Sorry Mr. Jackson, You’re Not For Real

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

(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

I can’t believe I have to talk about Edwin Jackson but after his marvelous 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks effort Saturday against the Angels, the man is boasting a 2.48 ERA and 1.03 through 9 starts and 54.1 IP. That’s a 6.0 IPS and it’s crazy. CRAZY. In the end, .224 BABIP, 80% LOB rate, and 8.3% HR/FB from the HOTEL (HOly Trinity Equating Luck) is all you need to read. Guys, I get it, it’s fun, it’s going well, but it’s on the backs of a cutter that is holding a .188 BABIP at the moment. Really, that’s why this is working, I’m not kidding. It’s not nearly as good as its 4.4 pVal through 250+ thrown and this is going to hurt. There is a slider that is a good #2 pitch, but everything else is terrible and the moment the cutter starts normalizing, it all falls apart. It’s a fun thing, it’s a silly stamp on a long six month season, but don’t let it take down your team when you need it.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Sam Gaviglio5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I expected to be able to write this off, but here’s something interesting. Gavy has thrown at least 50% fastballs all season…and threw 36.5% last night. Breaking balls? about 32% across sliders and curveballs prior but 50% last night. And guess what, Gaviglio had his second-highest whiff rate of the year above 13%. Huh. I wonder if this was a thing they discussed or if he felt his slide piece early, ran with it, then favored Curveballs as well to steal strikes. Seeing 36% heaters really is a shock considering how he’s never dipped under 50% all year. I’m a lot more intrigued than I ever thought I’d be. Fun times.

Walker Buehler7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. After the struggles in July, Buehler has killed it in his last three, including this one in Coors. Don’t overthink this, just keep starting Buehler.

Aaron Nola6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Happy Nola Day y’all as he lowered his ERA to 2.28 with a 1.00 WHIP and it’s wonderful.

David Price6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Hot dang Price! We still have seven weeks to go and I’m wondering if Price can bring his ERA below 3.50 to end up as the Top 20 starter I expected him to be back in March. I kinda accepted that it wouldn’t happen after his troubles in May, but now he’s holding a 24% K rate, 3.75 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and hinting at a 6.0 IPS. This start was 41/94 CSW – all kinds of nuts – as he earned a Gallows pole with 21 whiffs. Dang dude. Dang. Changeups and cutters were phenomenal, but this was the O’s so, whatever. I’d feel great as a Price owner (he even survived the Yankees last week!) and here’s to a possible #2 through the end.

Ryne Stanek1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. False Start here with no one notable to follow. Thanks for nothing.

Trevor Williams7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Williams is so set up for a Grave Mistake that I feel like he’s just hanging out in cemeteries for fun. For fun.

Trevor Bauer6.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Bauer had a liner to the ankle and the precautionary MRI came clean. Good, because aces gonna ace and no liner (well, maybe eyeliner) is going to stop it.

Kyle Gibson7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I’ll take this from Gibson after his recent struggles. Sure, I want more in the strikeout department, but this is good.

Lance Lynn5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Lynn had a wonderful two-start week as a part of the Yankee rotation facing the ChiSox first and Rangers here. Atta boy Lynn, you’re now a strong Toby with a touch of upside. Enjoy the jump tomorrow.

Julio Teheran6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Come on Teheran, don’t pry on the ignorant who don’t know any better.

Jack Flaherty7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. I know it’s weird, but even after a 38/106 CSW with 17 whiffs from Flaherty, I’m wondering if his curveball will be enough long term. This was the Royals and 5/12 SNIP on the deuce is fine but I question if Flaherty will deserve the love entering 2019 or not. Nick, the guy is dope. Oh, definitely. Top 25 ROS and I’m super happy owning Flaherty. Just, you know, rambling here.

Kyle Freeland7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. This was the fourth time in sixteen starts where Freeland has held a whiff rate over 10%. But whatever! It’s a Vargas Rule for the most part as he lowered his ERA to 3.02 (10% HR/FB, 82% LOB rate, sub 20% K rate, 8.5% BB rate all make me hate him and believe more in his 3.95 FIP/4.41 SIERA), so go do your thing.

Matt Harvey7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Atta babe Harvey! Gotta raise that stock for the Reds so you can pitch somewhere else in September. I need to see more swing-and-miss stuff to go with those seven strikeouts to make me believe it’s sustainable at all, but hey, good work.

Wade LeBlanc5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah, this is the kind of boring start I’m happy with if I needed to roll with LeBlanc. Especially happy when it comes against the Astros, Altuve batting or not.

Wade Miley6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Leave it to Miley to find a way to allow just 2 ER without collecting a single punchout. HAISTFMFWT?!

Yefry Ramírez5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. The Fridge (Y’s are pronounced like J’s, right?) showed off some of his upside against the Red Sox last night, though just 1 whiff on 14 changeups leaves a little to be desired. I’ve labeled his as a Young Gun and I could see him being successful as a #5 with more polish, but for now, I wouldn’t chase it.

