Living On A Prayer

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

(Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)

There are times when I’m simply confounded. I feel conflicted, where I know what the line tells me and I watched a game where a pitcher was on top of the world while also as poor as any pauper on the street. Zack Godley did this today, looking stellar in his opening frame – 7 pitches and 2 Ks! – before falling apart in the second and third, walking everyone and their dog sitter, ending with a line of 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, he did get a bit squeezed, but this was plenty more than that and the feeling that it can happen again isn’t going away. On the other hand, that first inning was so brilliant, with his previous 14 frames following suit as he allowed just one walk total in his first two starts. While we can probably cough this up to a pair of horrid innings compared to the grand picture, it would be foolish to assume it doesn’t come back again in some form. Godley won’t be moving on The list tomorrow because of this, but here’s to hoping he makes next Monday’s decision plenty easier.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Carlos Martinez – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Once again, this is why we don’t overreact after CarMart’s first terrible start.

Noah Syndergaard – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. There is something to be said about not surviving six frames here to get a larger expression of that 0 ER and great WHIP, but yeah, 11 Ks. So we cool. Also, Thor earned himself a Gallows Pole with…25 whiffs. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s the highest total we’ve seen thus far.

Tyler Anderson – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks. Nothing speaks dependability like 6 walks with just 1 ER in under five frames. I hope his middle name is Nathan because enjoying T n A is making me feel dirty. Do you actually like him? No no no, just the 1 ER and 6 ks in 4.2 IP. I really don’t like running with him moving forward outside of the rare stream. Yeah, but do you like like him? Please stop.

Dylan Bundy – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Get. On. The. Hype. Train. I think four starts is enough for us to get pumped as Bundy kept up his slider usage once again – 27 out 94 pitches – as it held a near 30% whiff rate. Yes, his fastball velocity was at 91, not 92, but it was under 40 degrees and I’m loving the kid too much right now. He’ll be getting a sizeable jump tomorrow and it’s going to be fun.

Jhoulys Chacin – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. Also, it took him 85 pitches to get through 12 outs. Atta boy, Chacin.

Bartolo Colon – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. If you missed the excitement of watching The Groan Ranger enter the 8th inning with a perfect game, you missed out. Lesson is, never stop watching baseball. I know it would be kinda fun to own Colon now with that low ERA n all, but don’t do that. As much as I want to endorse this, I can’t. Not with a .217 BABIP, 86.2% LOB rate now, and a 53% hard hit rate entering today’s game.

Clayton Kershaw – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He is TATIAGA after, all. Can’t you do it with zero ERs though? I hate how right you are.

Joey Lucchesi – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. He sure wasn’t a Fugeysi today, going 9 Ks with 14 whiffs against the Giants. I have to say, it often annoys me when a pitcher that by all that I can tell shouldn’t be performing this well, but then holds a 10.38 K/9, 1.66 ERA, 1.191 FIP and walks just four batters in 21.2 IP. I have nothing else to say than ignore me and obviously continue riding him. Sure, start him against Arizona, it’s not like Coors could stop him last week. Him and his stupid “Churve” that makes no sense and I hate everything. Well, everything except this Win – Streaming Record: 10-5. Thanks for that, I guess.

Sean Manaea – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Another start, another ER allowed exclusively by the longball. Sure, it didn’t come with the Ks we know and love, but 2 walks and four baserunners in 7 IP is so beautiful. If you haven’t bought into Manaea yet, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for.

Chris Sale – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I’m impressed that Sale could do this not only in the stupid cold weather but without any sleeves. Isn’t that where he hides his aces? Not when he is the ace.

Justin Verlander – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Verlander is flat out dealing and getting outshined by Cole even with a 1.35 ERA, 11.48 K/9, and 1.69 BB/9 through four starts. That’s unbelievably good. I’m glad we can erase any fears I had of him needing some time before heating up again.

Felix Hernandez – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. This is a beautiful outing from Felix, earning five whiffs on 23 changeups and cruising through the A’s lineup. I’m still a bit cautious as his sinker averaged 88.3mph and four-seamer say 89.1mph, but I have to think if someone can figure out how to still be relevant with lower velocity, it would be Felix…right? Maybe not. He’ll continue to rise tomorrow, but not enough that makes me say “yes you have to be owning Felix everywhere.”

Ryan Yarbrough – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. The dude throws a sub 90mph fastball and had 5 whiffs in 4.2 innings. This is a Cup of Schmo if I ever saw one.

Homer Bailey – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Homer Bale gave you a lovely outing, especially when you had nothing else to choose as a stream to end your week. That’s all he really is, though, as I don’t see this being a majority kind of thing.

Ben Lively – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Raggedy Anne is doing nothing to make me reconsider his nickname. That’s a bad thing.

Ivan Nova – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Nine strikeouts from Nova is like going to a Chinese restaurant and getting a cheeseburger. This isn’t what you came here for, but I guess it’ll work. This whole line is stupid good for Nova and it’s going to spoil you if you think this is going to stick around in any way.

