Mo’ Lester Mo’ Problems

For the first time in a long time, it felt like April yesterday.  Was it because of the lovely weather?  Inexcusable amount of bunnies I saw (don’t ask)? People trying...

For the first time in a long time, it felt like April yesterday.  Was it because of the lovely weather?  Inexcusable amount of bunnies I saw (don’t ask)? People trying to do their taxes?  Nah, just Jon Lester looking horrible on the mound as he went 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks.  He even gave up a two-run blast to opposing pitcher Daniel Norris – the first ever HR hit by an AL pitcher in Wrigley Field.  Lester just didn’t look comfortable, which is majorly disappointing after holding a 2.20 ERA, 2.09 FIP, and 2.82 xFIP across his previous 11 starts.  I have to believe this is just a bump in the road and not a sinking pothole that will devour Lester and his “what are baserunners?” Jeopardy attitude.  He gets the Indians next and he should bounce back.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Stephen Strasburg – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s three straight starts of ballertastic pitching after coming off the DL, and this one was in Coors!

Jesse Chavez – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Some may see this as an excuse to trust Chavez, but I’m not sold that he’ll be a stable guy down the stretch.

J.A. Happ – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks.  Sure, that Happened.

Jered Weaver – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Let’s bow our heads in a moment of silence for those who will pick up Weaver after this start.

Julio Teheran – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BB, 7 Ks. In case you get excited after his second straight 1 ER, 7 K performance, just calm down a bit.  This start had a near 4.00 FIP/xFIP and he’s sure to regress once he pitches against a decent offensive squad.

Jorge De La Rosa – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks. De La Rosa has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team.  This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter.

Nathan Eovaldi – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. One of the best starts from Eovaldi all season, and it would have been better except for a Singled Out 6th inning.  He apparently hit 102 MPH on the gun at one point, which may get you going berserk, but he’s been up there for ages and look where we are.  In my PJs eating cereal?  Exactly.

Nathan Karns – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BB, 8 Ks.  Our Call Boy was as good as you’d want from a stream.  Hard not to be a fan of Karns when he gets a good matchup.

Jeff Samardzija – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks.  Loose Lips decided not to sink ships this time out, but you know he’s cold as an iceberg if you get my North Atlantic Drift.

Adam Morgan – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks.  This is the Eve before Adam’s collapse.

Joe Kelly – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks.  You could be saying “Hey Nick!  That’s 3 ER total in his last three starts, give him some love!”  But if you looked at this numbers and saw 4.12 xFIP and 3.63 BB/9 in that span, you may understand my distaste.

Dallas Keuchel – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BB, 5 Ks. More evidence that Keuchel’s floor is a sturdy one.

Tyson Ross – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Once again, the walks turn a good start into a meh one.  Thanks bud.

Matt Cain – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BB, 6 Ks. Too late for that Cain.  IT’S TOO LATE to apologize…

Derek Holland – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Most guys crumble in their first start back from the DL, so nice job putting together a decent outing Holland.  I’m not expecting much from him, but he could be a decent Wins/middling ERA + WHIP guy.

Ervin Santana – 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks.  All four ER came off Greg Bird two-run shots and Santana was a bit sour about in the post game cause you know, Santana is some hot stuff.  Seriously though, he does hold some upside, but it’s a pretty low floor.  Matchups are your friend and don’t blindly throw him out there.

Jaime Garcia – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. He got Singled Out in the later innings and WHAM there are three ER on the board.  He’s a pretty stable #4 or so and I’d keep rolling with him.

Robbie Ray – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh.  I need to see more Ray. But you know I can’t see.  Oh damn.  WHO BROUGHT IN THE WRONG RAY?

Daniel Norris – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BB, 6 Ks. Outside of his Detroit debut that teased way too many people like an obnoxious cat, Norris has been pretty boring.  I’m not sold he’ll turn into anything close to a bonafide this season or even next.  There’s a lot of work to be done here.

Ubaldo Jimenez – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. You’ve already moved on from this hype train, right?

Mike Montgomery – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks.  Monty, Monty, Monty.  This just isn’t going to work.

Alex Wood – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks.  No one gets wood from Wood anymore.

Corey Kluber – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BB, 9 Ks. That’s what allowing four HRs will do to you.  Can you imagine how disheartening that must feel? Nearly 33% of his batted balls left the yard.  That’s crazy.

Noah Syndergaard – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks.  I’ve been turning a bit of a blind eye, but Thor has now allowed 11 ER across his last three starts.  Can’t say that excites me much, and his FIP/xFIP doesn’t do him any favors from those outings.  I have a small fear he’s losing a little bit of gas, and his Fastball has slightly decreased in each of these starts.  I really think that it’s a non-issue and just playing the old “statistics can prove any lie, 13% of Americans know that” card, but it’s something to at the very least be aware of.

Jeremy Guthrie – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. You’re telling me his last outing wasn’t legit?  Shocking.

Mark Buehrle – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. The Burly Buehrle not doing his thang.  At all.

Keyvius Sampson – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. If only he still had his hair…He must have started Ubaldo too often.

Wily Peralta – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks.  Yeah, no.

Tom Koehler – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks.  A friend of mine once got on board to start Koehler in a good matchup because he saw a “nasty Curveball GIF” of his on the site.  Those GIFs are like taking a kid’s science exam where he scored a 58, but only showing a few questions that he got right.  Sure, he looked good for a moment, but he still got a 58.

Today’s Streamers

Ivan Nova vs Cleveland Indians – Not too many other guys to pick over Nova, and he has the stuff to have a solid K game while securing the Win.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Wei-Yin Chen vs. Minnesota Twins – A lot of good streaming options for Friday.  Chen has a solid floor against a poor team, which makes him my favorite of the bunch, but you also have the upside of Drew Smyly against the A’s, which could be the better choice if you need to quickly make up ground.  There’s also his opponent Chris Bassitt who could have a field day against the Rays, then Kyle Hendricks gets the lowly Braves, but his recent struggles have him at the bottom of the pile.

Game of the Day

Jake Arrieta vs. Mike Foltynewicz – Jake can absolutely carve up the Braves lineup while Folty is always an interesting pitcher to watch.

Chris Archer vs. Collin McHugh – Archer can strike out double digit Astros while McHugh has been taking steps in the right direction lately.

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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