Just Like He Drew It Up

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

(Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire)

I’ve been all kinds of nervous about Andrew Heaney lately, but last night’s gorgeous 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks line against the Mariners, it’s hard not to rest a little easier. After the first out, it was a double, 2 walks, a Seager single that turned into a double with Chris Young straining his hamstring on the play, then a dropped K turned wild pitch scoring the third run. After that he went on cruise control after for just 3 baserunners and 9 Ks in 6.2 frames after and that’s all kinds of awesome. 37 CSW in 106 pitches, 19 whiffs (Gallows Pole!) as his Changeup + Curveball tallied 16 whiffs in 52 pitches and if you remember what I say about Heaney, it’s all about him getting swinging strikes. His previous five starts have all been sub 10%, and here’s to hoping he can continue in this direction.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Zack Wheeler – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Not the most dominating of starts, and 33 sliders with just 7 CSW is a bit meh – 7 fouls and 7 BIP = 21/33 strikes though. 2 whiffs on 15 splitters is kinda blegh too, and 6 fouls on the pitch dictate its lack of deception. However, four-seamer was averaging 97mph here – touched 99! – and that’s fantastic. 8/13 CSW on curveball as well and maybe Wheeler can be successful as long as his secondary offerings can steal strikes to set up high heaters. Rays are next and we just keep letting it ride for now.

Wade LeBlanc – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. It was a Vargas Rule for a while and now you’re wondering if LeBlanc can get it together for another little run. It’s not out of the question, I like to think you have better bets to make.

Antonio Senzatela – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Chad Bettis went to minors as Senz-A stepped in and this is impressive in Coors. Just 8 whiffs, but pounded the zone with heaters and the Giants couldn’t handle his 94+. Don’t love his repertoire though, and I’ll just give him the Rocky Mountain Way and move on.

Junior Guerra – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. I see 8 strikeouts and I instantly wonder if his splitter was doing things. It did – 6/21 whiffs – but is that enough? I guess? 21/89 CSW is pretty lame – 24 Fouls! – and I’m inclined to think Guerra got away with one here, especially since he threw just one slider all game. ONE! That’s the pitch that has made him succeed through the year. I’m scared for his next start against the Braves.

Zach Eflin – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – He left this game “early” with a blister on his right middle finger as he was just 82 pitches deep against the Orioles. He’s been all sorts of killing it and hopefully he’s able to make his next start against the Mets. I’m still a little wary of his secondary pitches – 12/40 CSW across his slider/curveball/changeup with just eight whiffs here –  but he’s pounding the zone and had BABIP go his way here. If someone is treating him like the “next big thing” ala Top 40 starter, I’d be selling way high as I don’t envision his repertoire producing consistent production like his last six starts.

Dallas Keuchel – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. I loved here how he stayed at the bottom of the zone against the Rangers. That’s great, though 25 foul balls and 30 CSW over 111 pitches is a little concerning as he’s not deceiving like he used to. Still, he’s moving lower in the zone and it could mean more success moving forward if he continues the trend as it may lead to more chases like we’re used to.

Clayton Kershaw – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – Yes it helps, no it’s not what you want. I want prime Kershaw. But Nick, it was in just 74 pitches! He got a Win! Just 2 whiffs on 27 sliders? 3 CSW on 13 curveballs? That’s not right.

Alex Cobb – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. 25 Splitters here for six whiffs. That’s cool, I guess.

Jake Odorizzi – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Odorizzi did the “high heat, low break” approach to an extreme yesterday and it produced nine strikeouts. Too bad he went a little overboard with the high heat, leading to four walks n all, but I’ll definitely take this from Jake. Not enough curveballs nor success with them for me to rethink him, though.

Zack Greinke – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeah I’m okay with this. Four Ks hold me back from the typical AGA blurb, but this helps and that’s cool.

Jack Flaherty – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Tates are annoying as Goldy smacked a 3-run shot in the fifth as Flaherty looked great overall here. 36/103 CSW with 18 whiffs including 10/33 whiffs on his slider, and 7/10 called strikes on his curveball is everything that we want. Great rebound despite the crooked 4 ER mark and you should feel great about Flaherty moving forward.

Michael Fulmer – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. We were all debating if we wanted to start Fulmer here and he gave us a VVPQS against the Cubs. Can’t say I like that for standard leagues at all, but at the same time, it’s not a dramatically terrible outing against one of the best offenses. It’s 100% blegh, but it doesn’t change my stance moving forward.

Chris Bassitt – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Like an up-and-coming dubstep DJ that is still trying to convince himself and parents that he’s going to make it, it’s time to Drop the Bassitt.

Ryan Yarbrough – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BB, 3 Ks. He started this one because he’s cool and wanted to help me out, but it didn’t help any of you out at all. I still don’t recommend rolling with him save for those in SP/RP situations as it’s just too unpredictable.

