Living Every Day Like It’s Nola Day

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

It’s been such a struggle of a year for Aaron Nola. His curveball wasn’t getting whiffs. Then he couldn’t find his changeup. And suddenly his fastball command just wasn’t there. We’ve been watching him piece together each part of his repertoire and last time out it came together. We were hoping it would stick and yesterday’s gorgeous 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks line against the Mets (I know, The Mets) confirmed it all. 33% CSW, a dominating curveball, changeups that created awkward outs, fastballs establishing on both sides of the plate, it was all there. I think it’s time again. It’s time to live every day like it’s Nola Day. Get. PUMPED. Does this mean he’s Top 10 again? Okay, I have to keep my cool n all so I can’t raise Nola massively due to two starts of this, but I will be pushing him up inside the Top 15. Maybe at 13? 14? That sounds about right. 

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Zack Wheeler6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. So the other side was Wheeler and it was just so much fun. Seriously, I even did this on our Discord because I was enjoying myself so much during the Maikel Franco at-bat (I was out of the office, so no video breakdown, this time). Wheller did an amazing job of avoiding the heart of the plate, keeping plenty elevated while featuring a slider with plenty more depth than we’ve seen for 15/25 strikes at 91/92 mph. Still, it wasn’t so sharp that it could put away batters – 1/25 whiffs – and neither his curveball nor splitter could be that putaway offering, allowing 37 foul balls in this one. 37! Wheeler is doing the right things with his heater to get him ahead effectively, one day he’ll show up with one of these three pitches truly working and it’ll be game over man. GAME OVER! Meanwhile, as long as his heater is dancing on both sides of the plate like today, we can endure the days in-between.

Ariel Jurado7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Just for one day, I gave up my voice and became part of this world. It was wonderful. Streaming Record: 53-32. I don’t think I’ll be going back there any time soon, though. I like my voice.

Joe Musgrove6.0 IP, 0 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. SWEET. Velocity is up to 93/94 with four-seamers as a focus, and for some reason Savant is saying he’s throwing a cutter now, though I suspect it’s sliders that are getting separated for some reason. Regardless, he’s pitching well but this isn’t breakout city. Those nine hits are a product of the lack of filth in his stuff (just 7 whiffs here) as he’s better but not fully there regarding his approach. There could still be some hiccups here as his 1.50 WHIP stays a little elevated. 

Chase Anderson5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Chase what matters. So, not Chase? Not Chase. Something else.

Spencer Turnbull2.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Turnbull left this one with a sore shoulder after showcasing diminished velocity and scared all of us. Fortunately, the MRI was clean, but there’s still some worry here. It’s okay to drop Turnbull after this.

Alex Young5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid debut for the guy that will have to change his last name when he turns 50 or so. He certainly pitches like it already, coming in with a sub 90 mph heater. Wait, really? Yeah. I was disappointed too. This isn’t the young arm you’re looking for and I can imagine he’ll have some decent boring starts that will make you consider it, but the ceiling is not worth the risk.

Tyler Beede5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s not sexy but it’s fine. I’m not making a friendship bracelet out of Tyler’s Beedes. That’s a stretch. Yeah, like suggesting you to roster him. Fair.

Griffin Canning6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Mmmmmm, that’s the Griffin I know and want perched on my shoulder forever. Griffins are too large to perch on your shoulder. NOT MY SHOULDER. Canning has a 15% swinging-strike rate this year. That’s stupid good. Speaking of stupid and good, his changeup showed up in a big way here, boasting 8/20 CSW as he dramatically reduced his curveball usage. It’s interesting and not something I’m expecting will stick, but it’s great to see him use the slow ball effectively when his deuce wasn’t there. In short, 31/91 CSW is no surprise from Canning these days (Gallows Pole at 14 whiffs) as he’s already making me excited for 2020.

Martin Perez7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Perez, you’re such a monster. You drop your velocity down more than two ticks in your previous game, then bounce back up to 94.6 mph – nearly 2.5 ticks – in this start. JUST KIDDING! Ha. Ha. Ha. So funny. And I can’t even be mad because I’m happy it returned. It’s just…how am I supposed to do this when you just can’t be consistent? Should I just close my eyes and keep starting you? You also earned just 7/102 whiffs and only 25% CSW. But that line is lovely against the Rays. Meh, the Athletics are next and I’m just going to pass. We’ll see if the velocity stays up.

