Oh Yu

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Yu Darvish vs COL (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 102 pitches.

Things have been weird with Yu DarvishWe were incredibly concerned about the loss of Spider Tack affecting his performance, yet on June 21st he fanned 11 Dodgers across 1 ER in six frames, then followed it with 1 ER in six against seven strikeouts against the Diamondbacks. No sticky stuff? No problem. Or so we thought. His last four starts came with 16 ER and then we tacked on another five last night via 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 102 pitches as he hosted Rockie Road in San Diego. Something is definitely up.

Last night marked the first time I’ve seen Darvish favor four-seamers over any other pitch in a long time and it was for good reason – the pitch was in a rhythm as it earned 7/30 whiffs and held a 37% CSW. His cutters were incredibly poor, though, (0/26 whiffs!) and his slider wasn’t a whole better. I expected to go through his last five starts and find a trend, but honestly, it’s more of a lack of consistency. Some starts his heater disappears, others it’s his slider or like here, it’s his cutter. It may be part of a process of searching for a foundation without the aid of a foreign substance, but whatever it is, I don’t expect it to last through September, let alone August. He’s off-balance, but I expect him to recover and figure it out. It does mean he’s likely outside the Top5 starters tomorrow, though, but let’s be honest, that entire tier is so dang hard to figure out right now. Should be an interesting time tomorrow.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Jaime Barria vs OAK (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.

His name is Baarrrrriiiiaaaa! This was his slider doing great things against the Athletics, though I’m sad it was just a sweeper show and I’m not sure his heater will return as many outs as we saw in the future. But hey, at least we can add him to the least of decent streamers against poor offenses in the future – just don’t pick him up today.

Alek Manoah vs KC (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

Welcome back Alek. I can’t say I expected him to cruises through seven frames in what was a debatable Still ILLand those thinking this was just a BABIP start, you’re not wrong, but those 14 whiffs with a fantastic slider should quell those concerns. I still wish his changeup could develop into the pitch we saw in his debut and maybe we see it in the second half. With that missed time, Alek has tossed under 70 frames so far this year and he may start comfortably through the end of the year. You love to see it.

Taylor Hearn vs SEA (ND) – 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 52 pitches.

He throws hard (95+ mph) but doesn’t have a legit secondary and he’s super limited. Nah, this ain’t it. Yet. I guess that makes him a Young Gunbut normally I see a bit more in their repertoire to do that. Maybe the heater becomes that good where the secondaries don’t matter. We’ll see.

Kyle Hendricks @ WSH (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.

Yep, that’s a prime Hendricks start. He’s a glorified Toby and that’s just fine, but let’s all recognize the floor he brings (5 ER last time out and sub five strikeouts in his last five starts) and why it prevents him from being Top 25/30 again.

John Means @ DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 99 pitches.

There he is. The changeup returned in mighty fashion – 35% CSW across 37 thrown – while his curveball earned a ton of called strikes. The heater was a bit underwhelming sitting 92.5 mph instead of 93+, but that’s okay with me if he keeps this changeup moving forward. He was on with the pitch. The Rays are next and that will a bit more difficult, but I’d start him there and believe in the slow ball.

Bailey Ober @ STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 64 pitches.

Hey, those are four quality frames, but he’s not getting stretched out enough and we never know when he’ll perform this well (even if this was “The Cardinal Rule”). I wouldn’t chase it.

JT Brubaker vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 82 pitches.

Coffee Cakes, I’m so happy to see you back on track, which essentially means that your pitches not named “slider” were decent. Sadly he gets the Reds next and that’s too risky.

Cole Irvin @ LAA (L) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 95 pitches.

He’s a Toby and the once fruitful Angels offenses has been drying up as of late. The Rangers are next and like John Rzeznik, that’s a go-go doll. That’s Goo goo. Stop with the baby noises. Please.

Kyle Muller vs MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 87 pitches.

Ayyyy way to go Muller. Streaming Record: 65-47. His slider and curveball were great, he spread out a bit more across the zone (still without legit elevated heaters, though), and I’m encouraged. Not entirely thrilled – the command is good but not great + his fastball lost a full tick and sat 92/93 here. He gets the Nationals next, though, and I’m all over that.

Trevor Rogers vs NYY (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 74 pitches.

Rogers wasn’t in the groove we saw him in during the first half as returned from his back spasms induced IL stint. I’m only guessing if he’ll figure it out next time or not, but you’re not dropping him and you may as well start him and hope for the best. You got this kiddo.

Matt Manning vs BAL (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.

Ehhhh it’s a Philly with an unacceptable WHIP and just three Ks. Manning, you’re such a Toby and it hurts.

Domingo Germán @ MIA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 66 pitches.

That’s a share of the Gallows Pole for Domingo, who sadly was pulled early and placed on the IL today with shoulder inflammation. Man, right when he was starting to get into a legit groove. He’ll likely be a Still ILL when he returns, so drop him if you don’t have the room.