Domingo German – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Blegh. I wanted German to really flex his muscles after Loaisiga’s struggles on Monday (demoted to Triple-A, but he’ll be back for a DH on Monday vs. the Orioles), and his changeup was gone once again. It really is the glue that holds together German’s repertoire as he can’t do it consistently with just his fastball + curveball. Given equal opportunities in the long haul, I still favor Loaisiga, though it may be a moot point as the Yanks will probably get a fifth starter and kick one of them out. Or maybe Sonny Gray loses his job? Maybe…maybe…For now, I’m holding German for his start against Toronto on Sunday.

Kyle Hendricks – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Hendricks’ sinker was bad against the Tigers – it’s been bad for a bit – and I’m all for dropping him for a solid flier on the wire. Hold if there aren’t any definitive options, but it’s not looking good.

Marco Estrada – 0.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hit, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Estrada was pulled with a hip injury and that’s that. He had a tough schedule ahead anyway, so if he’s going to hit the DL at some point, at least he was smart about. Estrada…what a veteran.

Brain Johnson – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Rostering Johnson puts you on a Highway to Hell.

Anthony DeSclafani – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Disco, buddy, this was the ChiSox. I like to think you can be a Toby, but I couldn’t even put you on The List last week as I didn’t feel confident with you even in weak matchups like this. Be better. 

Shane Bieber – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. A little disappointing vs. Royals, as save for the W, there is nothing to gain from this one. That’s an absurd 11 H/9 with a .380 BABIP as he’s allowed only 8.6% soft contact and 45.2% hard. Yikes. Slider worked, curveball is okay, fastball was meh. I do wonder if his fastball is always going to be hittable – obviously not this hittable, but just an average fastball isn’t what we want. Still rolling here though, Reds are next.

Trevor Richards – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. This is the Trevor we all know and hate.

Clayton Richards – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! I don’t know about you, but it feels nice to finally say that when both start on the same day. As if to say, “Yes Richards, you’re definitely the wrong one.”

Austin Bibens-Dirkx – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Diggerx gave us four strikeouts this time. I’m really proud of him. Wait, he allowed— I’M STILL PROUD OF HIM.

Sean Newcomb – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. This was against the Yanks but boy was he bad. 20% CSW, he couldn’t buy a strike as his changeup/curveball weren’t working and he was afraid to attack with heat. I’m not benching him against the Brewers, but I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention that if Newcomb were to falter, it would be when one of his secondary pitches isn’t there as his fastball isn’t enough to push through an outing.

Danny Duffy – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Duffy’s rough schedule continued and we didn’t expect this go well, even with his last two games faring his way. We can ignore this start for the most part, but even with that aside I wouldn’t go after him.

Lucas Giolito – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Womp womp. I was kinda hoping Giolito would gain some momentum after being decent with his curveball last time out but, well, there it is.

Ivan Nova – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. You wanted a Super Nova and you got Ivan the Horrible instead. Ayyyy about time you came up with that. Seriously, I’m not proud of myself.

Chris Stratton – 5.2 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. The good news here is that Stratton is the clear odd man out, making Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez locked in the rotation. This is a good thing.

Tanner Roark – 7.0 IP, 9 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Hooooo boy this is terrible as terrible gets. It was the Sawx so you had an easy bench, but it really doesn’t make you feel good about Roark. But wait! We didn’t feel good about Roark even before this start! I can see a lot of people dropping him after this and that’s totally fine, but I think he’s an okay play against the Marlins next as crazy as that sounds. And, you know what, maybe even the Mets after. If you didn’t drop him before a start against the Sawx, are you really going to now?

Today’s Streamer

Jaime Barria vs. Seattle Mariners – He survived the Red Sox, so let’s take a shot against the Mariners. I’m dumb and didn’t catch how Richards is returning today to take Barria’s spot EVEN IF I CALLED HIM THE GAME OF THE DAY. Ahem, I’ll go with Sal Romano vs. Chicago White Sox in a day of horrific streaming choices as I don’t want to go with Andrew Suarez in Coors.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Max Fried vs. Milwaukee Brewers He was feeling his curveball last time and it could happen again.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Dereck Rodriguez vs. St. Louis Cardinals – I don’t see a reason to stop this train.

Game of the Day

Garrett Richards vs. Seattle Mariners – It’s a DLH, but I’m excited to see Richards back on the hill.

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 “Just Like He Drew It Up”

  1. Drew says:

    Watched the Bieber start and seemed like his control was not with him. First home run was crushed. Then he got lucky on his outs, so balls that were crushed that got caught but the. Unlucky with some hits, a couple of flairs and infield hits. Bieber definitely needs his control because if he hangs pitches or needs to be in the zone constantly he will get hit

  2. VottomanEmpire says:

    not sure we can stream Barria effectively when Richards is starting!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      …Why didn’t I realize this. Thanks!

      These are horrendous choices today and I hate everything. I’ll go with Sal Romano – YES SAL ROMANO – against the ChiSox as I don’t want to start Suarez in Coors.

  3. theKraken says:

    The Flarety game was blacked out for me (as was every other game?), but I watched the cast… he was getting jobbed on called strikes early. It could have been quite a bit better.

  4. Buck says:

    I’m counting seven articles plus a podcast posted here on a major holiday. The baseball site that charges me $44.95/year pretty much took the day off, so I really appreciate the effort, Nick & co.

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