Out of Kyle

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

Kyle Gibson @ DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 87 pitches.

Kyle Gibson was on top of the world. The defier, the rose in the swamp, the man of disbelief. Welp, it was a good run as he followed a five-ER outing with 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks (7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 87 pitches) against the Tigers, and, yeah, this is seeming awfully close to the smoke disappearing from the field.

It could be just a blip. His slider and cutter failed to deceive (0/24 whiffs!) and none of his secondaries outside of his curveball touched 20% CSW. His sinker earned just seven called strikes, got walloped in the zone, and Gibson had nothing to turn to. Maybe this was simply Detroit trying to make a statement that they are a better offense than we’ve given them credit (they did just trounce J.A. Happ yesterday, ya know) and it’s not like Gibson wasn’t able to find the edges here. I’ve been saying Gibson is a Vargas Rule Plus, in the sense that he deserves two missteps before we abandon ship. Well, here we are and Houston is next. It may be time. At the very least, take a look at your staff and the waiver wire — there may be a move to make.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Jon Lester vs MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 81 pitches.

I’m glad to see Lester effectively earn “1 WAR” as he smacked a dinger along the way. WAR doesn’t work like that. THERE ARE NO RULES IN WAR. But seriously, I’m happy he’s able to have a Birthday Party every so often, and he was awfully kind to do so against a team we could at least fathom he’d host one for.

Casey Mize vs TEX (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 54 pitches.

Hey, that quality of inning is pretty dang cool, but why not just get a stud middle reliever instead of four innings every five days? This one only comes with two strikeouts.

Cole Irvin vs LAA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

This was a legit challenge for Irvin and while he didn’t blow me away, props to him for coming through. He’s been a Toby all year, now with a 3.42 ERA and 1.18 WHIP to go with his…17% strikeout rate. Yep, that’s a brown suit and red tie alright.

Shohei Ohtani @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.

It’s simply unbelievable, and you don’t need me to say more. Don’t forget how we felt in April though, and I want to applaud those who stuck with him through the poor command to get where we are now. I should also mention that his splitter was far from the elite offering we normally see, instead relying heavily on four-seamers, sliders, and cutters (hey, that’s kinda new!). What a guy.

Jake Woodford vs CHC (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

This was a whole lot better than I expected and his slider was the real winner here, going 7/16 whiffs to push him through the innings. I really didn’t like his pedestrian heaters, though, and that breaker isn’t his ticket to escape mediocrity. I’m not buying in here.

Spenser Watkins @ TB (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 92 pitches.

Whoa, that’s a King Cole for that guy you, once again, thought was a wide receiver. I’m amazed he went 9/45 whiffs on 90 mph four-seamers (and 12 called strikes helping earn 47% CSW, for that matter) while his cutter and curveball were pretty dang meh. It’s the second coming of J.A. Happ, and that’s not a compliment. Don’t fall for this trap.

Lance Lynn vs MIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. You want more strikeouts, and he wasn’t the most overwhelming we’ve seen, but the man keeps producing. You gotta love him.

Reynaldo López vs MIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 44 pitches.

I haven’t heard that name in a very long time. It’s nice to see ReyLó here and pumping 95+ mph cheddar, but sadly he went 0/17 whiffs with his secondary stuff. He’s not a changed man and that’s unfortunate.

Griffin Jax @ CWS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 68 pitches.

Hot dang! 16 Whiffs, that’s cool. Jax did this with a fantastic slider and changeup, each recording over a 38% CSW and 12 whiffs between them. They had some fantastic moments and if Jax finds time in the rotation (he likely won’t if the Twins don’t trade away Berríos) and can keep these two pitches afloat, there’s something here. Sadly, I think those are two unlikely IFs that make for a really tough Maybe.

Alec Mills @ STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches.

Hmmmmm. That’s a solid ERA and six strikeouts, but a 1.75 WHIP and no Win. Is that a streaming victory or loss? I don’t do ties. Anyway, it’s certainly not enough for me to get amped about Mills as I wished he could do a little better to follow “The Cardinal Rule”, and now we have a tough call with Arizona next. There will be worse starts on that day.

Caleb Smith vs PIT (ND) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 93 pitches.

I may or may not have exclaimed a loud OH H*CK when I saw that Caleb went 6/25 slider whiffs with 8/20 changeup whiffs. Oh dang. Yeah. If you’re been following along with Caleb, his success comes down to two elements: fastball at 92 mph & whiffs from either his slider or his changeup. While the heater was at 91 mph, seeing both secondaries miss bats and propel a Gallows Pole is something special. Sure, this was the Pirates and that’s a major question, but this was 49% CSW between sliders and changeups. He gets the Cubs next and I’m heavily considering this. PLEASE LET IT STICK.

