Miley Virus

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Wade Miley vs LAD (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 64 pitches.

Okay, I apologize for the overly dramatic headline and all I wanted to do was acknowledge with you that Wade Miley has not come through for you lately. After today’s 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 64 pitches against the Dodgers, that marks three of his last four starts that were heavily detrimental to your clubs. For a guy who was hovering a 3.00 ERA beforehand, it’s been a disarming few weeks.

However, I’m here to tell you to hold strong. The Dodgers are a great offense and the next two teams…are not. The Nationals and Pirates await and while he did struggle against the Cubs and Pirates, Miley’s arsenal of changeups and cutters make both of these favorable spins that you should be taking. I just wanted to get ahead of the fear and keep you focused for the final two weeks. Stay strong he’ll overcome this temporary virus.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Keegan Thompson @ MIL (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 40 pitches.

I think we all expected Keegan aching after this start, and when I expected him to at least get the sack, Thompson prevailed…in a bullpen game. I see what you did there. It’s the little things, y’all.

Paolo Espino vs COL (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

Phew, a stream that actually worked. Streaming Record: 87-72. He got Rockie Road after taking the Marlins and his 88 mph fastball somehow earned 38% CSW. Now it’s Cincy + Coors and y’all know that isn’t what you want. It’s been real, Espino. So long and thanks for all the fish.

Wily Peralta @ TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.

People ask me why streaming pitchers is so hard. Well, Peralta had only gone six frames twice in his last nine starts before this one and it was against the Brewers and Jays. The Jays! He also fanned more than four just twice in that time. It ain’t easy figuring out the random days where things click and we wish you all the best.

Frankie Montas @ LAA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 87 pitches.

His fastball didn’t show a major improvement from his last start, but the splitter and slider were filthy and he carved up the Angels as he should. I have zero idea where to rank him for next year since I believe there is a decent amount of reliance on his rhythm but that’s talk for two weeks from now. He has the Astros + Mariners left on his schedule and I’m starting him for both.

Max Fried @ SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 99 pitches.

I gotta hand it to Fried. He had the Dodgers and Giants twice now across his last four starts and he’s come out on top in both outings. Just the Sneks and Phils are left on the horizon and you have to feel good about both.

Eli Morgan @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 85 pitches.

The man is a Cherry Bomb where the opponent simply doesn’t matter. It’s as simple as that and I’d wager one of his final two starts against the Royals will work out well. Good luck figuring out which.

Logan Gilbert @ KC (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 99 pitches.

The slider is great and the heater is hovering 96 mph. This is the Gilbert we want to see and I really hope he can be consistent with it next season + add in the changeup or curve with any regularity. As for now, start him again as he faces the Angels.

Lucas Giolito @ TEX (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It wasn’t the most overwhelming outing, but the man got the job done. I imagine he’ll be in the teens or so for next year given the consistency and dependable volume, but there is a feeling he doesn’t carry the same ceiling as the elites. And that’s okay.

Sandy Alcantara vs PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 103 pitches.

We all wanted a bit more from a date with the Pirates and while he didn’t have his best command, he still cruised through six. He allowed an earned run here as a product of two soft comebackers to the mound, which pretty much sums up the frustration at times when dealing with the elite stuff Alcantara carries. Annnnyway he’s dope and makes us feel dope. Aces. Gonna. Ace.

Shane McClanahan vs DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 64 pitches.

The king is back. McShane was on a limited pitch count and made it well worth your time, boasting a 96 mph heater, a slider that returned 6/19 whiffs, and 12 curveballs good for 67% CSW. That’s. What’s. Up. Shane should get the Marlins next weekend as well and that will be oh-so delightful. I hope you’re all McClanafans.

Clayton Kershaw @ CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 74 pitches.

I gotta say, there’s something comforting seeing Kershaw earn eight strikeouts in five frames and collecting an easy King Cole. It’s like all the other pitchers are fighting each other to climb to the top and Kershaw elegantly slides up the mountain, looking down at the plebs below. What a guy. Speaking of sliding, the slide piece is as filthy as ever right now. We’re talking a 53% CSW across 54% usage, good for 15/40 whiffs. It’s dumb.

Eric Lauer vs CHC (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

What a fun run this is for Lauer, who had the win stripped away from him in the eighth (hey, it’s the only reason I beat Fast in the PL staff league!). It’s tempting to keep going to the well against the Mets next time out, but keep in mind – Lauer isn’t this good. We may hit the end of the season before this Vargas Rule ends…or it could come crashing down against the Mets. It’s up to you.

Anthony DeSclafani vs ATL (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Solid work, Tony. The slider was great and the four-seamers earned effective strikes. That’s all you can really ask for. Now is the tough one – Coors – and let’s hope he survives. The Padres are such a mess right now that I’d be okay starting DeSclafani for that one during the final week.