Stephen Strasburg – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. You know what’s kinda weird? We’re all a little disappointed with Strasburg thus far, even though he’s sporting a 3.08 ERA and about a strikeout per inning. We want more! No, you definitely don’t want Matt. You want Strasburg to not hold a 19.0% HR/FB rate, and hold a whiff rate above 8.5% on his curveball. That’s what you really want.

Jose Urena – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. If you started Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.

Tyler Beede – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Just like his name suggests, Tyler is like one of those Beede necklaces you made at camp. You thought it was cool for a moment, but you never saw it again as you shoved it in your bedroom drawer. Leave it in the drawer.

Today’s Streamer

Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. San Diego Padres – As long as he doesn’t cough too hard to hit the DL, Ryu’s able to be productive against the Pads.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Nick Pivetta vs. Atlanta Braves – I’m a little intimidated by the Braves right now, but let’s see if Pivetta can pull off another exciting strikeout performance.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Andrew Triggs vs. Chicago White Sox I can understand rolling with Tyson Ross or Ian Kennedy, but I’m going with Triggs, who’s looking good out of the gate.

Game of the Day

James Paxton vs. Dallas Keuchel Yes, it’s Nola day and another chance for Luis Castillo to redeem himself, but I want to watch these southpaws do their best to outduel each other. Especially Keuchel given his early struggles.

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.

21 responses to “Living On A Prayer”

  1. Chris says:

    Update on the Boyd watch vs Bal on Wednesday? He’s not ahead of Ian Kennedy?

  2. Rob says:

    Nick, can you tell me a bit more about Beede. Was he unlucky last night? 19% swinging strike, 27% soft contact, 36% of his pitches were changeups. Anything at all here for this kid?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I just don’t see anything long term with him. Meh command with poor walk rates in his history, stuff is pretty mediocre. Nothing jumps out here suggesting he’s anything worth your time, even with those small sample size numbers.

      I went back for another look just now and I can understand where you’re coming from. His changeup was much better than I remembered, and it’s conceivable that he can provide some strikeout days with it. I still don’t think he becomes a staple of any 12-teamer as the rest of the stuff – a meh slider and 91/92 fastball that he doesn’t command well – are going to get hit, but I can fathom a day when his changeup is located well and he collects plenty of strikeouts while BABIP does the rest.

  3. ak says:

    Maybe I should wait for the rankings. but I wonder if you think dropping Fulmer or Jomont for Pivetta/Luchessi/Tyson Ross makes sense. Thanks!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think you’re better off holding for now. I can understand dropping JorMont for Pivetta/Lucchesi if you’re chasing K upside, though.

      Shallow leagues I’d consider it more as it’s all about upside + you can find someone else to cover you if the gamble doesn’t pay off.

  4. Steven says:

    Thoughts on Jaime Garcia vs KC today?

  5. Ben says:

    Nick, how do you feel about trading Ohtani (SP) and Flaherty for Edwin E? Our team is stacked in pitching thanks to your site but lacking power. Thanks!

  6. Let's Play Two says:

    Would you trade Quintana for Cole or Morton?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Definitely for Cole, not for Morton.

      • Let's Play Two says:

        Thanks, Nick. I love that I found someone dedicated to providing pitching analysis for fantasy baseball. I posted a comment/question in the Off Target roundup the other day about Quintana that didn’t get answered I was hoping you would answer. Wondering if I should move him or not. Here it is:

        I own Quintana and I’m having serious doubts about his reliability after the start to this season and the difficulties he had last season. He’s actually off to a worse start this year than last years’ bad start. Velo down, K-BB% in negative territory. Fangraphs (ZIPS/Steamer/DepthCharts) ROS projections of a low to mid 3’s ERA and close to 200K’s seem optimistic considering. I see him as a 4-ish ERA like last year with fewer K’s. Agree or disagree about Quintana?

        • Nick Pollack says:

          Hey there! Sorry I’ve missed your comments in the past.

          Velocity is definitely down and that’s concerning, which led me to drop him on The List. However, I’m not willing to count him out just yet. It’s been cold weather and sometimes guys just need more time to get back into the groove. I’m giving Quintana a TIARA as he can Turn It Around Right Away and we shouldn’t expect him to perform a 4.00+ ERA the rest of the way. Sure, the end numbers might be like that given the rough start, but I don’t that’s the kind of pitcher he is.

  7. O'Hooligan McGee says:

    Would you trade Raisel Iglesias for Dylan Bundy in a 5×5 roto? My other closers are Kela and Soria but I’m sure I could trade for closers later in the season if I need saves.

  8. Smiles says:

    Nick, out of the following pitchers which do you think will have a sustainable impact and is worth hanging onto for the foreseeable future? Junis, Pivetta, Lopez, Lucchesi? Need to drop 1 to make room for another hitter on my bench and have Flaherty & Kopech stashed for their call ups later this season.

  9. Ben says:

    Nick, how do you feel about trading Ohtani (SP) and Flaherty for Edwin E? Our team is stacked in pitching thanks to your site but lacking power. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login