López Dispensed

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

Reynaldo López vs LAA (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches.

This is going to be short, just like Reynaldo López’s “resurgence” into fantasy relevancy, ending tonight with a ghastly line of 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches against the Angels. The Angels? The Angels.

Back when I was originally into Reynaldo as a starter (and wrongfully so), it was a battle of three pitches: a four-seamer that he commanded well (jamming batters up-and-in constantly), and a pair of secondaries in his slider + changeup. The issue was the rarity of both of these pitches performing at their potential on a given night, propelling constant volatility and headaches for managers. Now? The changeup is all but gone and it’s been four-seamer + slider, with a sprinkle of hooks. And it doesn’t quite work. It had for a moment in the beginning and here the fastball was left all alone, doing its best to win outs like a prize at the fair. Sorry kiddo, the game is rigged.

So let’s not be tempted by the Tigers next, let’s instead breathe a heavy sigh at what could have been, and send a text to the giving tree, our lovely friend we call the wire.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Pierce Johnson @ SF (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 25 pitches.

We knew it was a bullpen game, but we didn’t know Ryan Weathers would never show up, like the bubbles around my cooking pot. BOIL DANG IT. Instead, we had a healthy dose of Nabil Crismattwho I promise actually exists. He tossed four frames with one strikeout and I’m sorry, I’m just so focused on his name. Nabil Crismatt. Sounds like my four-year-old nephew trying to pronounce a winter holiday.

Tyler Mahle @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

Mahle was on the road (sweet) and faced the Pirates. If this was anything but great, we would have had a legit problem. But he earned only five whiffs! True, he tossed 24 splitters and earned just 2 CSW between them, but he got a ton of outs on the pitch and things were swell. He’s going to get the Pirates two more times and yes, I’d start him at home for his next two starts. Gasp. It’s PIT + WSH, how bad can it be?

Alex Cobb @ CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 66 pitches.

You see this line and you think “Oh, sweet! His splitter must be working and stealing early strikes with curves!” Nah. The sinker overperformed, the curve went 2/9 CSW, and the splitter earned just five whiffs despite 44% usage. But…that’s not fun nor believable to buy into. Sure isn’t, random italics person. Sure isn’t.

Cam Bedrosian vs CHC (ND) – 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 28 pitches.

This was a bullpen start by design and despite their best (Read: worst) efforts, they held on in a slugfest. You know me, my favorite part of baseball is all the pitchers performing terribly. Nothing better.

Louis Head vs DET (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 19 pitches.

Leave it to Head to start a game. He set up Dietrich Ennswho did exactly what we wanted from him – go four frames and end the fifth to earn a Win against the Tigers without blowing up our ratios. I can imagine some of you needed to stream him after John Means didn’t get the Win against the Yankees. You could say the Means justified the Enns.

Connor Overton vs CIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 42 pitches.

I gotta say, I expected Connor to be more like UnderTon as in a ton under any decent expectations, but his changeup was lovely and earned 5/14 whiffs. The pitch count and a 92 mph heater make him pretty irrelevant, but hey, that was cool.

Jordan Montgomery @ BAL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 99 pitches.

After going eight innings across his last two starts combined, it’s wonderful to see a Golden Goal from Monty. The curveball and changeup were as good as ever and if the four-seamer + cutter were truly dominant, we would have seen a 6/7 inning game. But alas, we have to settle for just a twelve-strikeout game. Nick, no one says “Alas”. For alas time, everyone does. Get with it.

Daniel Lynch vs OAK (L) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 48 pitches.

Lynch left this one early with a calf cramp, a start where he had 5/16 slider whiffs and 63% CSW on his changeup. You heard it here first, Daniel Lynch is a legit 2022 sleeper. Don’t you dare forget it…well maybe in 12-teamers where he doesn’t need to be drafted. BUT DON’T YOU FORGET IT.

Luis Garcia @ TEX (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 87 pitches.

Garcia made the surprise start after Framber Valdez was cut scratched with a cut on his hand and hey, it worked out…? That’s a Dusty Donut with a poor WHIP and just two strikeouts as the slider was thrown just three times and…my lord. Garcia threw 29 secondary pitches and earned just one – ONE – CSW on them. Jeeeeeez. That’s not the man we know and love. He hasn’t been his first-half self for weeks and I have to wonder if it’s fatigue setting in, or if this is a simple case of I-didn’t-know-I-was-gonna-start-itis. He’s set to face the Angels next so I guess we just start him anyway and hope for the best.

Paul Blackburn @ KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 79 pitches.

So it wasn’t a quality start, but Blackburn acted like a proper Toby to secure a Win against a poor offense. He could do the same against the Mariners in his final viable start of the season and I’d consider it in deep leagues.

Chris Ellis vs NYY (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 84 pitches.

After tossing five no-hit frames against them about two weeks ago, Ellis’ true colors came out as a man hoping to be a Toby but without enough to get him there. Now he’s all alone on the wire and…Don’t do it…you can say he’s…DON’T DO IT…on Ellis Island. NOOOOOOOOO.

Tyler Alexander @ TB (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 81 pitches.

You could say T-Lex couldn’t reach far enough. He’s not armed with enough to get the job done. I don’t get it. T-Rex’s have short arms, UGH. You ruin everything. Like Alexander on your fantasy roster? Ohhhhh touché.

Kevin Gausman vs SD (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.

Hey, guess what! Gausman had 12 whiffs on his spliter! It’s been ages since we’ve seen that and it should make you confident in his final starts. But…4 ER. A 1.80 WHIP. Oh. Right. That. His four-seamer wasn’t as well located as it normally is and he got burned. But whatever, that’s just bad variance. You should be happy! I am not Happy. Who are you then, Sleepy? Please stop. Never.

Kyle Hendricks @ PHI (ND) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 76 pitches.

Hendricks’ last start is what we’re now calling a Dennis – a good start after a poor stretch that we know just isn’t going to last. He performed against the Giants last time out, and it wasn’t meant to be. I wouldn’t start him against the Twins and you can do better on the wire. You deserve better, Liz Lemon.

Glenn Otto vs HOU (L) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 69 pitches.

Do I like Otto? Yes, but he’s not Otto mattic. He’s Otto Bon. Just good, not so good that you’d start him against the Astros…or the Yankees. But at least there’s a date with the Angels the final week of the season and hey, that could be something.


Game of the Day 


Walker Buehler vs. Luis Castillo – Can Castillo survive? Will Buehler continue his Cy Young journey?

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

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch Livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am EST Monday through Friday.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx 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.

3 responses to “López Dispensed”

  1. Mario Mendoza says:

    you are a funny guy. Means, Enns.

    Anywho… I badly wanted to use Kowar and Lynch in these upcoming matchups, but they were both just so WILD. Obviously can’t trust them in fantasy playoffs (and Lynch is hurt) but even in 2022, that wildness is scary.

  2. Joe says:

    Scherzer vs. Gray is saturday’s matchup, but you can’t go wrong tonight with Buehler vs. Castillo!

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