hold off, but if he can take a small step forward, it could make his following outing against the Marlins worthwhile.

Garrett Richards vs TOR (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.

Is the slider back yet? No? Then why am I holding Richards?! I DON’T KNOW.

Johan Oviedo @ CHC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 73 pitches.

I still dig the stuff of Oviedo – 95/96 mph + a 53% slider and a curveball that went 5/9 on called strikes – but the command just isn’t there yet. He’s a Young Gun and I look forward to the sleeper posts in the 2022 off-season.

Justin Dunn @ CLE (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 72 pitches.

Blegh. Streaming Record: 41-29. I clearly need to listen to my own terms more often as Dunn came back from a short IL stint and I didn’t adhere to the rules of Still ILLI was thinking it was just one start skipped and he’d benefit from the rest to keep his velocity hinting 95 mph with at least one breaker earned whiffs. What we got was 93.5 (nope) and just 3/32 whiffs on breaks (definitely nope). He gets the Rays next and I think it’s not worth it until we see the skills again.

Kohl Stewart vs STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 73 pitches.

You have to root beer for Stweart’s success and it’s just not there yet as he’s trying to mix in cutters effectively with his low 90s heater. I’m avoiding in all leagues, including 15-teamers.

Mike Foltynewicz @ LAD (L) – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 58 pitches.

Yeaaaaaah. Folty is not someone to Anderson chase and against the Dodgers? Yeah he’s definitely not someone to de Jong chase.

Kyle Freeland @ CIN (L) – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 69 pitches.

Yikes. Leaving Coors and heading to Cincy isn’t the best tradeoff and Freeland is a shell of his former self. And look, I know some people who see shells and they’re selling them. Smart people, they are.

Game of the Day 


Alex Cobb vs. Caleb Smith – I’m hoping Cobb has the same skills + I’d love to see Caleb tossing 92+ with at least one of his slider or changeup working.


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


Photo by Brian Rothmuller/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.

5 responses to “Jacob’s Sadder”

  1. Will says:

    Holy crap what is all this doom and gloom about the DeGrom injury? When I went to bed people were saying he might not miss a start. Nick thinks after the ASB “if we’re lucky”?!?!?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey! I may be completely wrong! The last I saw was he’ll need time to rest + rehab.

      I would be *SO* happy if he’s okay, I’m assuming the Mets won’t push him.

  2. Lion says:

    Nick, is there new news on deGrom!?
    He made it sound like it wasn’t a bug deal in postgame and thinks he will make next start.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey! I didn’t catch the news that deGrom would make his next start. Given the news and everything I read, it seems like it’s an injury that requires rest + a rehab stint of some kind.

      It doesn’t really change anything from a fantasy – if he’s starting, you start him. If he’s on the IL, you obviously stash and hold.

  3. txsock says:

    Something that surprised me was how good the SF offense has been. For the season, last 30, last 14, their team wOBA is top 10. I used to see my pitcher facing the Giants and be happy, but we may need to rethink that. I’d stay away from Merrill Kelly @SF, or any streamer types for that matter.

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