Not Like Chris, Not Like Chris

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

Okay. Okay. Chris Sale will be in the second tier tomorrow after yesterday’s horrendous 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks against the Yankees. His fastball hasn’t declined massively in velocity, but his command of it surely isn’t what it used to be. It’s annoying since I don’t actually think Sale is in any way a “bench” moving forward, while his strikeouts should still be as elite as they come. I’d buy low if someone is selling and thinking something is truly wrong – I’m lowering him because I don’t have a choice, but my gut says that Sale is still Top 5 the rest of the way. He just isn’t this bad.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Chad Green1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. This was a full-on bullpen game sooooo let’s move on.

Cole Hamels5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. It was a DLH as Hamels returned and everything was sailing a little too far up…but he still had 16 whiffs across just 74 pitches and we should be happy. Start him confidently against the Reds next week.

Felix Pena1.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Poor Pena, who suffered a knee sprain and was quickly removed from the game. Trevor Cahill came in after and will likely get the chance moving forward. You don’t want Cahill.

Aaron Sanchez6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Hot dang, Sanchez! We were hoping for things to carry over from his previous start and it was exactly that. Streaming Record: 70-49. I’m definitely holding here as he actually gets the Orioles next and while he won’t be part of a no-hitter, his focus of four-seamers over sinkers with 50% secondary stuff is here to stay. I’m in.

Chris Archer6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Sinkers are gone and we’re happy about that, with 11 curveballs + changeups mixed in as well. Sliders down, four-seamers up, and all is normal with Archer. Don’t expect him to be elite, but he’ll dance between these starts and 5 IP, 4 ER games.

Walker Buehler9.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 15 Ks. Aces gonna ACE. You know this was a dope start, you don’t need me for that, the important question is how much more of Buehler we’re going to see. Across the minors, regular season, and postseason, Buehler had 176 frames last year, which does make you think he has the stamina to go through the regular season, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets one or two starts skipped the rest of the way. That’s fine, it’s a chance not a definite, and we’re going to roll with this and hold our collective breath.

Mike Fiers5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s crazy. Seriously. Since April 26th and 18 starts, Fiers has a 2.42 ERA mixed with a 5.54 K/9 and HOTEL of .220 BABIP, 85% LOB rate, and 9 % LOB rate detail exactly what you expect – a 5.34 SIERA and a TEEs. Buuuuuuuut you still start him until he hits the wall. Vargas Rule this up all day and maybe let it slide past the next one.

Gio Gonzalez4.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhhh, 17/71 CSW and an early hook is nothing you want from Gio. This didn’t really hurt you, but I wonder if Gio’s starts will oscillate between disappointing and inconsequential moving forward.

Aaron Nola7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He was dominant in this one, earning 39% CSW with fantastic changeups, curveballs, and commanded fastballs. I love when Nola is NOLA.

Adam Plutko5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Great stuff Plutko, still ain’t starting you. Sorry, kiddo.

Matt Boyd5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 38/101 CSW with 24 whiffs for a Gallows Pole as he cruised once again AND WE ARE BOYYYYYYD BOYYYYYYZ. 

Dylan Bundy5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Here’s the upside of Bundy. It’s really too bad that we have zero idea when it shows up. Watch it happen about 80% of the way and people consider drafting him for next year. Yeah, no. Don’t do that.

Ross Detwiler5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeah, nah. A rolling team carries no Ross.

Domingo German7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks.  Mmmmm, this is a lovely line against the Red Sox. He certainly got some big strike calls go his way that pushed this over the edge, and 31/97 CSW is solid with changeups helping him earn strikes. Don’t stop starting the German.

Kyle Gibson6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Solid stuff against the Royals, though not as overpowering as you’d think from the line. Whatever, keep rolling with Gibson as he faces the Tribe next.

Cal Quantrill5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Good sliders, but overall not the greatest stuff that makes me truly buy into Quantrill, even if he did stave off the Dodgers. Play this start-by-start and the Rockies in San Diego next is…okay.

