McKenzie Poor

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Triston McKenzie @ CWS (L) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 57 pitches.

Many of you drafted Triston McKenzie this year in hopes that he could build off his 3.24 ERA and 0.90 WHIP from last season, hopefully flirting with a 30% strikeout rate. The good news is in his brief 18.2 inning 2021 season, that the strikeouts are still here, but everything isn’t clicking, evidenced by yesterday’s 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks line against the White Sox. He needed 57 pitches for those six outs and while the CSW was there, it was erratic and missing the polish we want.

But here’s the thing – since the frustrating delay to his season, we knew this would be a rough beginning. He needed time to get into rhythm, stretch out, and about a month to begin getting into form. This start against the White Sox came with caution and there’s a chance he could rebound against the Royals. I’m sure I’ll get questions about that start and it’s…questionable.

Look, this is an investment. McKenzie needs to get into a groove with his curveball and slider and his fastball – despite sitting 91/92 mph here – is still going to miss bats and get outs over time. It’s up to you if you’re willing to put yourself in harm’s way for what should be a strong final four months to the season.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Travis Bergen vs ATL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 16 pitches.

It was a bullpen game for the most part for the Jays. I’ll be honest, I’m shocked someone named TB was actually good at something…

Jose Urquidy @ TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.

Ahhhh there he is! All four of his pitches returned a 30% CSW in this one and that’s all we’re really looking for. Great to see his changeup act like that primo #2 pitch as well with 35% CSW across 31 thrown. Stinks he needs to face the Jays next, though. That’s a tough call and I want to still go with Urquidy, but it’s to you.

Griffin Canning @ SEA (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 93 pitches.

Canning was the streaming pick despite not having his slider last time out and my lord I didn’t expect this. Streaming Record: 18-10. That’s a Golden Goal for Canning as his four-seamer did legit work with 42% CSW and 12 whiffs at 94 mph. His command of it was incredible at the top of the zone, pairing them with changeups and sliders down. That’s the BSB we dream of. His slider was way better here as well with 8/21 whiffs and yeah, this is the Canning we’ve seen in our dreams for years. Problem is, I have no idea if this will stick and he gets the Dodgers next. If you want to spec add him and bench, I completely understand that – the wire could be thin for you. Otherwise, I get a sense this could just be one of those days that make him a Cherry Bomb

Danny Duffy @ MIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 107 pitches.

This is getting crazy now. Duffy has a lower ERA than WHIP and the latter sits at 0.97. Yeah, a 0.60 ERA for the year as he passed another test against Minnesota and there’s zero reason to stop this train as his velocity sat at 94 mph on Saturday. You love to see it.

Blake Snell vs SF (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Kinda. That’s a rough 1.60 WHIP and we’re still waiting for him to go six innings with confidence. He just can’t throw his sliders and curveballs for strikes and it’s killing me. One day I hope to see it again.

Zach Davies @ CIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 76 pitches.

This is a positive for Davies, right? His changeup was spotted well and the Reds were passive enough to let him get enough called strikes, though it forced him out of the game after four, for the most part. I’m still way out on Davies.

Jameson Taillon vs DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 79 pitches.

Ahhhh that’s better. I’m a little sad to see Taillon pulled after just five as they’re still being cautious, but I’m loving the 37% CSW on curveballs as he’s maintained his elevated four-seamer approach to huge SwStr numbers. Curveball is all set, next up is the slider, which did land in the zone but hasn’t turned into that major nullifier yet. I’m thinking a pair of starts should do the trick. It gets tricky now as he faces the Astros next and that’s a close call. I’m going for it but I totally get if you’re not.

Dustin May @ MIL (ND) – 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 20 pitches.

May left this one and has since been placed on the IL with what seems to be an arm injury. He’s getting an MRI tomorrow. As we enter a new month, the rules have changed. The can only be one May. This stinks.

Matt Harvey @ OAK (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 90 pitches.

Man, look at Harvey go, essentially squeezing the most out of just one strikeout and four whiffs. HAISTFMFWT?! This so obvious to avoid like a steamroller 50 yards away.

Patrick Corbin vs MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

Okay okay. Soooo this is why we’ve held onto Corbin…kinda. I may not have if he didn’t get the Marlins, but Corbin at least is in a place where he could take down a very weak lineup. He’s still figuring things out, with his slider returning just 4/37 whiffs, but I did like his fastball command a little better + he sat 91.5 mph in this one. Little steps, y’all. You should bench against the Yankees but let’s hope he takes a step forward on that breaker to make us confident for what’s next.

Austin Gomber @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 79 pitches.

See, take Gomber out of Coors and against a team that doesn’t demolish left-handers and he can be serviceable. Tuck those prerequisites away and save it for later.

Brandon Woodruff vs LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Did you realize he has a 1.80 ERA and 0.80 WHIP on the year? Is that good? No, Jimmy. That’s elite. 

Jack Flaherty @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna mostly ace but still land on a PQSHis slider is coming into form and while we haven’t had much collective fanfare for Flaherty this year, I imagine it’s right around the corner with that sweeper working.

Jesus Luzardo vs BAL (L) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 64 pitches.