Kevin Gausman @ LAD (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

You’re reading that right, Gausman survived just three frames against the Dodgers, enduring a laborious first frame with two solo shots, a walk, and a hit batter, and failing to find his groove after missing some time for a personal matter. I’m not reading too much into it — being removed from the game for a few days will take you out of rhythm, especially without time to get back into the groove — and I’d expect Gausman to get back on track next time out.

Jerad Eickhoff @ CIN (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 76 pitches.

It blows my mind that the Mets are still in first place despite Eickhoff getting as many innings as he has thus far (Sorry Jerad). They won this game 15-11. Yet they can’t score more than one run when deGrom pitches. What is baseball, ya’ll.

Zack Greinke vs CLE (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 84 pitches.

It ain’t the prettiest, but that’s Greinke for ya. The best glorified Toby this side of the Mississippi. Is that your side or Houston’s side? Yes.

Tony Gonsolin vs SF (L) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

Sigh. I want Gonsolin to work so badly, but it just doesn’t look like it’s in the cards. I still have this feeling David Price will have a more secure spot in their rotation, meaning he could be forced out before August after the Dodgers make some moves. Sure, Clayton Kershaw’s IL stint is allowing more frames for Gonsolin, but without his slider being an elite offering, it’s tough to see him demanding starts through the second half. I hope I’m wrong here.

Chase De Jong @ ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 97 pitches.

The slide piece was great, but he tossed too many fastball mistakes and BAM! There’s your problem. Don’t trust it y’all, even at his peak, it’s like the top of a parking mall and you’re wondering why you climbed the dang thing. This view is just the brick wall of a Wendy’s. Welcome to Milton, NJ. Does that place exist? I have no idea.

Nick Pivetta @ TOR (W) – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 108 pitches.

I avoided this game entirely, and Pivetta managed to be the winner of “Not absolutely atrocious” as he earned a win for your squads. Was it worth it? WAS IT WORTH IT?! He gets the Yankees next, and that could work with how disjointed that offense is right now.

J.C. Mejía @ HOU (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

Mejía’s slider ain’t so bad, and he leaned on it a third of the time here to propel those eight strikeouts, but it’s not that great and the rest of the stuff is pretty meh. JCM isn’t ready to rock, and I don’t care if I’ve made that joke before IT’S WHAT YOU’RE GONNA GET. I’m yelling a lot tonight, sorry. No idea why.

José Berríos @ CWS (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

Womp womp. Poor Berríos, he allowed a trio of longballs, including a walk-off three-run shot in the seventh to lose the game for the Twins. Talk about a Careful, Icarus. We saw the summary of Berríos in one game — six frames of “Hey, this guy is kinda like an ace!” before he suddenly ruins it in a flash. Sorry, sorry, José really isn’t detrimental to your teams, just the best Cherry Bomb out there and it gets to me sometimes, okay?

Vladimir Gutiérrez vs NYM (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 68 pitches.

Bleegggghhh. I was considering Vlad for this one as I’ve been digging his command and pitch separation, but man, his stuff just wasn’t enough. His command wasn’t terrible, but it returned just one strikeout (HAISTFMFWT?!and it’s hard to envision him as anything but a Toby at best. That ain’t great, Bob.

Ryan Yarbrough vs BAL (L) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 108 pitches.

Yikes. “The Fratty Pirate” sure isn’t doing a whole lot to justify a roster spot on your team, though I will say the Orioles are strong against lefties and he does get Cleveland next. That could work, but I’m not telling my friends about it. Are you just a shy person? Yes, but no, it’s an expression. Oh, that’s swell. Yeah, like that.

Ross Stripling vs BOS (L) – 0.1 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 36 pitches.

Welp, I think anyone who was still on the Stripling wagon can now politely step off as the entire back of their suit is tattered and destroyed. It was a trip to remember. I’m sure it was. Don’t go with Strip until the secondaries return. Twice.

Ross Detwiler @ WSH (L) – 1.0 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 38 pitches.

It was the battle of the paleontologists, determining which Ross rocked the boat more. 1.1 innings of 14 ER between them is absolutely something. Congrats…?

Game of the Day 


John Means vs Shane McClanahanMeans it back and Shane is fantastic. This is dope.

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 Steven King/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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