Mitch White @ ARI (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 58 pitches.

Ah yes, the bullpen game. Scherzer wasn’t ready yet and they lost Josiah Gray’s spot so enter White, who ain’t so bad – 95 mph heaters + and okay slider. You could do worse with a spot starter.

Germán Márquez @ SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 102 pitches.

Look at Gray and Márquez go. They are pitching at their peaks and can’t be stopped, here even hitting a longball to help the cause. That slider really has taken shape this year and I’m just so happy for the guy. Enjoy Miami next week.

Aaron Nola @ PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches.

Yep, this definitely works. He wasn’t at his peak – just 10/49 CSW across changeups and four-seamers – but the curveball is too dang good and Nola should be started without hesitation. I’m living each day like it’s Nola day once again.

Wade Miley @ NYM (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 97 pitches.

Miley has allowed more than 3 ER just once in his last twelve starts. The man is gunning for Spider-Man and I’m here for it. You’ve got nine weeks left, Miley, let’s see what you’ve got.

Merrill Kelly vs LAD (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.

It was the Dodgers and essentially a VVPQS and that’s fine. We didn’t expect anything here and that’s something, right? I’m a little surprised he stayed put at the trade deadline, though, and sadly he gets the Giants twice next. I think I’d avoid that, especially with Bryant in town.

Brandon Woodruff @ ATL (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna meh. You know, Woodruff hasn’t been as overwhelming as of late than earlier in the season and it just makes the whole Tier 1 of The List awfully confusing. I have no idea what I’m going to do tomorrow.

Tyler Anderson @ TEX (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

I hope you like it Seattle, because if I had to point to one start to represent Tyler, it’s this line. The man is as Toby as Toby gets.

Mike Minor @ TOR (L) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

Hey this is pretty solid from Minor against the Jays’ elite offense. He sat 92 mph, earned 10/43 whiffs on sliders + changeups, and even peppered some decent curveballs in there. That’s three straight starts of production (the WHIP and Ks here) as his heater has been 91/92 mph instead of hovering 91 mph. Now he gets St. Louis and I’d be tempted to follow “The Cardinal Rule”. Huh.

Zack Greinke @ SF (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

Ugh. That’s the blurb as you’re not going to do anything about it. Just…ugh.

Alex Wood vs HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 68 pitches.

Nooooo. The skills were mostly there – 92.5 mph heater = amazing, 3/26 slider whiffs…is not – and I was hoping he would be able to navigate the Astros crew. Welp, he gets the Sneks now so brush it off.

Joe Ross vs CHC (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.

Blegh. Ross returned from the IL last time and we expected him to be just fine against a depleted Cubs lineup. Seriously, no Rizzo, Baez, or Bryant and this is what you do? His slider went 8/29 whiffs and he earned a ton of called strikes on sinkers, it just didn’t go well in the field. So it goes. He gets Atlanta next and I think you’re still fine there. It’s close, that team did improve in July (Soler, Duvall, Rosario, Pederson) and still poses a threat.

Rich Hill vs CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 81 pitches.

Yeaaaaah. It was the Reds, but it was also Hill. I really would avoid starting him as the ceiling is capped and those ratios will hurt.

Dallas Keuchel vs CLE (ND) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 83 pitches.

I don’t think Keuchel pitched that badly here, with elite cutter command and changeups generally down, though he left far too many a bit too high in the zone that he’d like and Cleveland had timely hits. It’s a bit too much of a gamble for Keuchel these days with the upside not worth the downside.

Jake Woodford vs MIN (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 72 pitches.

The Amish Mustang (a wooden Ford) is only memorable because I have this silly nickname for him now. There’s no Cardinal devil magic here.

Ryan Yarbrough vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 84 pitches.

This is a bit wild. Both Eovaldi and “The Fratty Pirate” made up the SP awards today (congrats on the King Cole!) yet they each allowed 5 ER. Go figure. Yarbrough is what we think he is – a Toby – and the Sawx were a clear avoid.

Nathan Eovaldi @ TB (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 105 pitches.

Blegh. The secondaries weren’t so bad – curveball at 38% CSW and splitter 5/23 whiffs – and they helped him earn a Gallows Polebut the Rays messed him up a bit and there it is. Given that the curve and splitty are still working, I wouldn’t think much about this one. Just be frustrated, let it out.

Triston McKenzie @ CWS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 83 pitches.

Oh no. There’s a silver lining: His name is Triston and that’s a dope name His fastball is now at 92.7 mph and that’s wonderful, but his command was nothing like we saw in his previous outing and the ChiSox are the kind of team that would take full advantage. Hopefully he can get comfortable against the Tigers and get his feel back. If I had to guess, I’d imagine Triston will bounce back and forth and become a Cherry Bomb across the final two months. Prepare for the undulation – the name of my second album.

Game of the Day 


Daulton Jefferies vs. Reid DetmersTwo fun rookies against each other and one making his MLB debut?! Watch this.

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 from Leslie Plaza Johnson/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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