Robbie Ray5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This is why we own Ray. He will give you plenty of strikeouts every. Single. Start. And then there is the upside of helping your ratios like he did last night. That’s three of his last four with 2 ER or fewer and I’m happy to see him earn 16 whiffs while killing it with his heater. Just keep throwing him out there, he’ll help more than hurt.

Tanner Roark7.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. 36/112 CSW here and that’s four straight smooth starts from Roark, with this being the most impressive against the Cubs. I’m hesitant to fully endorse, but obviously you should be owning him and sending him out there until he gives us a reason not to.

James Shields7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Jimmy Bucklers got away with it this time, but he won’t avoid us coppers for long! He’s not nearly as clever as he or that random guy in your 12-teamer that never listens to logic thinks he is.

Hector Velazquez2.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. The Sawx had a False Start of their own, turning to the bullpen during a doubleheader day. And no one rejoiced.

Drew Hutchison5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Hutchison got the Yankees, Hutchison wasn’t productive, and all was right in the world of baseball.

Francisco Liriano5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Liriano, isn’t the whole “more walks than strikeouts” thing Tyler Chatwood’s move? He’s carrying a 5% K-BB% rate right now. Yep.

Charlie Morton6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. A PQS from Morton with four strikeouts just isn’t enough. We need more, like soup. Yes, I want more soup and IT’S KILLING ME. Not Morton though, I’m not worried here. I don’t think I’ll be chasing him next year and I’m a little skeptical that he can go 7+ more starts without an issue, but not enough to do anything about it.

Corey Oswalt6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. The False King gave you a PQS against the Marlins. And when I say “you” I mean the one reader who thought actually was Roy Oswalt and got lucky.

Dan Straily4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. But it was the Mets Straily! THE METS! Yeah, but it was Straily. That’s…that too good of a point. Streaming Record: 70-40.

Jimmy Yacabonis4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. The best part of waking up is dying Cup of Schmos in your…cup. You didn’t think this one through. Sure didn’t.

Ty Blach4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. This was no Blach Tie affair, though five strikeouts are at least something as I expect nothing from Blach when he starts. Nothing.

Walker Lockett4.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. You know what Walker keeps in his Lockett? Days when doesn’t start. Man that’s a dark one. Sorry.

Danny Duffy5.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. He’s either fantastic or terrible and considering the last three terrible outings have come against the Tigers, Twins, and Cards, I’m not sure when you can ever make this gamble.

Tyler Skaggs3.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. This is wild. Just these starts alone have essentially sent Skaggs back to the guy I expected him to be as he sits at a 3.78 ERA with a 1.31 WHIP. It’s weird. I don’t feel like I was right. His fastball was terrible here, his curveball was still blegh, and things are in a bad palce for Skaggs. I wonder if it’s 100% injury based – just 7 whiffs here too despite the 11% overall rate this year FWIW – and as an owner, I’m hoping the Angels do skip his next start. Just let him figure this out and get back in the groove by the time playoffs come around.

Jon Lester3.2 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. The #GreatRegressionOf2018 continues, now raising Lester’s ERA to 3.89 with a 1.34 WHIP and 18.4% strikeout rate. Hmmm. 

Today’s Streamer

Joey Lucchesi vs. Philadelphia Phillies – The Phils don’t scare me and Lucchesi had his Churve back last time out. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t go Fugghesi.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Trevor Richards vs. Atlanta Braves – I could go his teammate Pablo Lopez earlier in the day, but I’ll chase the upside of Trevor instead. There’s also Reynaldo Lopez against the Tigers and while that could turn out well given ReyLo took a step forward against the Yanks last time, it’s not enough for me to ignore the floor just yet.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jaime Barria vs. San Diego Padres – The Padres are blegh and Barria can take advantage.

Game of the Day

Zack Godley vs. Luis CastilloWAIT WHAT.

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.

3 responses to “Sorry Mr. Jackson, You’re Not For Real”

  1. Frankie says:

    Hey Nick,
    Need some serious advice here. I traded a high draft pick to acquire Stripling about a month ago. I got 1 bad start before the DL, then benched him at Coors. So basically I have gotten nada from the trade. Now he’s in the pen, do I just park him in RP slot and hope for the best, or maybe a promotion to the rotation again? Or would u cut your losses now, drop him for a useable SP on waivers such as Fiers, R Lopes, et al?
    Help me Obi-Wan Nicobi, you’re my only hope.

  2. David C. says:

    Freddy Peralta, Luke Weaver or Ryu?

    I need your choice!

  3. Jack says:

    Don’t you mean *raising Lester’s ERA etc.? Just lookin’ out.

    Seriously though Nick, thanks again for the work you do. I went from a guy who took Tanaka (decent enough, but even his most ardent fans would admit that his draft price was too high for what he has done this year), Darvish (*sadface*), and Luke Weaver (LOL) as his top 3 SPs drafted and traded/added/dropped my way to Sale/Greinke/Flaherty/Heaney/Buehler/Pivetta/Gibson/Bieber, and now I’m in 3rd place with 3 weeks left! You rule!

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