Trevor Bauer4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Bleeegggh. You start Bauer in every start moving forward, but I can’t help but wonder where he goes in drafts next year. Easily Top 20 if not Top 15 or higher for me as I believe the skill set. Maybe the whole “I won’t be injured” thing will help too.

Dakota Hudson3.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. Whoa, 12 true-outcome plate appearances are super wild from Hudson. Yeah, he was super wild. Good point. I wouldn’t be going after Dakota these days as he’s way too volatile without enough upside.

Brian Johnson3.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Starting Johnson puts you on the Highway To Hell. Especially against the Yanks, yeesh.

Dallas Keuchel7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. We saw the ceiling of Keuchel followed by his floor across his last two starts. Here’s a more realistic outing and it’s completely fine with all of us. DK is here.

Marcus Stroman4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Welcome to New York, Stroman. Or should it be, New York, meet Stroman. I DON’T KNOW. This is essentially classic Stroman, BABIP reliant and it not going his way. 21/92 CSW just ain’t gonna work.

Jalen Beeks – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Beeks could turn into something when he has a constant job as a starter and gets the opportunity to truly develop. Now is not that time.

Marco Gonzales5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. Velocity still down, Houston is dope, and this wasn’t gonna work. Maybe moving forward, but that’s the Rays and I’m super iffy there too.

Jon Gray4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeaaaaaah, Gray in home – even against the Giants – isn’t something you want to be a part of. But he survived eight frames against the Dodgers in Coors last time out! And it was super weird! It’s a headache, but you knew what you signed up for. Hopefully it’s more good than bad the rest of the way.

Thomas Pannone6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Whoa, Pannone with nine strikeouts?! I’m gonna hand out a Blame it on the Orioles here. He didn’t make any changes that suggest legitimacy here – he’s still throwing sub 88 mph.

Robbie Ray5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. 35% CSW is still solid from Ray and surprisingly, he didn’t allow a longball here. But it’s still 4 ER. Yeah, that’s annoying. Just keep starting the weekend vacation (R & R).

Adrian Sampson4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Just three whiffs and 17/90 CSW?! Yeah, no. No no no.

Madison Bumgarner5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Coors is undefeated. I believe in that statement, but I have a small gripe with it since it’s used essentially every time a pitcher does poorly, suggesting that’s the only reasoning behind it. Bumgarner didn’t have close to his best command and while it may not have ultimately been this bad if he pitched elsewhere, don’t just write it off. But fine, in the end you’re still starting him essentially blindly, including the Phils next time. Good talk. I had fun, too.

Elieser Hernandez3.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks. Ouch. He’s back in the rotation and will keep his job, but this…this isn’t good. Just three whiffs across 75 pitches and now with the Braves next, I’m not starting him til he looks settled into his new role.

Danny Duffy4.2 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Duffy is someone to consider as a streaming option. You don’t stream pitchers against the Twins. NUFF SAID.

Stephen Strasburg4.2 IP, 9 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Nooooooo. A trio of HRs burned Strasburg as this was a mix of mistakes and good execution. There are clunker outings where guys are horrendous and lost, while there are others like this where the pitcher didn’t pitch nearly as bad as the line suggests. This isn’t the end of Stras, he’s still cool and buy low if you can.


Today’s Streamer


For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.


Pedro Payano vs. Detroit Tigers – Yep, I’m doing it. The Tigers are even worse now, and Payano has surprisingly good stuff.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Adam Civale vs. Texas Rangers – He’s back in the majors, and this could work out well for Civale.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Dylan Cease vs. Detroit Tigers – He looked solid against the Mets last time out and the Tigers are weaker.


Game of the Day 


Chris Paddack vs. Kenta MaedaHopefully Maeda lasts more than five frames this time around and Paddack defying the Dodgers would be a fun time.


(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)

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.

One response to “Not Like Chris, Not Like Chris”

  1. TheKraken says:

    I imagine Bauer nor pitching in front of lindor and in cin will hurt a fair amount.

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