Ryne Stanek2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. This was the Beeks start of the week and he went just 3.1 IP with 0 ER. Yay. So thrilled. Can we move on? Let’s move on.

Mike Leake6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Just one ER from a VPQS, which we hate already. Ah, the life of Leake.

Stephen Strasburg7.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces almost gonna ace. At least you got a 1.00 WHIP out of it? 

Bryse Wilson4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Tons of heaters here from Wilson, featuring under 30% secondary stuff which was…fine. I think there are better days ahead for Wilson and moving from this start against the Cubs to the Phils next might return some sneaky value. It’s risky and could return a similar line, but I’d consider that move if I needed to take a chance.

Peter Lambert4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Lambert faced the Dodgers in Coors. Yeah. I still wonder if there’s something to be said for Lambert on the road, but it’s a little too risky right now.

Sandy Alcantara6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Awwww, I wanted Alcantara to continue his development, but this was a relapse in his command. Honestly, just one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?! This is why the other pair of arms have been more favored than Sandy and it’s too bad to see that consensus get confirmed – I just want them all to succeed! Just 19/90 CSW for the curious.

Tyler Chatwood5.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Well, yeah, it’s Chatwood. I’m amazed he survived those four innings last week as we all anxiously waited for Adbert Alzolay to get his chance, while here we had no reason to care so Chatwood didn’t play coy. No reason when you don’t have the audience, you know?

Brad Peacock3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Oh come on Peacock. I’ve been giving you praise lately and now you’re all like “Nah.” I can hear Fast now “The Pirates are a Top 10 offense!” – which they are over the last 30 days with the fourth best wOBA in the majors. And they definitely looked like it here, allowing Peacock to go just 26% CSW and earn only 5 whiffs. Blegh. He struggled to pinpoint the low corners as he usually does, often sitting thigh high (i.e. not elevated but not low) and it got clobbered. Still throw him out there, don’t worry.

Tanner Anderson2.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I don’t think you should be flying with Tan An anytime soon. 

Walker Buehler5.2 IP, 7 ER, 13 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Okay, I know Coors is undefeated and we can sympathize a little for Marquez now but DUDE. WHAT. We’ve all been so amped with Buehler’s four-start stretch and this is just. How. Wow. WHY. I won’t really dive into a Coors start and break it down like it’s an indication of something moving forward – velocity was fine so whatever – this is just…man. Why does baseball bring me so much pain.


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.


Michael Wacha vs. San Diego PadresI don’t like Wacha in the slightest, but I can see him pulling this off against the Padres.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Austin Voth vs. Detroit Tigers – I loved his velocity last time out as it overpowered. The Tigers could get steamrolled by it this weekend.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Brad Keller vs. Toronto Blue JaysThere’s zilch out there for Sunday, so here’s your best chance for a decent outing. Yep.


Game of the Day 


Mike Clevinger vs. Baltimore Orioles – He’s back. AGAIN. For real this time.


(Photo by Gavin Baker/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.

9 responses to “Living Every Day Like It’s Nola Day”

  1. Jack says:

    Srsly Nick. Why not VV against the Fish tonight?

  2. Barry says:

    Hello Nick,

    12 Team H2H 6×6 QS Redraft

    Please consider that I already have Gallen and W’s will be hard to come by in MIA.

    1) Drop L. Allen, T. Richards or Heaney for McKay or hold?

    2) If hold, please rank those 3 ROS.

  3. Rob says:

    Hey Nick, love the content as usual. Great stuff. I have one question. I want to pick up Voth to stream tomorrow but not sure who to drop. I think the 4 I have in mind are Milone, LeBlanc, Bedrosian, and Strahm. Milone and LeBlanc have been surprisingly useful in my points league. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

  4. Tal Sercarz says:

    Was able to pick up McKay in a 10 team keeper points league (you keep 6). What would you be will to move him for before the first game?

  5. Harrison says:

    Enjoyed the write-up. Thanks for your daily articles!

  6. Jim says:

    Peacock in my ESPN Points league, last 5 games: -14, 15, -1, 12, 6.
    When Darvish is out -producing you, you’re audi.
    Peace, Peacock.

  7. TylerMartin says:

    I heard Chase’s fastball velo was around 94 yesterday, that’s what Ace Chase had in 2017. Alright, so still maybe not chase, Chase, but what about tail from a safe distance?

    • theKraken says:

      If that is the case, then I imagine you could own a worse player. MIL very rarely uses him for 6 IP and it is often less than 5 so consider that if you are chasing QS or W.

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