What is going on with Luzardo. This was easily the worst command I’ve seen from him as he simply couldn’t put his fastball comfortably inside the zone, forcing him to rely on changeups to make it through nine outs. The result was just one strikeout – HAISTFMFWT?! – and cries of agony heard everywhere. He’s a clear sit against the Jays next time out and all we can do is hope he can make the adjustment he needs to sooner rather than later. Yes, he’s very likely falling outside the Top 50 tomorrow.

Lance Lynn vs CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 68 pitches.

Wow, the White Sox pulled Lynn after just 68 pitches as he was skipped in his previous start. Ugh, fine, I guess. Things are back to normal now, I guess.

Josh Fleming vs HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 98 pitches.

Look at Fleming give you a PQS  (we haven’t really seen many VPQS starts this year, have we?) after allowing all three of his runs in the first. You’ve already seen those five walks and internalized the danger so I’ll just cut it here. But hey, cool to see you start proper and go 98 pitches.

Anthony DeSclafani @ SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 76 pitches.

After a fantastic outing against Rockie Road I labeled Disco a drop as he faced the Padres here. The result was a PQS with a solid WHIP and little help on the strikeout side. Seems like the best realistic outcome, no? 43% sliders is classic Disco, though I would have liked to see a little more across the other secondaries. He’s likely getting a repeat against the Pads next time and I’m still out.

Luis Castillo vs CHC (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

Unreal, how much longer is this going to last? He had solid pitch separation on heaters and changeups, but the balls aren’t falling where we want them to and that slider isn’t taking the step forward we want. The good news is that he’s still pumping 97 mph and all of the HOTEL is showing what I feel – the dude is getting incredibly unlucky. Sure, not sub 3.00 ERA worthy, but that confidence swing can do wonders. Still a fantastic buy-low to me, but yeah, I have to lower him on The List a bit in the meantime.

Paul Campbell @ WSH (L) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 71 pitches.

It was Campbell’s first start and it was if he was still warming up the ole soup bone. He’s a Cup of noodles Schmo and you already knew that.

Spencer Turnbull @ NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 94 pitches.

Yikes. While this wasn’t a start we wanted, we at least wanted to see something encouraging moving forward. This wasn’t it. At all. Fine, we at least saw Turnbull fully stretch out to 94 pitches at least, but just two whiffs?! Oh no. No no no. It led to a sole strikeout – HAISTFMFWT?! – as not one breaker or changeup returned a whiff. I mean, this is bad y’all. I’m out until I see it return at the very least and it’s not worth the stash.

Taijuan Walker @ PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Yeaaaaaah there just isn’t enough in that utility belt. I think you should call up the Dark Knight to get some of his skill set. But seriously, Walker is a Toby even with the increased velocity until he shows me more than 17% CSW on his slider if it’s going to be his #2 pitch.

Zack Wheeler vs NYM (ND) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

OH COME ON. Wheeler had a poor four-run first inning and returned six straight scoreless after. It sums him up so well as he is so good plenty more than bad, but you’re still left with this. I have to believe in the ability and consider him a buy-low if his manager is getting a little frustrated, but at the same time, it is a 3.50 ERA so far so what do I know. Wheeler is dope.

Eduardo Rodriguez @ TEX (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 67 pitches.

Awwww it’s been a fantastic start to the season for Rodriguez but he didn’t have either fastball and had to pivot to cutters to find strikes. Like a Bizzaro Mandalorian, This Isn’t The Way. Too bad he couldn’t capitalize on the Rangers but he’s still an easy start against the Orioles. The heaters will return.

Charlie Morton @ TOR (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 98 pitches.

That’s three of Morton’s last four starts where he’s allowed at least 4 ER and you’re getting frustrated. I get it. Last start was a Bryant grand slam when he legit pitched well and in this one he was faced against the elite Jays lineup in Dunedin. For those without Morton, I’d be reaching out to whoever has Morton on their team and see if you can snag him at discount. He’s still getting strikes, has his velocity and the curveball is there. He’s still great.

Zac Gallen vs COL (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Gallen nooooo. You had Rockie RoadHis best offering is his changeup and in this one, the pitch eluded him, while he was reluctant to lean on his cutter to help keep the balance. His curveball wasn’t the big pitch it needed to be, either, and it forced his fastball to do a little too much. Blegh. It’s rare to see Gallen not have one secondary to rely on confidently – 15% usage on his curveball was the highest of the three! – and this is an exception, not a rule. Just frustrating.

Trevor Cahill vs STL (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 96 pitches.

Welp, we’re back to Trevor O’Cahill. It was a fun ride. I’m looking forward to it again next season.

Jordan Lyles vs BOS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.

Pretty cool to see 15 whiffs, but his stuff just isn’t good enough to hold off the Red Sox. Don’t overlook Lyles for a deep stream when the matchup is there in the future.

Ljay Newsome vs LAA (L) – 2.0 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 52 pitches.

Sadly, we didn’t expect any different. It’s a HAISTFMFWT?! as we all wonder when Logan Gilbert will show up. they need Newsome some new arms, don’t they?

Matt Shoemaker vs KC (L) – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 68 pitches.

It’s time for The Cobbler to hang up the cleats. Okay that’s way too harsh and only felt right for the joke, but let’s apply it for your fantasy teams. There’ll be a time when he returns to form this season but there’s no reason for you to endure as he figures it out.

Game of the Day 


Trevor Rogers vs. Max Scherzer – Hot. DANG. Giolito vs. Plesac should be a fun game of redemption for both sides, too.


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


Photo from Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong 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.

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