Jon Gray @ WSH (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 70 pitches.

Blegh. It isn’t enough for you to be excited about starting Gray and now he gets the Giants in Coors

Shohei Ohtani vs OAK (ND) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 26 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 108 pitches.

That’s 26 whiffs for Ohtani en route to an easy Gallows Pole. Unreal. His splitter earned a whopping 17 whiffs on their own, with his slider and four-seamer (and the rare curveball and cutter) cleaning up after it. He’s over 120 frames now and this whole season is absolutely astonishing. How can you not adore Ohtani?

Rich Hill vs PHI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 86 pitches.

Look at Hill go, earning seven strikeouts despite not lasting a full five frames. This was likely the last start you wanted to roster Hill for with Milwaukee + Atlanta on the docket and it was an odd note to end on. Let’s be honest though, we’re all shocked he’s still pitching in September given his injury history. Incredible.

Kyle Gibson @ NYM (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 100 pitches.

His slider precision was incredible, leading to 11/21 whiffs on the pitch, but the sinker, changeup, and cutter were batted around a little bit more than we’d like. I feel a lot better with Gibson after this one and he should be primo for his start against the Pirates next.

José Berríos vs MIN (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.

This brings the ERA a bit higher to 3.45 on the year (#3.70ERAWatch2021) and it’s not ideal, but the rest is just fine. Nothing really to note here, I still think he’s a guy that will forever flash the ability to hold a sub-3.00 ERA and never get there. And that’s just fine.

Nathan Eovaldi vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 78 pitches.

Eovaldi showcased a splitter and slider that both worked here and had a bit of bad luck to turn this into a poor ratio affair. Baseball, you sly devil.

Max Kranick @ MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 82 pitches.

Because I obviously watch too much Sandy, I caught this outing from Kranick and I was finding myself liking his stuff more than usual. It’s a solid 94+ mph heater and that slider was nasty at times (9/30 whiffs)…and kinda not so much in others. The Marlins brought out the “best” in him and when that result is detrimental ratios, you know this isn’t the pitcher for you. Sorry Dr. Dre, but you shouldn’t be playing The Kranick this week.

J.A. Happ vs SD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 75 pitches.

Funny story, this start of J.A. vs. J.A began right at 3:36 in the afternoon. Sadly, in the end (which was quite quick for one), neither J.A. ruled.

Jake Arrieta @ STL (L) – 0.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 10% CSW, 20 pitches.

Seriously though, I can’t believe the Padres are in a position where this was an option. What a timeline this is.

Zac Gallen @ HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 103 pitches.

I expected the worst and got a Dusty Donut in the end. I’m cool with that, just not combined 1/29 CSW combined on his curve + cutter + slider. That’s not what we want. His changeup was a little better, but only touched eleven times as once again Gallen was four-seamer heavy. It just isn’t the man I fell for. I hope the off-season allows him to reset.

Zack Greinke vs ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 68 pitches.

Blegh. His changeup wasn’t there and it set the tone for the start. He gets Oakland twice now to end the year and I think you let him fly for both with the expectation of one good and one bad. It’s what his Toby self would want.

Jackson Kowar vs SEA (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 96 pitches.

Womp wommmmp. He showed me good stuff in one start and I can’t let it go, can I. I’ll have him at the back-end of my Top 200 starters for next season — key word: next — and hopefully there’s something of interest to pull from in the final weeks.

Jordan Lyles vs CWS (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 80 pitches.

It was Lyles against the White Sox. You did this because it was a desperate Sunday and no judgments were had. Just don’t do it again.

Alexander Wells @ BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

It wasn’t hard to predict Boston would…sink Wells. It was written in the quills of time. Who is Alexander to step in the way of fate? What ego would a man claim to deny time’s inevitability? WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS?! He was what we expected. Oh. Right. Carry on.

Luke Farrell @ TOR (L) – 1.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 34 pitches.

We were teased with a possible Joe Ryan start but we’re fortunate he’s set to go on Wednesday against the Cubs. As for Luke, he didn’t FareWell. Oh no. Yep. I’ll be here for two more weeks. Nooooo.

Gerrit Cole vs CLE (L) – 5.2 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna struggle. Jeeeeeez. The man got Singled Out including a blooper that extended a long inning, but dang Cole, this isn’t supposed to happen. He had trouble putting away batters with his slider earning just 21% CSW and you have to hope you survived your playoffs despite this. He’ll be plenty better with a touch of luck, of course.


Game of the Day 


Robbie Ray vs. Shane Baz – Yes, I’ll be doing a Pitcher Video Breakdown of this start. And Baz is debuting! I kid, this should be fun, and look for the video out on Tuesday or watch it live in the morning on Twitch.

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 Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns 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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